Dogs are very social and affectionate animals. But if you don’t spend the time with them in the early days then you can run into some troubles. So please use some common sense and this as a guide to help you along your way. The more you teach and show your puppy the less likely you are to have a problem.
When going out with your pup always have him on a lead and be in control of him. He maybe friendly but the dog big or small coming over to see your pup may not and you want to be control of the situation.
We recommend puppy preschool this is a great way to teach you pup how to act when he sees other dogs and the also teach you basic skills on discipline and training. We have found taking the pups to markets and walks in areas not familiar to him are a great way for them not to be scared. When they get scared that’s when you will have a dog that has the potential to bite in his defense, as that is all that he knows.
When people or even children come up to you to pat the pup make your pup sit so you have control and then allow them to pat the pup.
But we recommend that you don’t let anyone else give the puppy any orders e.g. sit, but 1 person at a time and the order should only be given once. Any more than this or more than one person, the pup will become confused in who he should listen to and won’t listen to anybody at all. In saying this, this only stands to reason as a young dog or a dog that has been bought to guard will get confused and will let anyone into your house or do what they like.
It is not about training the dog it is about training the owners.
When you have the opportunity to take the pup into the public toilet show the puppy around then take him into a cubical and flush the toilet.
There is nothing worse than having to go to the toilet and you can’t get the dog in there with you and no one with you to hold the dog. This is a perfect example of being in a situation that you can have a big problem.
Dogs and Kids
PREVENT A BITE
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A DOG OWNER
As a dog owner you have a number of obligations. All dog owners must:
· register the dog with the local council
· ensure the dog is not able to escape from your yard
· take responsibility for any damage the dog has caused
· leash your dog in public places
Avoiding Dog Bites
· teaching children how to behave towards dogs
· ensuring you dog is properly trained to sit, stay and drop and come
· always supervising young children near dogs
· no child under 5 should ever be left alone with a dog
· ensuring that your dog has the opportunity to socialise safely with children
· teaching children to interact with the dog by modeling the desire behavior for them
Teach your Child to …….
· never approach a strange dog without permission from the owner
· approach the dog slowly with the back of you hand extended
· curl your fingers and allow the dog to sniff
· stroke the dog gently on the chest or shoulder or under the chin
· avoid approaching dogs that are eating or sleeping
· stand still like a fence post if approached by a strange dog and don’t squeal or jump
· avoid eye contact with the dog
Dogs should be left alone if it……………..
· lifts its lips
· backs away
· raises the hair on its back
Don’t think that if a dog bites that the dog is always at fault. Children can be mean and not own up to what they have done. As an example of a cruel child is a child has kicked, hit or stuck something up its nose and hurt the dog so of coarse it’s going to lash out but remember an bite is there way of saying leave me alone and stop hurting me. If a child hurt another child they normally hit back, so is the dog. Teach your children that they can be held liable for their own actions as well as the dog.
Fleas & Ticks
Most people know what fleas and ticks are but don’t realise that it can be fatal to you animal if left untreated.
Fleas can cause 2 types of skin problems (a) flea bite dermatitis and (b) true allergic reactions to the flea saliva.
Flea bite dermatitis generally occurs when a large number of fleas are present, feeding on the dog’s blood and releasing irritant substances into the skin. This can be seen in young pups or older dogs. This can cause severe anemia and death. In general flea allergic reaction which is the flea saliva is not seen in young dogs as it can take several weeks or months to develop. But it may only need to bitten once every few days to continue the cycle.
Flea infestation can also lead to tapeworm as the fleas carry these eggs and then when they lick themselves they reinfest with the tapeworm eggs and the cycle goes on.
Tick the paralysis tick is the nasty little fellow that can kill your pet in a small amount of time. Once the tick hosts itself onto your pet your pet will get sick very quickly and your pet can not remove this himself or herself and you might not be able either and you might require you vet to assist. There is no vaccine currently available for ticks but there are a lot of preventives.
Signs of tick paralysis start to appear 3 to 4 days after attachment. This period may take up to 10 days in cool weather. Common symptoms may include change in bark, vomiting or drooling, weakness in the back legs rapidly worsening so that in a few hours the pups is unable to stand. Untreated you dog will die 24 to 48 hours after clinical signs.
Removal of a tick can be done with a pair of tweezers between the pup’s skin and the tick; the tick may be then levered off. Take care never to squash the tick before it has been removed and it will release more toxins that are stored in the salivary glands. Making sure that the head of the tick has been fully removed. Do not use metho or turps as this will burn the dogs skin and may cause the tick to inject the toxins. If you have removed the tick before any clinical signs keep the dog quite for 24 to 36 hours to recover and keep a close eye on the dog. But if your dog has any of the clinical signs take you dog immediately to the vet even if have removed the tick because it may have to much toxin to be able to recover without your vets help. Don’t wait until the morning or the next day because it could be too late.
