Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Re: Momma dog growling at her pups?
It is entirely appropriate, and good, for a dam to start teaching her pups rules and canine social manners. Staying away from the older/higher ranking dog's food being one of those important rules of canine society. When done right this is NOT going to teach the pups to have food aggression issues. What it is going to do is teach them respect for their elders and some of the basic rules of canine society.
However, one must also be able to judge the individual dog's ability to teach this appropriately and not overreact. Some dams are too permissive with their pups and don't effectively teach them any manners. Others can be too forceful. It helps to know the dog's general attitude when it comes to interacting with other dogs and enforcing rules (not just with her own litter) to know if she fits into the too permissive, too forceful, or just right category. In the case of a rescue, that information is probably not available.
If the people involved aren't sure if she may overreact and injure a pup, or themselves are made uneasy by the situation (which is going to add stress and tenseness to the situation making the dam even more uncomfortable) feed them separate.
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