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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have breed over 10 litters before, so I have a fair amount of experience; My female German Shepherd just had her first litter of pups *with my male which I own as well* although they were premature... many pups died :( I still have 4 pups but I'm not quite sure if their behavior is regular, in the past our females took right to caring for the pups and wouldn't even allow us to touch them most of the time! While Tessa is caring for tem she is still a little bit unsure what to do and does get antsy sometimes. The four pups are currently 4 days old they don't seem to be feeding very much, is that normal at this age? They are all around 4oz. and spend most of their time sleeping. They are quite most of the time unless there hungry to which i help them feed, as they have a little difficulty finding it. They seem healthy but I'm not 100% sure and I can't get in contact with a vet until tomorrow even then I'm not sure if id be able to bring them in soon. So if any of you have any experience in the matter and could help giving me information or anything that would be amazing!

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry// they weigh 20oz. -_- miss read the scale.

@JoanMcM And the soonest i can call a vet is tomorrow as all locals are closed. So i'm hoping i can get a little information here;

They seem very healthy and seem to be eating fine now, i'm not sure what regular for pups at this age to be feeding? if someone could let me know that would be perfect. The eat a little then sleep alot - repeat 3-4 times a day

@middleofnowhere thank you for your wishes ♥
 

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Put her in an xpen, maybe take out two panels, with the pups to kinda force her to stay with them. I only raised one litter once for the shelter and had the same issue. She was a very young female and didn't seem to have a clue on what to do. An experienced breeder told me to do this and it helped the mother bond with the pups. All ten made it but it took a lot of management in having the dog spend time with the pups to get them fed.
If that doesn't work, try to find a similar age litter to raise them (call shelters as they often have these in foster homes). Good luck, I know how stressful this is.
 

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Cause you are such an experienced breeder with nine past litters, I'd just go to all the journals and notes from those past litters and compare. There's a reason we take all those notes and document each litter! :)

Good luck!
 

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Shep- Pardon...did not see that you could not get ahold of a vet.

Sit with her and make sure all the pups get fed several times a day. Make sure they are kept in a warm room, draft free.

How premature are they? 20 oz is 1 lb 4 oz....that is a pretty good size puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@wolfy dog: I have made a make shift xpen; made of wood,with blankets and straw in it to keep everyone warm and cozy, will this do? she is staying with the pups so i believe i'm fine now that way. I think i may have gotten a bit over worries in the situation and a lot of the pups had died and i was sick, my dad was really stressed so it wasn't a good time for the pups to come.

@MaggieRoseLee: good thinking ^.^ *pulls out stack of notes* although for a few of the litters i was a bit to young to take notes *and my dad who mostly took care of them didn't think of taking notes >.<* so i have FULL experience for about 5 or 6 of those litter :) still very helpful. Although last litter I had was 4 years ago when Hunter *their father* was born

@JoanMcM: thank you sooo much this is actually very helpful; several times; specifically would 5-7 times a day for a short period of time be good? When they do feed they seem to feed for a bit then fall asleep *which is adorable but I hope they are getting enough* They were about 1 week premature when they were first born; though now they are 4 days old so better. phew i'm glad to hear they are a good weight i'm going to be watching that carefully to be sure none of them start losing

I just check on them again and help all of them feed; and got all of them going which is really good progress! so far today they have fed about 2-3 times

quick question: whats a good way to keep track of them; i've used non-toxic markers in the past but is there a better way? like a band or something?
 

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I weighed the pups every day to track their growth. Ask your vet what a reasonable growth rate is at this age. You don't want the pups in a too warm area so they will seek their mother and each other for warmth, which encourages feeding and care from the mother dog.
 

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Shep,

One male and one female can have no collar, the rest I would put in a piece of different color yarn loosely around their necks at this point. There are puppy collars you can use when they are a bit older to help keep track of everyone. It is good to keep a chart to ensure all are gaining weight etc. Weigh 1-2x a day.

Feeding. I had a female that had a full term litter but would not stay with her pups. She was leased and her owner kept her outside. She quickly became velcro in the house so if I left the room, she would too. I would sit in the whelping box until the puppies ate til they passed out.

Is she cleaning them? She needs to do this so their digestion works properly. If she is not, then get a warm washcloth and stroke them especially in the genital area (sounds weird yes but they cannot go to the bathroom if the Mom is not taking care of this).