If you want to prevent any of the happening you can use a number of treatments to help and a preventive this is not fool proof but makes it unlikely.
Please take to your vet or use and we can guide you with what treatments are available. (Brands: Advantage,Frontline, Proban ect)
If your Rottweiler has a paralysis tick or starts showing signs:
Don’t give any food or water
Keep him/her cool
Let him/her rest in a quiet, dark area
Take them to a vet
If treatment is needed, your Rottweiler will have a thorough tick search (there may be more than one tick) any ticks will be killed and removed. Your Rottweiler will then need to be given antitoxin injections and may also need sedation – this can be a lengthy process and your Rottweiler will need to stay in a confined hospital environment until full recovery.
As the antitoxin and treatment can be expensive we always encourage prevention rather than a cure.
Dogs suffer from intestinal worms which should be treated every 3 months by an all wormer this does not include heart worms.
Roundworm: Young puppies have roundworm burdens as transmission of larvae can occur from the mother to the pups in utero. Direct ingestion of worm eggs from the environment can also occur. Clinical signs can be potbelly, reduced appetite, diarrhea, vomiting or coughing. Disease can be attributed to both the passage of worm larvae through the liver and lungs and the presence of large (up to 18cm) adult worms causing blockage of the small intestine. Round worm larvae can also be the cause of disease in humans, particularly in young children whose sense of hygiene is often not well supervised. The migration of worn larvae, through the intestinal organs in humans. You should worm the whole family (dogs, cats, adults and children).
Hookworm: Hookworms are small (1-2 cm) blood sucking worms, which attach to the lining of the small intestine. Infection can occur by ingestion of larvae from the environment or by skin penetration. Symptoms may include acute anemia and death, chronic anemia, weight loss, reduced exercise tolerance (in adult dogs), weight loss or skin irritation.
Whipworm: Adult whipworms are slender, 4-7cm in length, and attach to the lining of the large intestine. Heavy infestations lead to chronic, sometimes bloody, diarrhea. It is usually a disease of older dogs and can be difficult to control because of the huge numbers of highly resistant worm eggs that contaminate the environment.
Hydatid Tapeworm: These worms are 4-6 cm in length and consist of 3 to 4 segments. Adult hydatid lives only in the small intestine of infected dogs. Each worm can be produced thousand of eggs, which may be picked up by a host (sheep, cattle, goat’s pigs and kangaroos). This is the reason that we do not recommend to feed your dogs kangaroo meat as these are the only common animals that aren’t wormed, as they are a native animal the other animal can be wormed as they are farmed by humans.
Treatment: You need to have a broad spectrum wormer this means that it does all you worms except heartworm. There is a list of commonly found wormers.
*Canex Mulitspectrum *Droncit *Drontal All wormer
*Fidos all wormer *Interceptor *Heartguard
*Popantel all wormer *Sentinel
Mosquitoes that carry it all over Australia carry heartworm. Prevention is the way to go.
The heartworm lives in to main forms. A microscopic larvae, which can be carried by a mosquito and a worm, which is big enough to damage the lining of the heart and arteries.
The mosquito bites an infected dog and picks up the larvae that it passes onto the next dog it bites. From there this minute larvae starts to grow and eventually ends up looking like a strand of spaghetti.
Heartworm is complicated disease as infected dogs may not have any symptoms at all, but irreversible damage may soon be occurring. Treatment is difficult too, and that is why most vets will tell you prevention is the best cure.
All dogs are at risk whether they are indoor or outdoor dogs.
Your prevention with heartworm must be started at 8 weeks of age. This can be done with a monthly heartworm or daily tablets. Monthly means just that 1 tablet once a month.
Daily means that you have to give your dog a tablet every day and if it is missed then you dog are not covered. We recommend monthly tablets.
Monthly: Proheart, Heartgaurd
Daily: Fido’s 200mg, arista pet 200mg
Cane Toads are poisonous if licked or eaten. The first sign of toad poisoning is excessive salivation or frothing at the mouth. Rinse the dog’s eyes with a gentle stream of water, and wash the dog’s mouth out with a wet cloth, repeatedly rinsing the cloth and washing the gums, tongue and roof of the mouth to get the poison off. Try to avoid any water running down the dog’s throat – this can cause pneumonia. In mild cases, this may be all the treatment needed. However, continue to observe the dog, and if you see signs of wobbly gait, tremors, convulsions or unconsciousness, get the dog to a vet immediately! Toad poisoning kills quickly by causing heart failure, but is easily treated by your vet if the dog is taken for immediate treatment.
