There are no words of wisdom or advice, losing puppies always sucks bad.
Breeding dogs will break your heart, if you have one. I have lost puppies, but some people have lost their bitch, I cannot even imagine the pain of that.
Breeding dogs is also very rewarding, when you see a puppy loved by its new family. One of my boys is two and a half now, and I was over there a few weeks ago, and watching him play with another visitor's pup, and how the people love and care for the boy makes it worth while.
But there is that side, where nature is not all that kind. There are those hours beside the whelping box feeling inadequate, and hoping that she will be ok, and the puppies will come, and you will not need a c-section. There is the time where she watches anxiously as you try, and try, and try to resuscitate a pup who has not breathed yet.
And you are there begging and pleading, praying, and working on the puppy LIVE!!! And wondering if it does live, will it have problems. Maybe this is natures way of removing serious problems.
Nope it always sucks to lose puppies. Having eight healthy pups and your bitch is good, dwell on that, and be happy. Don't let your sadness show to the female. She needs to completely forget about the dead ones, and take care of the live ones.
You may want to try a different stud, the match could have something not lining up well. Hard to say. If you breed her again, I think you might try a different male.
Thank you so much for your responses. I am grateful to have access to this forumn where I can begin to get to know people with this shared love for the German Shepherd.
You described my feeling the other day so perfectly. I was kneeling in the welping box, having already been up all night, tears streaming down my face, begging, praying and pleading, working on the pup to live, my River Dog looking on expectantly, hopefully, and then he breathed and as if on cue, she reached her tongue up into my hands to start to try to lick him and so we worked on him together, her panting, me sweating and crying and he lived. Beauty and pain and love and loss all rolled up in one messy bundle.
If we breed her agian, I will take your advise and use a different stud. Actually the stud we used was exceptional....the best we could afford....but he is moving to a different state this summer so that was it for this pairing. We purchased a stud dog pup last year. He just turned a year old in January and so he should be ready next year if we decide to breed her again after waiting a heat or two.
I will hold back a female or two from this litter as well.
The rewarding part is also just as you described.....we sold the first pup the other night on the phone. They live in a neighboring state and my heart just swelled up when the man said that he had sent the pic of River with her pups all around the country to family and friends but most especially to his son who is serving in Afganistan, saying "one of these will be our new pup!"
Sorry for such a long post....just allowing myself to be present in all of these moments this week...the highs and the lows....all part of the experience of being a GSD breeder. I have wanted to do if for so long and so I am learning and will remain teachable.
Thanks for all of your words....I really appreciate it very much.