5 Week Old Foster Questions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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5 Week Old Foster Questions

My friend is fostering two 5 week old puppies, and I am helping her. The humane society she is fostering them through is completely worthless. I despise that rescue. Anyway, because they are so bad, we have quite a few questions that they are unable to answer or they give us answers that are completely wrong and frankly dangerous.

My questions are as follows:

Is it safe for the puppies to go outside in our fenced backyard? My friend feeds the squirrels and mice back there (yes, I know. I can't convince her to stop) and I have for a fact seen raccoons and raccoon poop in the yard as well. The puppies clearly are not well vaccinated, if at all. So, is it safe for them or should we just keep them inside?

Should we free-feed? Another set of fosters that have two of their litter mates told us that they were told by the rescue to free-feed their pups. The puppies that they foster are MUCH bigger than the two siblings that we foster. So much so that no one thought they could possibly be from the same litter. Is that because they get fed so much food?

A spin-off from the previous question:
The fosters for the litter mates said that their puppies are completely potty trained (at 5 weeks? Really? I think not) and that they are incredibly calm and never bark or whine. They claim it is because their puppies get more food. Could that be true? It doesn't seem healthy to me.

At 5 weeks old, one puppy obsessively humps his litter mates. I have never seen a puppy that young do that. Why would this be? Is that normal for that age?

The same puppy that humps seems overly physical with his sister. He latches onto her throat, ear, leg, etc. and thrashes his head from side to side in what I call the "kill-move." She screams her head off and he just keeps going. We have to separate them, and when we do, he turns and latches onto our hands or arms and snarls and growls up a storm, almost like he's redirecting that "aggression." Is this behavior normal?

Thanks in advance. These puppies are crazy, and my friend keeps repeating that she had no idea what she was getting into. I tried to tell her!

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 10:42 PM
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Young puppies eat around the clock, the milk bar is never closed. Even during weaning they go to their mom to supplement between feedings.

Humping could be stress.

What kind of puppies are these? I find the dog aggressive behavior very disturbing but it can be normal for many bully breeds or terriers. It is not unusual for those breeds for the puppies to have to be separated from each other at an early age.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, you guessed it. Bully breed mixes.

So we should be free-feeding them? One thing I really dislike about this rescue is that we are given so little information, and the other fosters for their siblings are given completely different information. We were told to only feed them three meals and that's it. The other fosters were told to give them food every time the bowl is empty. We were told the puppies are 5 weeks, and the other fosters were told they are 7 weeks. Oh boy.

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Any tips on if we should take them outside or not?

Forrest 9/1/2016 - 5/14/2017 RIP
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 11:19 PM
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Classic example of the genetics of behavior.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 11:25 PM
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I wouldn't take them outside until they're around 8 weeks. Puppies that young are much to young to be roaming around outside. I would just focus on them being around each other for warmth and comfort. As for free feeding, I don't know much about raising puppies before 7 weeks without the mother, so I don't have any suggestion for that.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGloomy View Post
I wouldn't take them outside until they're around 8 weeks. Puppies that young are much to young to be roaming around outside. I would just focus on them being around each other for warmth and comfort. As for free feeding, I don't know much about raising puppies before 7 weeks without the mother, so I don't have any suggestion for that.
Oh, thanks for reminding me to add this info.

If we do take them outside, they will either be on a leash, which is what the humane society suggested, or in an x-pen. We won't let them have access to the whole yard. That sounds like trouble!

Thanks for your input.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 01:22 AM
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I would be feeding them several meals of kibble soaked in puppy formula or goats milk. Access to fresh water. Start on crate and potty training just as with any puppy. Outside needs to be in a safe, clean area. You can spray the ground with a bleach solution to kill any nasties.
I had several bully litters over the years and never separated the pups, but I have never heard of a humane society separating a litter before so maybe I missed something. I would deter any over the top play but I've seen pups get pretty rough. Do remember that puppies, like children, learn what they live.
Handle them often, touch feet and ears, expose to noises and sounds, avoid the impulse to tip toe around them and let them safely explore their environment.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
I would be feeding them several meals of kibble soaked in puppy formula or goats milk. Access to fresh water. Start on crate and potty training just as with any puppy. Outside needs to be in a safe, clean area. You can spray the ground with a bleach solution to kill any nasties.
I had several bully litters over the years and never separated the pups, but I have never heard of a humane society separating a litter before so maybe I missed something. I would deter any over the top play but I've seen pups get pretty rough. Do remember that puppies, like children, learn what they live.
Handle them often, touch feet and ears, expose to noises and sounds, avoid the impulse to tip toe around them and let them safely explore their environment.
The humane society separated the litter of 10 into groups of two when they were 4 1/2 weeks old. When I asked why and where the dam was, they told me that separating the pups from dam and other litter mates at 5 weeks is completely normal and the best time for the puppies to learn independence and to bond with their humans. They also said the puppies were weaned anyway so they didn't need her. Apparently she needs a break from the litter before she can be adopted. I tried extremely hard not to roll my eyes and bit my tongue to keep quiet. That is another example of why I say this rescue has no idea what they're doing. So there are 5 different fosters that have two pups each.

One other thing is that the humane society said to only feed them canned wet food, so they have not experienced dry kibble yet. Should we get the same brand puppy food as we do the canned food and start them on kibble?

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely work on what you suggested.

Forrest 9/1/2016 - 5/14/2017 RIP
UFO vom Wildhaus "Archer" 4/30/19
Brooklyn - Golden retriever 1/30/11
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