POOL PROOFING YOUR DOG.
Every year dogs accidentally fall in swimming pools and drown. The problem is not that they can’t swim, but that they can’t swim forever and don’t know how to get out of the pool before they become exhausted. When in a panic, they try to get out at the nearest wall, and don’t think to swim around looking for a shallow place or stairs to exit. With a new puppy please remember it is a baby and needs to be supervised around pool areas just like you would with a small child.
You should teach your dog where the exit to your pool is located so that in the event of them falling into the pool they will be able to find their way out.
HOUSE TRAINING YOUR PUPPY.
Learning to be clean in the house is one of the first things you’ll want to start teaching your new puppy. At seven & eight weeks of age, your puppy will not be physically able to fully control its elimination, but the ability will develop quickly over the next few weeks. House training will take a month or two of intense effort on your part.
Modern thinking about how best to house train a puppy is quite different than what was recommended years ago. Punishment of mistakes is no longer considered either necessary or helpful. Delayed punishment is cruel and simply doesn’t work. If you discover a pile or a puddle in the house that the dog left minutes or hours ago, it is to late to react. The dog cannot figure out why you are angry, and cannot learn from the punishment.
The idea is to catch the dog doing something right, so you can reward it and thus strengthen its likelihood of doing the same thing again in the future. First decide where you want the puppy to go to the toilet. For most people this will be a handy corner of the back garden. You must accompany your puppy to the spot quite often, when you get their stay with it and allow your dog to sniff the ground. As soon as it begins to eliminate, praise softly. When it has finished reward your dog with lots of praise and pats. Rewarding the puppy for going in the correct location time after time helps it to learn where you want it to relieve itself.
When a pup is very young, it may need to urinate as often as once per hour during the day. Other times you can be pretty sure the pup will need to eliminate are IMMEDIATELY on waking up in the morning, 10 – 15 minutes after eating or drinking, after waking up from a nap, after a vigorous playtime, when something exciting happens like the arrival of a guest, and last thing at night. Your puppy will need to relive itself in the middle of the night until they are mature enough to hold on for seven – eight hours.
To prevent accidents you must watch your dog 100% of the time whilst it is loose in the house. If at any time you see it circle, sniff the floor, or start to squat, immediately INTERRUPT it by calling it urgently to the door to go outside with you to finish its business.
Please also remember, that behavior thought to be cute whilst a puppy is not so cute when your dog has grown to its full size. If you don’t want your dog to jump on the furniture or jump up onto you, this must be discouraged from the start. You must be consistent with your puppy and never allow it to do so, it will then begin to learn your house rules from the start. Again ‘Puppy Kindly’ and Obedience Classes will also help to teach you how to deter this behavior.
The Rottweiler is a large, powerful dog and if untrained will be very domineering. Training of such dogs is essential and can begin as early as eight (8) weeks. Allow the puppy time to settle in and then begin a basic training programmed. Do not allow your puppy to get away with things that he will not be allowed to do when he is an adult, but curb your punishment according to his age and mentality. You must get an idea of his temperament so that you are neither too hard nor too soft on him. Not all puppies have the same temperament, so treat each puppy accordingly if you have more than one. If you have not trained or handled a large dog before or have run into problems with regard to training, then you can seek help from an obedience club near your home. It is a good idea to take advantage of such facilities, as it is a good chance to get your dog properly socialized with other dogs and people. A good guard dog WILL NOT be ruined by such interaction.
After the puppy’s 12 week vaccination is a good time to start his training at a club, but it is a good idea to have taught him some of the basics (heel and sit) before your first time out so it won’t come as such a shock to him. At a club he will be taught to sit, stand, drop, stay come and heel on a loose lead no matter what is going on around him. These exercises should be reinforced at home for 5 - 10 minutes each day until the dog is well behaved and then only reinforced occasionally.
It is foolish to think that the dog does not need any formal training as “he will be staying at home” because he will have to go out sometime, even if it is only to the vet for treatment and there is nothing sadder than to see a large dog dragging its owner down the road or to have to watch five people sit on a muzzled dog just to have his toenails cut.
The Rottweiler is a truly athletic animal with great strength and excellent agility.
Details of where the obedience classes are held can be obtained from the Canine Control Council on (07) 3252 2661 or alternatively contact your local Kennel Club or Council.
TRAINING FOR THE SHOW RING
By the time your puppy is ten weeks old he should be used to being handled by humans and to stay still for a short period of time. A good show dog is not one that is tense at a show but the one that is relaxed and displays open friendliness – always ready to please.
To really get the most from your puppy for the show ring you will need to train your dog each day for approx five to ten minutes. Although your puppy may seem to catch on quickly, he only has a short memory span and you will need to train him each day until about eight months of age. Remember that the more time you put into your dog the better chance you have on winning.
