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DrChristineM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3713
Experience:  6 years in small animal medicine treating dogs and cats.
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why does my female dog eat her puppies she goes into an eating

Customer Question

why does my female dog eat her puppies? she goes into an eating frenzy. Last time she killed an entire litter. Last night I caught her eating her first baby - had to wrench it away from her but it was too badly mauled + had to be put down. then stayed with her continuously to protect the other babies - had to grab them away from her as she was intent on eating them.Had to hit her to prevent her from biting them.She was in a safe protected environment + had received a lot of love + attention prior to giving birth. Sat with her until 11 when she appeared calm + babies were sucking strongly.She's a XXXXX XXXXX + we are reg breeders for many yrs.Anyway this morning I arrived to find she'd eaten one pup up - not a trace pf it was left! I certainly dont want this bitch any more - she's certainly not fit for breeding.What do I do? please advise. Jackie du Plessis
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
I'm not sure what your question is. This trait could potentially be passed on, so this isn't a problem we generally try to "solve"--that is, we don't breed again hoping to hand rear or otherwise get pups from her. I would remove this litter from mom to prevent harm, even if you have to hand raise them. Keep in mind physical punishment never works and generally only makes problem behaviors worse. Get her spayed and/or find her a home where she can be a pet.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I refer to your remark about physical punishment not working.Picture the senario: as the baby is born the mother tries aggressively/dementedly to grab the baby + bite it (her teeth are bared) I push her head away. She tries again, I push her away - by the 3rd time I had to hit her away with my fist. Only then did she calm down. I was sitting on the ground with her + as each baby came I grabbed it + dried it with a towel. Icannot allow her to lick them because she goes crazy + ties to bite them.Prior to last year she also killed a pup while trying to bite off the navelstring - she just cont eating! So obviously by the 2nd + 3rd baby I have to do everything in my power to keep her from getting to them. Keeping in mind that I have to get the babies to suckle as soon as possible and it is while they are sucking that she tries to get to them again. It is certainly not a case of physical punishment as you suggest - it is protecting the babies from being killed + there was NOTHING else I could possibly do!! Have you ever been at the birth of puppies - like your own? do you know what goes on? I very much doubt it otherwise you would not have given me the negative, flimsy, unsympathetic reply that you did.

Jackie du Plessis

Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
Yes I have, and I have also seen what abuse does to pets. If you are such an experienced breeder, why on earth would you continue to breed a dog who does this?