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In this AnimalWised article we are going to deal with a delicate issue, such as canine aggressiveness after the birth of a litter. We say delicate because it is common for caregivers to be very excited about the arrival of the puppies, which can lead to excess attention that, sometimes, results in the dog being aggressive after giving birth.
It is very important to understand that, as adorable as they are, unless problems arise, just observe and provide the family with a calm environment. Keep reading and discover with us why is your dog aggressive after giving birth.You may also be interested in: Is it bad to bathe my dog after giving birth? Index
- How to help a newly born dog?
- Signs of stress in the newly born dog
- My newly born bitch bites
- What do I do if my dog is aggressive after giving birth?
How to help a newly born dog?
Bitches go through a gestation of about two months after which the moment of birth arrives. Normally, this runs without complications and the dog is able to give birth alone, without any help. In the same way, in general, she will be prepared to be in charge of cutting the umbilical cords, ingesting the placentas and other remains, and cleaning her little ones, who are born with the innate behavior of approaching a breast and initiating breastfeeding. This will last during the first weeks of life.
All these actions will be carried out without human intervention other than providing them with a clean, warm and sheltered place to stay, as well as water and adequate food so that the mother can produce milk and recover. Only if we observe that the bitch abandons her litter, does not eat, has a fever, etc., or the puppies appear to be ill should we intervene and go to the vet. Therefore, our role is meet their basic needs and monitor.
Peace of mind is essential because hormones such as oxytocin must circulate between mother and puppies, which cannot be secreted in stressful situations such as excessive handling. Also, even if she is our dog, her instinct dictates, above all else, that you must protect your puppies. Hence, excessive visits, the presence of strangers or habitual touching are a stress factor. Improper handling can explain why a bitch is aggressive after giving birth. And it must be avoided, not only because it can growl and bite, but because milk production would be compromised..
Signs of stress in the newly born dog
Understanding the importance of tranquility for a happy parenting, stress can not only manifest itself as the dog being aggressive after giving birth. Some caregivers don't understand and even find it funny if the bitch hides her puppies, But it is another sign that she is not comfortable in her current circumstances. If you move your family, it is because you feel that you are not safe and, therefore, you are looking for another place. This, at times, endangers the little ones, so we must avoid it by providing the peace of mind that everyone needs. Wolves show this same behavior.
Other signs of stress in a newly born dog can be the aggressive attitude, as we have mentioned, in the event of unexpected visits or excessive handling of their puppies, nervousness and restlessness.
We always have to start from a passive behavior, that is, as we explained, we have to limit ourselves to observing and, depending on the reaction of the dog, we can take more or less confidence. It is normal for us to feel the urge to caress and hold newborns, but if the bitch does not let us get close to her puppies, we must respect it and not force contact due to the consequences that we have explained. In a few weeks, the little ones will have grown enough to begin to interact with the environment, which includes us, and we will have the possibility of caressing them, playing, etc., before the tranquility of their mother. Therefore, you should not worry if, at first, your dog does not let you touch her puppies..
My newly born bitch bites
We mention in this section the most worrying case if a dog is aggressive after giving birth. We refer to the situation in which it comes to bite. Leaving the family alone can prevent this reaction, which includes not allowing access to the farrowing pen for other animals with whom they live in the home, if applicable. No matter how good a relationship they have had so far, the protective instinct is stronger and can push her to react violently if, for example, another dog approaches the litter. In any case, both grunting and showing teeth or, finally, biting, we indicate significant stress that we must correct immediately and, for this, we remember, we must stick to observing.
What do I do if my dog is aggressive after giving birth?
Recapitulating, to avoid problems after the arrival of a litter the family it must be installed in a quiet place, away from home traffic and contact with other animals, if any. The nest that we provide should be easy to clean, for example, by providing a top layer of soakers that can be easily changed. At first, it is normal that the dog does not want to be separated from her little ones for a long time. That is why the walks should be short and she will be the one who will prolong them. Above all, let's avoid handling the puppies and we do not allow visits from strangers that disturb the tranquility of the family. Let's respect the distances that the bitch marks.
With these measures we avoid reaching stressful or violent situations and, if we have already experienced one, it will not be repeated. By the way, the bitch can be aggressive with her puppies as they grow older. Thus, it is not uncommon for him to show their teeth, growl at them or even mark their bites, for example, to prevent them from suckling in the weaning period or eating their food. It is part of the education of the puppies and we must not interfere.