From eight weeks of age slowly introduce the puppy to the show lead. Never use a choker on a puppy of this age. Encourage your puppy to walk on your left side and keep the lead very loose. Encouragment can be made in the way of food or perhaps a favourite squeaky toy. Some pups respond better and faster than others and the amount of time you spend training will reflect in the show ring.
Inspect the pups mouth and practise standing the dog in a show stance. Inspecting the puppy’s mouth before each meal also helps, because he/she is getting a reward after this is done by dinner. Also, if it’s a male puppy, check he has two testicles.
Teach the puppy to stand for examination by placing his head in your right hand and your left hand under his/her tummy. Hold the puppy under the chest with your left hand and with the head in your right; carefully pick up the front approx. ten centimetres and drop the front legs straight down parallel with each other and with sufficient width to balance the body. Gently place the back legs so that the hocks are at right angles. They should not be placed further back and that the head held high.
An easy way to practise doing this all of the above is to stand in front of a mirror. Then you are able to see not only what the puppy looks like but also what you look like as well. Watch other handlers at the dog shows and see the effect of a well-trained, clean dog with a confident handler. They are the ones who are constantly winning in the ring.
Also contact your local kennel club to see if they have show handling classes in your area. Handling a dog for the show ring takes a lot of time and patience and this is so for both the handler and the dog. Ensure that you practise looking at your dog’s teeth and when in a standing position pick up your dogs feet and let them naturally return to the standing position.
Practise standing your dog on different surfaces (grass, concrete, carpet) as the dogs can be assessed on any of these.
At the dog show the judge usually asks you to move your dog in a triangle so that he can see the hind, side and front movement of your dog. Try to do this at an even pace and also on a loose lead. When you come back to the judge encourage your dog to stand free but with his legs in position that would be resemble what he would look like if you were standing him. Do not go close to the judge, as he cannot see the front of the dog when all he can see is the top of the head.
Judges often ask you to move the dog straight out and back. This should be practiced at both a walk and a slow jog pace.
PREGNANCY AND WHELPING
QUSTION: How do I know, for certain, if my bitch is pregnant?
Answer: If you take you bitch to your vet surgeon 23 days after mating (or bring her back to the breeder at 28 to 30 days), the vet will probably be able to answer this question and estimate the number of puppies present. (This will only be a rough count). In a few days the puppies will change position and it will not be so easy to predict weather or not the mating will produce a litter. Apperarances can be deceptive. Some bitch’s carry their puppies high, almost under the ribs, making it difficult even for an experienced breeder to a certain whether or not the bitch is pregnant. There are no certainties. The fact that a bitch increases in weight and produces milk does not necessarily indicate that she is having puppies. These phenomena may be produced by a false pregnancy. During the last ten days it should be possible to feel the movement of the puppies if you place your hand on the bitch’s flanks when she lying quietly. Sometimes you see a rippling movement along her sides. Only then can you can be certain that the bitch is going to have a litter.
QUESTION: How long does pregnancy last?
ANSWER: The average length of pregnancy is 63 days from the time of mating. If you suspect that your bitch is about to produce her puppies too early (a thick, white discharge, like ‘clag’ is highly suspect), contact your veterinary surgeon immediately. He/she can give your bitch hormonal treatment, which will delay things until the normal time of whelping. The puppies should have arrived by the 65th day. If your puppies fail to arrive by the 65th day you would be wise to get your veterinary surgeon to check your bitch.
QUESTION: How should I care for my pregnant bitch?
ANSWER: Pregnancy is a perfectly normal condition in a bitch and for the first six weeks the pregnant bitch should be treated as normal; with the good food, exercise, etc. you normally give her. At six weeks she should be examined by the veterinary surgeon that may or may not be able to diagnose pregnancy. At this point in time she should receive booster injections for distemper and for parvovirus. These injections will give her added protection while she is nursing he puppies and should give the newborn puppies immunity from these scourges for several weeks (i.e. until they are old enough to be immunised). Baby puppies extremely vulnerable to attack by these diseases and there is a high mortality rate. Those, which do survive, may have permanent damage to heart, kidneys, teeth, etc. Rearing puppies is hard enough without taking the risk of preventable illness.
For the first six weeks the bitch should be fed as usual on good wholesome food. It is mistake to over-feed early in the pregnancy. Overfeed bitches may produce over-sized puppies, difficult to deliver, and they may lack the muscular strength to achieve normal delivery. From the sixth week gradually increase the amount of food. Food should then be given in two or three meals daily; instead of one. During the last three weeks of pregnancy bone formation is taking place, and at this stage the bitch should receive calcium (contact your vet for the right doses). Over-supplementation should be avoided, as it has been known to cause damage to bony structure of puppies and is just as undesirable as a deficiency. It is not desirable to worm a pregnant bitch. The bitch should be wormed prior to mating.
