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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Sunday, October 18, 2009

'Boobie' Imprinting ~ Puppies!

Did you know that puppies will imprint from birth on a particular nipple? That's why you will see pups pushing down under, to get to the mother's lower set of nipples, or ones climbing on the bottom pups to get to the upper row. When they empty theirs, they will move on to the next available one. As a breeder, if you have puppies that need help in the beginning this can be very tiresome as you try to get the puppy to latch on, but they just won't. They fuss, squirm, turn away, and just plain refuse that particular nipple. You have to assess everything, and work on another boobie as this imprinting might be one of the main reasons.

So where does this lead me .....

Our girl "Trixie" is (was as I write this), due to have puppies in the coming week. Saturday, it was time to bath and clean her up. Even tho the girls start to shed out their undercoat, starting at the belly area, to expose their boobies for the upcoming pups, I still trim that area a) the pups don't get lost in their coat, or b) less likely to tangle themselves as they root around.

"Trixie's" belly is trimmed, she's now ready for a bath.

Soaped up well!!!
Now she's getting blow dried. The high powered blower allows you to separate the hairs well and see right down to the skin.

"Trixie" surprised us later in the evening!

No panting, no digging, no pacing, ate her meals until Sat morn and no outward signs, until I noticed her belly was contracting a bit. I grabbed the whelping box, got her in it and then she really started to bear down. Mike held on to her while I gathered up the other supplies and within 15 minutes, several very large contractions, I helped an 8 oz blue male come into the world.The blue boy only minutes old. Still wet & shinny.
Within the next hour and a half she delivered two tri girls, two very plain tri girls! Both, again weighing in at just over 8 oz.

These are on the big size for sheltie puppies, not that we haven't seen this quite often. What I normally like is around 6 - 6.5 oz, makes delivery just a little easier on mom, yet they are still strong & large enough that the fear of mom accidentally lying on them is less.
Now we watch, wait, keep things clean and monitor on an hourly basis as we don't take anything for granted. There are just still so many of their little 'parts' that need to grow ... their eyes are not yet fully developed, nor their ears, their heart & liver, their teeth/bite, that smart brain of theirs, stomach needs to change to adapt to regular food and not just milk, and even their parathyroid won't fully develop until 6 wks of age. And that's just a start!
The wonders of genetics, wonders of life ... still amazes me each time.


Cool Design Shelties October 18, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

Congratulations on the pups and good luck with them all :o)



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