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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Mandy's a looker!
Have you ever read 'For the love of a dog' or 'The Other End of the Leash'? Both books talk about 'hard eyes' and how chilling the look can be. I don't blame you for being shaken up. Give her a few days and let her system return to normal and see if she doesn't calm down even more. Keep doing what you're doing though. Sounds like progress!

BTW- I have a pump spray bottle of Comfort Zone. I meant to buy the plugin for Toby but ordered the wrong thing… Opps! You're welcome to it. I can bring it in your direction and meet you somewhere one of these mornings. You can give Val's suggestion a try, if you like.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Just checking in. She's beautiful and you're doing a great job.

Try not to look at her at all. That can be very threatening. She does not yet trust you so I think tossing the chicken while looking sideways in a good plan. Turid Rugaas has a website with an article on calming signals: http://www.canis.no/rugaas/onearticle.php?artid=1
There is also a gallery so you can see them.

Can you put something soft under the sofa so the puppies don't hurt from falling? Can you put the whelping box directly underneath it?

Also, I'm worried she's not getting enough food/water since she's feeding the pups. Can you give her some raw chicken? Like a leg and thigh? Or more cooked chicken if you're not comfortable feeding raw?
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Originally Posted By: BowWowMeow
Can you put something soft under the sofa so the puppies don't hurt from falling? Can you put the whelping box directly underneath it?
Hi, I can't get that close to the puppies without feeling threatened. I wish I could. I am just glad to see her finally eating. I think that her appetite will pick up quickly. I hope our interactions together can soon get on the right track again. This is turning out to be quite the challenge.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

wow Mandy is beautiful.

You sure have your hands full. Keep us posted. So glad the board is here to support you. What about the other dogs, they must be curious.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

I don't know if this would be a good idea, I'd like the experienced people and breeders to weigh in on it before you try this, but what about sitting in the room at her threshold (when she notices you and gets wary but before she starts threatening), your side to her side so you're not facing her, and reading children's books to her out loud? Children's books have such a nice tone that when you read them out loud, you can't help but be perky and happy and pleasant and not one bit threatening. With something happy to concentrate on, your nervousness may subside (I bet she reacts even more when you get nervous or worried) and the sound of your voice when you're not facing her or looking at her may be reassuring. Maybe you can even work up to sitting closer to her, little by little. Just don't face her or look at her, move gently yet matter-of-factly, and sit down with some good kids' books.

Just a thought, hopefully not a birdbrained one.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Have you considered putting a board over top of the whelping box so that it looks kind of like a dog house/den. She can move her puppies in there herself where she feels they will be safe. Then when you come into the room, you cannot see the pups and she can come out eat and go back to them.

Not sure if it is a good idea or not, but if she thinks they are squirreled away and safe, she may allow you to take her outside too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Originally Posted By: selzerHave you considered putting a board over top of the whelping box so that it looks kind of like a dog house/den. She can move her puppies in there herself where she feels they will be safe. Then when you come into the room, you cannot see the pups and she can come out eat and go back to them.

Not sure if it is a good idea or not, but if she thinks they are squirreled away and safe, she may allow you to take her outside too.
I like this idea. It's worth a try and fairly easily done by flattening out a large cardboard box.

In response to the reading books, another friend and it's mentioned here too suggested humming or singing when in her presence.

I sure am glad some experienced gsd people are hear to help us too. My good friend Brenda is a collie breeder. She's been my sounding board too and has her collie webboard offering suggestions.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Chris, Mandy is a pretty pretty gal.

Hang in there, things will get better. She is just so confused.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Originally Posted By: ChristiOh, Melanie, thank you for the offer of the DAP spray. I'll buy it from you so you are not out any money.
It's a gift!
I've no need for it and you do, so it's yours. Email me and lets see if we can't set up a time and place to meet up.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Chris,
I remember when MomtoBeauandRiley went through this with a new rescue dog. She had her less than a week when she had 9 puppies! She had the same problems - momma wasn't too happy with her being in the room. The good news is that it did get much better and momma finally accepted her being in there. Here's the link to the thread. The puppy birth starts on about page 6 of that thread. There's some great information:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=98549&page=0&fpart=5

Mandy is gorgeous! In that picture, she looks confused. I'm sure she can't believe she's not being beat. That may be part of the problem. If the owner didn't think she was taking care of her other litters, it's hard telling what he did to her and what's going through her mind right now. Can you get her to go outside to potty? That's when MomtoBeauand Riley would go in and weigh the puppies and check to make sure everything was okay with them.