During the fist half of her pregnancy the bitch should be given normal exercises. As the weeks go by, you will see her slowing down and she should be permitted to exercise at her own rate. In the last three weeks there will be a noticeable decline in her desire for exercise. She should not be ‘pushed’.
QUSTION: How shall I know when my bitch is about to have her puppies?
ANSWER: There are signs by which your bitch indicates very clearly that the important event is about to take place.
During the last ten days of pregnancy the puppies are obviously active. If you place your hand on the bitch’s flanks you will feel their movements. Two or three days before they are born they seem to quieten down as though resting to gather strength for the great ordeal of birth.
If you observe your bitch closely you will notice that she changes shape two or three days before whelping. The puppies appear to drop down.
Within 24 hours of whelping there is a noticeable change in your bitch’s temperature, which drops from 101.5 F to 99 F (37 c). i.e. the puppies are being prepared for the transition from their cosy haven to the cooler atosphere of the outside world.
Most bitches refuse to eat when the birth of their puppies is close. Quite suddenly, a bitch, which has been ravenous for weeks, looses interest in food. This does not always happen. Some bitches will eat right up to the time of whelping.
The bitch begins to look around for a place to have her young. She appears restless, pacing up and down; panting, scratching the floor, and has an anxious look in her eye (i.e. the firs stage of labour has begun).
The seal of the cervix breaks down, and there is a sticky discharge like ‘clag’.
QUESTION: What preparations should I make?
ANSWER: Several days before the bitch is due, introduce her to the area where you intend her to have her puppies so that she is in familiar territory when the happy event takes place. She would probably choose a hole in the ground under a bush; but for your convenience choose a place where you can comfortably spend a night if required to do so. This should be a quite place, neither too hot nor too cold. (It may well be your laundry. It must be clean (disinfected). Cover the floor with a layer of clean newspapers. The bitch will be happy to scratch on them and they are easily replaced and disposed of when soiled. Make sure your bitch is clean. Remove excess hair around the rear end and the teats (the hair will mostly fall out anyway). Bathe these areas with a mild disinfectant in water. You will need a whelping box.
You may need:
Sterile scissors and thread to cut and tie cords. Keep these in a small bowl of disinfectant (artery forceps are a help in handling cords).
A fairly small cardboard carton filled with clean woollies (for newborn puppies if they have to be taken away from the mother). A hot water bottle.
A sterile feeding bottle and teats in case you need to do some supplementary feeding.
Clean towels and dog blankets.
Some way of keeping the bitch and her puppies warm if the weather turns cold.
You may not need all these things; but it is better to have them ready in case of emergency. Notify your veterinary surgeon of the impending whelping so that he/she will be on call if needed.
It is normal canine behaviour for a bitch to go away on her own to her young. Dogs in the wild do not advertise the event. Your domestic bitch will appreciate a little peace and quite at this time. The birth of her puppies should not be a public spectacle. She will appreciate your reassuring presence; but you may find the presence of other people disturbing her; distracting her from the task at hand.
QUESTION: How can I help my bitch at this time?
ANSWER: Your role in the drama of birth must be that of a sympathetic observer; one who is calm and dependable, refraining from undue interference; yet knowing when help is needed; and if this contingency does arise, seeking the right kind of help, the professional help of your veterinary surgeon. Fortunately the Rottweiler is a breed without exaggerations created at the whim of man, and consequently Rottweilers seem to have few whelping problems. However, there is always the odd one where help is needed. One thing you must do is seeing that the timing is right. It is generally agreed that the first stage of labour, the panting, scratching, pacing stage, can go on for about 12 hours. If at the end of this time no puppies have appeared you should seek professional advice. Your bitch may need drugs to overcome uterine inertia, or there may be some obstruction, which is preventing the first puppy from moving forward. Do not be alarmed by the arrival of ‘water bladder’ and fludis. The former merely goes ahead, dilating the birth canal for the puppies to follow.
When your bitch goes into the second stage of labour, her contractions begin in earnest, and she will ‘strain’ to expel a puppy. If she is straining (intermittently) for more than one hour and no puppy arrive she needs help. She has more chance of a successful and safe delivery if help is forthcoming before she is exhausted; so do not delay. Once the first puppy has arrived and is cleaned up, there will be a spell, when she relaxes and concentrates on her puppy. When becomes restless, pushing the puppy aside, you will know that there is another on the way. Once again, she should not strain for more than an hour without help. The puppies will arrive at irregular intervals; but the interval between each puppy should not be more than three four hours. It is generally agreed that the second stage of labour, like the first, should not be longer than 12 hours. If it is longer, or if there is heomrrhage or the bitch appears to be exhausted, then it is time to seek professional help. Do not panic. Remember, that since the world began, millions of puppies have been born without your assistance. If there are abnormalities let the expert (your vet) do the worrying.
