Are All Dogs Great Mothers?

Are all dogs great mothers? If you have a dog and wonder about this then read on. This article discusses dogs and maternal behavior.

You love your dog and you want to assume she's going to be a great mother. Unfortunately, not all dogs are perfect mothers. Think about some of the stories you've heard. Not all humans make good mothers, so we can't expect every animal to be perfect either. Some dogs actually have maternal behavior problems.

Some female dogs have excessive mothering behavior for example, a female dog that isn't a mother, but tries to mother stuffed animals or puppies that aren't hers. On the other hand, there are female dogs that have puppies, but won't take care of them. Your dog might do this or you might have heard of people adopting or purchasing puppies at young ages because their mother refused to take care of them.

A mother dog may refuse to nurse her puppies, fail to clean them, attack them, or totally abandon them. You probably won't know if your dog will have maternal behavior problems until after she gives birth. You may also cause some of the issues without realizing it. Female dogs may get annoyed if they are disturbed and then take out their aggression on their tiny defenseless puppies. For this reason, if there are no labor difficulties or anything wrong with the dogs after birth, you shouldn't really touch or bother the mother and puppies.

After the labor, let your dog outside to go to the bathroom and provide clean bedding, and then that is it. Don't pick up the puppies and pet them. The best thing to do is to leave your dog alone with her puppies in a comfortable, quiet, and maybe even dark place. This can be a room in your house, or a box somewhere in your house that doesn't get a lot of traffic. If you have other pets make sure they do not disturb the mother and her puppies.

If your dog is acting strangely, not taking care of her puppies, or you are worried for the safety of the puppies consult your dog's veterinarian.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.