Good luck and thank you so much for giving this beautiful mom a chance. These puppies have a bright future thanks to you!
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Calm and mellow talking or singing is a good idea and can help because - in addition to getting her used to you generally - it's a non predatory behavior. People who are sneaking up on you don't make noise. Therefore keeping up a non threatening dialogue can help her know where you are and that you're not sneaking up on her or up to anything.

That said, even moms without her history can be very weird the first 2 weeks after whelping so I'd go very slow and do a bare minimum of what's needed to keep the puppies as safe as possible.

She's really beautiful and reminds me in both appearance and temperament of my abuse victim/fear boy Griffin - he was a wreck when I brought him home but on the plus side, he didn't immediately have puppies! My heart goes out to you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Thanks for that link to Almas puppy affair. I enjoyed reading it and seeing the darling pictures.

Mandy had not gotten comfortable with my touching her in the 2 weeks I had her. I could see progress every day and was so encouraged by her progress. I'll see how tomorrow goes. I'll probably stick my head in the door just once and tell her good night.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Do you know anything about her history beyond that she was abused? I've worked with fear aggressive dogs who were once normal puppies but sustained heavy abuse and became terrified of people, and I've worked with fear aggressive dogs who were fearful because they were basically like wild animals and had never bonded with people at all. The latter takes A LOT longer to come around in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

No, all I know is she was a breeder dog. (She can't be more than 2). It was just told to me by the dogs original rescuers that she was beaten on a regular basis. Don't know what that consisted of.

In just watching her mannerisms before the puppies came, she seemed to have a puppyish playful nature. Tail wags, following me around, even getting into some things she wasn't supposed to. Tasty treats really brought her forward. She had started nudging me a little to get the treat. I was letting her touch me since she didn't want me reaching out for her.

I wish I knew more about her past, but I just don't.

I was not fearful of her before the pups came, but she did startle me a time or two darting away from me so quickly. She seems to be very sensitive to motion. I didn't get the feeling she would bite except when I (unsuccessfully) tried to change her collar.
 

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Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

I wondered about that - a lot of what you've described sounds like the semi-feral mill dogs we see.

But the fact that she was interested in treats, wagging her tail, and following you is incredibly promising! Hopefully it's just the new litter that's making her nutty.

I have been working with a very similar dog - almost totally feral mill dog - for the past 9 months. I've now got her to where I can take her for walks (harnessed always), she will give me kisses especially on my face and legs, she follows me around and makes happy noises and "smiles" but she STILL doesn't want me reaching out for her. I think that's the last barrier to go. My next step is to do some intensive clicker training working towards being able to touch her with my hands. She's at a point where I can handle her if I corner her and she's not aggressive, but she won't let me touch her voluntarily.

I've spent a lot of time just hanging out near her working and chatting with her. Once she learned that I wasn't going to grab her she became much more comfortable and trusting.

Of course, I have a MAJOR advantage over your situation because Pixie only weighs 4.5 pounds!

ETA - Pixie REALLY likes other dogs and that's been very useful. She takes cues from them that I'm okay. Hopefully your pup will be the same once she stops being so freaked out by having new puppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

4.5 pounds!! Ok, so yours is not a gsd. The situation you describe in yours sounds alot like Mandy. I was told she was good with other dogs but due to her pregnancy, I never introduced her to my dogs. She has seen them, but didn't want to stay in their vicinity. 9 months, huh. I appreciate your feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Re: Having Puppies Right Now!

Not that I can tell. She only eats the boiled chicken I toss her way. I have some of the liquid off the boiled chicken. I think I'll put that is a bowl and maybe it will get her going. Looks like mom and pups are cozy on the couch. They seem content. I have not gotten into her personal space this AM. I have gone down and spoken to her and I did go start a load of clothes, without looking at her, keeping my back to her. I am not sure if I see any peepee anywhere either. And I know the stools will be yucky due to the placentas. I'll write when I got back down with the chicken brothe. Hope to check things out further.
 
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