QUESTION: What must I do when the puppies are born?
ANSWER: Each puppy is born inside the membrane. The bitch should break the membrane, thus enabling the puppy to begin breathing. Then she should bite through the cord joining the puppy to the afterbirth, and lick the puppy clean. Sometimes a young bitch will fail to do this. Then you must break the membrane, or the puppy will drown in its own fluid. Then, when the puppy is breathing and the afterbirth (placenta) has been expelled, you must tie the cord with sterile cotton or clamp with artery forceps and snip of the afterbirth. If a cord bleeds excessively you may have to tie it.
If the bitch is too shocked to lick the puppy clean, rub it briskly with a dry towel, but if she is obviously in command of the situation leave her alone to do these jobs herself. A bitch in the wild would eat all the membranes and placentas to conceal evidence of the birth form predators. Some breeders believe that they should allow the bitch to eat one afterbirth, and the others should be wrapped up and placed in the rubbish bin. Eating too many can cause a digestive upset.
If puppies are ‘bubbling’ mucus when born, bend them over your hand (like a drowning man over a barrel), and gently press out the mucus. Some breeders grasp the puppies between two hands (heads downwards), making sure that the head is supported, and swing or shake down, so that the mucus runs from the mouth. If you fail to get rid of mucus inhaled at birth it can interfere with breathing and may cause pneumonia. You will learn to recongnise the bubbling, raspy, irregular breathing of a puppy with mucus in its lungs or bronchial tubes.
Most puppies come into the world head and front feet first. Some arrive hind feet first. This is quite acceptable birth position, but if your puppy arrives this way you must see that the membrane is broken immediately; otherwise the puppy will drown its own fludis.
If a puppy appears blue, or very pale at birth and breathing is not evident, the first thing to do is to get rid of mucus. Then rub the puppy briskly with a dry towel. Then begin mouth-to-mouth breathing until normal breathing is established. Do not give up too soon (20 minutes to half an hour is not unusual), and do not be afraid to handle the puppy firmly. Puppies are not so fragile as they appear to be. Once breathing is established, warmth is vital. Place the puppy in an electric whelping box or on a hot bottle. Some breeders remove puppies from the mother and place them amongst woollies in a cardboard carton (with a warm [not hot]water bottle at the bottom), as soon as the bitch becomes restless and indicates that another puppy is on the way. This prevents them from being trampled underfoot by an excited or distressed bitch, or drenched in the birth fluids of a latter arrival. When the bitch settles down her puppies should be returned to her. Most birches are willing to accept this arrangement; but there are some, which may become upset when puppies are removed. If your birch is in this category, it will be better to leave the puppies to take their chance with her.
As each puppy is born make sure that the placenta is expelled (i.e. if there are five puppies, there should be five placentas). If this bitch is restless and/or straining when all puppies have arrived, there may well be retained placenta. This could cause very serious trouble and if you are in doubt you should discuss the possibility with your veterinary surgeon.
QUESTION: What post-natal care is necessary?
ANSWER: 1. When the bitch appears to have finished whelping, change her bedding. Wipe her down with a clean, damp cloth and dry her with a clean towel. If you have removed her puppies return them to her. Offer her a small meal or a drink of milk. Then leave her to rest in peace for a while. Do not allow people into the area. The bitch will appreciate being alone with the puppies for a while. If outsiders are brought in some bitches distressed, even to the point, which affects their milk production.
2. Within 24 hours of birth the bitch and her puppies should be checked by your veterinary surgeon. He/she will examine the puppies for abnormalities, and make certain that the bitch has finished whelping and there are no puppies still to come. (If your bitch is still inclined to be restless that might well be the trouble). Your bitch should receive the following injections at this time.
Oxytocin – to clear away remaining ‘rubbish’ – retained after-births, membranes, etc.
An antibiotic for protection against uterine infection.
Calcium – to compensate for the ‘draw’ on the bitches calcium reserves by the onset of lactation.
You must seed that your bitch is kept clean. Wipe her feather with a mild antiseptic in water (Dettol or Savlon), daily, and wipe away an accumulated discharge, which she has not cleaned herself. Dry with a clean towel. There will be a discharge for three or four weeks. The bitch usually keeps herself clean. If the discharge becomes smelly and unpleasant, then discuss it with your veterinary surgeon. There may be an infection, take your bitch’s temperature twice daily for ten days. There will probably be a slight rise in temperature after whelping (up to about 102.5 degress F). If it goes higher than this you should seek professional advice, as there may be an infection.