I am too new to this forum to know if there is actually a link about care for new borns. Below from VCA animal hospital website

"What shall I do if the mother refuses to stay with the puppies?
This is common with pets that are closely attached to their owners. If the mother will not stay with her puppies, try relocating her and her family so she can be nearer to you.

"Puppies cannot maintain their own body heat for a week or two after birth."
Make sure the puppies are kept warm. Remember they cannot maintain their own body heat for a week or two after birth.
As long as the puppies stay close to their mother, the room temperature is not too critical. However, if the mother leaves her puppies alone, they need to be provided with a source of warmth. During the first four days of life, the environmental temperature where the puppies are kept should be maintained at 85 -90°F (29.5-32°C). The temperature may then be gradually decreased to approximately 80°F (26.7°C) by the seventh to tenth day and to about 72°F (22.2°C) by the end of the fourth week.

It is not necessary to heat the whole room to these temperatures. Heating the area over the whelping box with the aid of a heat lamp is usually all that is necessary. (NOTE from Joan =Make sure the puppies are note kept too warm and heat lamps can quickly get too hot. VERY important to monitor.)

The larger the litter the lower the environmental temperature needs to be, since the puppies huddle together and keep each other warm.

The puppies' behavior and condition gives an indication whether they are comfortable and healthy. If they are warm and content they will be quiet and gaining weight, otherwise they will be restless and crying.

Should I weigh the puppies regularly?
Yes. Electronic kitchen or postal scales allow accurate and regular weighing of puppies. This gives a guide to their condition and progress.

How will I know if the mother's milk supply is adequate?
A contented litter of plump puppies is the best indication that the mother is producing adequate milk. Any puppies that appear restless and do not have fat tummies will benefit from supplemental feeding one to three times a day. Your veterinarian can supply the necessary food and feeders. It is important that any supplementary food be fed at the correct temperature. One rule of thumb is to drop some of the warmed fluid on your arm. It should feel about the same as your normal body temperature.

All the commercial products carry detailed instructions regarding preparation and feeding amounts. Your veterinarian will advise you on supplemental feedings for your specific situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@Joan: they are all females :') i was really surprised by this actually but the string is a good idea. it wont choke them though will it?

Also she is cleaning them properly and i am watching to make sure she is stimulating their bowel movements a few times a day after feeding

-as for this
How to Care For New Born Puppies | VCA Animal Hospitals
Oh my goodness yes I was studying that page just yesterday and today :') its actually very informative straight forward and helpful! Thank you

Also i see that its a good sign if they are quite. Is it in any case a bad sign if their quite? Might it mean that they are weak in some cases, or is it not something i should be to0 worried about
 

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The yarn will not choke them. Make sure it is loose but not so loose another puppy will some how get a paw in there. There are actually sets of puppy collars these days for a litter. I used to scour the planet for the lightest possible cat collar. Will wonders never cease.

Quiet is not bad unless their tummy is empty, they are listless, do not eat, feel cold or stay off by themselves.
 

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Or a dab of nail polish on their heads. refresh if needed. I am hesitant to put anything around their necks. An entire leg can get stuck in, locking it under the arm pit.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I've decided to pull out some special marking as i don't feel safe putting anything around their neck at this moment and i really wouldn't want to put nail polish on them; non- toxic markers would be better - nail polish is pretty bad and toxic, the fumes as well, i rarely use it myself for those reasons I also would not want the mother licking it off/smelling it.

Here are my notes so far
Puppy 1:
- Female
- 24oz.
- Very Large white blotch on abdomen

Puppy 2:
- Female
- 24oz.
- Hind paws; Right is white, Left is black - Tiny white circle on abdomen

Puppy 3:
- Female
- 22oz.
- only one with all paws black and tan

Puppy 4:
- Female
- 28oz.
- medium sized almost strap like strip around abdomen

Are there any other important details I should keep track of?

@truckola: thank you ^.^ i am reading through the thread now and I like Selzers zig zag ribbon trim
 

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you put it around the neck, and put a finger or to in there and tie it with a regular slip not, doubled. Then I take my little embroidery scissors and trim both ends with one snip per end. Occasionally one will unravel up to the knot, but that doesn't hurt anything, usually just snipping it works and doesn't unravel or anything. I check them twice a day while I am weighing them and replace the rick rack as they grow.

I have never lost or injured a pup with rick rack.
 

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The comment on looking back at notes was extremely rude. How would you feel if a puppy died due to that lack of proper advice?
edit- i may have misread the intent, but in any case 9 litters isnt alot of experience vs the internet.
 
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