Watch your bitch carefully for signs of eclampsia. If your bitch is panting, drooling at the mouth, or shows lack of muscular co-ordination you must act immediately. (If you put your bitch on a lead and walk her up two or three steps and she ‘stumbles’ – there is the beginning of lack of muscular co-ordination). If you act quickly you may forestall trouble. Take the puppies away for two or three hours. Keep the bitch quiet in a darkened room. Giver here three or four calcium gluconate tables. Consult your veterinary surgeon immediately. If you do not act quickly, your bitch’s life may be in danger.
Encourage your bitch to leave her puppies several times each day, to walk in your garden. Do not take her into the street, or allow her to go where she can contact strange dogs; or, indeed, your own dogs, which have shown recently; as she may convey and infection to her puppies. The bitch which cares for her puppies but has these little spells away from them is the good mother; not the one which refuses to leave them. The one, which is with them all the time, is the one likely to get eclampsia.
Good feeding is absolutely essential when your bitch is nursing a litter. Your puppies will only be as good as the food you put into the bitch. To build their rapidly developing bodies they will need high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. They should get these from good food. For the first tow or three days most experienced breeders prefer to feed the bitch white meat. Cooked fish, rabbit or chicken should be given. This meat should be boiled and all bones must be removed. For example, boil a chicken until the meat begins to fall off the bones. Peel off the skin and the fat (your other dogs will appreciate these delicacies). Remove the meat from the bones, and feed the meat to your bitch. She will have no difficulty in eating a large chicken in one day (divided into two or three meals). Skin the fat off the remaining chicken stock. Refrigerate the stock and use it later to cook meat and vegetables.
On the third day, boil some meat and vegetables in the chicken stock and thicken with a little rice. For the third and fourth day feed a mixture of half meat stew and half boiled chicken, gradually increasing the quantities given. Drinks of milk will always be appreciated. Gradually introduce other foods; raw meat; a little stew; cooked eggs and dry food. Calcium gluconate (about four tablets per day), and one multi vitamin tablet per day should be given. Powered skim milk, sprinkled over the food, is a valuable source of calcium. Some breeders add supplements such as Prolac or Complan, to the milk given to their nursing bitches. This does help to keep the vitch in good condition during her period of lactation, and, no doubt, is nourishing to the puppies. Gradually increase the amount of food given, until lacation reaches its peak at four to five weeks. At this stage the bitch should be receiving three or four meals per day and two or three times her normal food intake, plus milk. A bitch with a big litter will need more food than one with two or three puppies. As the puppies are weaned, gradually taper off the amount of food given. At the end of lactation your bitch will probably be a bit on the thin side; but will soon recover when the puppies are removed from her. Fluids are very important to the lactating bitch. Fresh water should always be available.
CONCLUSIONS: interference with the birth processes should be minimal; but there should be a maximum of supervision, to ensure that all is well. Good professional help is always preferable to listening ‘old wives tales’. Commonsense and the advice of your veterinary surgeon should always be your guide.
TO BREED OR NOT TO BREED
The following are some points that you might like to consider before breeding your dog or bitch. Firstly just because you have a dog with “papers” does not mean that you automatically have a good example of the breed. In fact many litters even by outstanding parents only contain a couple of puppies of breeding quality. Breeding should be done with the soul goal of producing puppies that are superior to their parents.
If you think that you will make “lots of money quickly” then consider this; Before you breed a litter you must have proof of soundness and quality of the parents (Hip X-Rays and scores, eye and mouth certificates), you must have Canine Control Council membership and a breeding prefix - all of which costs money. Then comes the stud fee, the cost of the care of your pregnant bitch and any problems that may occur at the delivery. Then comes the cost of raising a litter properly - the docking of both tails and dew claws, vaccination and worming and then the advertising because remember you may be a first or second time breeder with no reputation and no referrals. Promises of “I want a dog just like yours” soon evaporate when it comes time to hand over the money. Consider what would happen if you cannot sell your puppies at 8 - 10 weeks, or 4 or 6 months. Then come the extra vaccinations, more worming and much more food for growing puppies. And also think about the socializing and training that these puppies are going to need at this age to grow into well adjusted adults. Thinking twice? Well read further.
If you are breeding a litter just “to let her have the joy of puppies” or “so the kids can enjoy the experience”, consider this; it is 3am and things aren’t going like the book says. The vet says that if she doesn’t have an emergency caesarean then you may well loose her and the puppies (average cost $500 - $800). Or consider other delivery problems such as children watching their friend screaming and biting as a dead puppy is delivered with forceps.
Some bitches do not make natural mothers and may kill or savage their puppies. Some bitches even die in whelp or due to complications following. Of course these situations do not occur all the time but if you are considering breeding and can’t deal with the possibility of tragedy, then don’t start.
Now that you have your puppies consider that the bitch must have strict supervision for the first few weeks. Be prepared for sleepless nights both before and after the whelping. If you have sick puppies or a bitch that doesn’t want her puppies then count on double time.
You also have a responsibility to the pups you breed for life. Even more time is spent interviewing perspective buyers. Are you prepared to properly screen people or will you just sell to the first person that comes up with the money. Do you care that the dog that you bred is running the streets, has been hit by a car and is now expecting puppies to the local mongrel or is in the pound waiting to be destroyed?
Please think seriously before breeding your bitch because some of the situations outlined above are all too frequent occurrences. Breeding quality dogs is a serious and costly endeavour best left to those with experience and in-depth knowledge of the breed.
You will fine the you have a new helper in your house so be sure that you keep the following common houseplants out of puppies reach.
If you find that you puppy has nibbled on the poisonous part of one of these plants, seek veterinary help immediately. The listing is in Alphabetical order by the common name for the plants; the scientific name follows; and in parenthesis is a note on which part of the plant is poisonous.
BIRD OF PARADISE, Strelitzia regirae (fruit, seeds)
BOSTON IVY. Parthenocissusquinquefolia (all parts)
CALADIUM. Caladium (all parts)
CREEPING CHARLIE. Glecoma hederacea (all parts)
DUMBCANE. Dieffenbachia (all parts)
EMERALD DUKE. Philodendrom hastatum (all parts)
GLACIER IVY. Hedera glacier (leaves, berries)
HEARTLEAF. Philodendron cordatum (all parts)
English ivy. Hedera helix (leaves, berries)
LILY OF THE VALLEY. Cconuallaria majalis (all parts)
MARBLE QUEEN. Scindapsus aureus (all parts)
MAJESTY. Philodendron hastatum (all parts)
NEPHYTIS ARROWHEADVINE. Synbogonium podophyllum akbolineatum (all parts)
PARLOR IVY. Philodendron cordatum (all parts)
POTHOS. Scindapsus aureus (all parts)
POINSETTIA. Euphorbia pulchjerrima (leaves, flowers)
RED PRINCESS. Philodendron hastatum (all parts)
SADDLELEAF. Philodendron selloum (all parts)
SPLIT LEAF PHILODENDRON. Monstera delicious (all parts)
TULIP. Tulips (bulbs)
UMBRELLA PLANT. Cyperua alternifolius (all parts)
The following outdoor plants, sometimes used in indoor arrangements, should also be kept out of puppies reach: azalea, baneberry, bunchberry, castor bean, choke berry, daffodil, daphne, foxglove, hemlock, hens-and-chicks, hyacinth, hydrangea, Jerusalem cherry, jimson weed, jonquil, mandrake, mistletoe, morning glory, nightshade, oleander (inkberry), red sage, rhododenron, sweet pea, wisteria and yew.
Common Household Poisons
ACETOMINOPHEN (TYLENOL) LEAD
BLEACH METAL POLISH
BORIC ACID MINERAL SPIRITS
CARBON MONOXIDE MOTHBALLS
CARBURETTOR CLEANER NAIL POLISH & REMOVER
CLEANING FLUID PAINT
DEODORANTS, DEODORIZERS PAINT REMOVER
DIET PILLS PERMANENT WAVE LOTION
DRAIN CLEANER PHOTOGRAPHIC DEVELOPERS
DYE RAT POISION
FUNGICIDE RUBBING ALCOHOL
FURNITURE POLISH SHOE POLISH
GASOLINE SLEEPING PILLS
HAIR COLOURING SNAIL OR SLUG BAIT
HERBICIDES SOAPS & DETERGENTS
INSECTICIDES SUNTAN LOTION
Prevention: An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. The best policy is to keep toxic substances out of your pet’s reach. If the label says ‘KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN’S REACH”, then keep it out of your puppies reach too.
Never give your pet medication that has not been approved by your veterinarian. If the puppy is on a prescription drug, ask your vet about possible toxic reactions before administering any additional medications.
If you spray your lawn with weed killer, keep your puppy in the house until the lawn dries. Do not worry about letting the puppy romp on the grass after it rains for a good rain dilutes the poison sufficiently to remove danger. Some pesticides are quite toxic to humans and animals. Do not allow your pets in the vicinity where these are being sprayed or stored.
Take care not to warm your car’s motor in a closed garage where animals could be trapped (you too could inhale noxious fumes). Maintain good ventilation in any area where you are working with chemicals that give off dangerous fumes. Make sure stoves and furnaces have no gas leaks. Good common sense can go a long way towards keeping your puppy sound and healthy.