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Flora & Molly

Litter and the pack

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As this is not really about Border collies I put the topic here in Coffeebreak.

A friend has a Jack Russell who just had a litter (born Saturday, they are SO cute). She also has a Border collie mix (so it is a little bit about Border collies too :) ).
She keeps the dogs apart now and will do that until the pups are a lot older. I am not sure how long exactly.

Now as for my question! I was wondering if you had to keep them apart or that the dogs might work it out between themselves. Does mama dog stand up for her puppies and make sure no one is getting too close? I can imagine that puts extra stress on the mother dog, which would be a reason not to do it. Of course when they are older it might be good to meet other dogs as part of their overall socialization. 

Does anyone have any experience with litters and pack members? Any thoughts on the matter? 

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My sister lives with 7 dogs.  3 are hers, 3 her roommate's and 1 is a foster. One had pups last month. When they where five days old, both women went out, left mom with pups in a room, other dogs in the house. The dogs managed to open the door to mom and pups and killed the pups. The door knob was round, not an easy open one. Mom dog was wet from saliva but not hurt. All these dogs are sweethearts. Could have been the other females just trying to steel them, could have been the males eliminating someone else's offspring to increase their chances of fatherhood (males are all fixed, but it doesn't mean they know that).

 

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How awful! I'm so sorry that happened.

I hadn't really thought of that. I did figure males would not be a smart move to have around pups so young. Dogs can sometimes do "strange" things in packs, strange to us humans anyway. My mother once discovered that her two dogs played tug of war with the cat when she was away, the cat being the tug toy.  This was before I was born. The dogs got on with the cat splendidly when she was at home. I guess it is easy to forget dogs are animals.

My friends BC mix has had pups before and she seems like she just really wants to help if only my friend would let her (Not saying she should let her, just observing behaviour). 

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It just depends.  My males LOVE puppies and I have to work hard to keep them away until the bitch is ready for pack introductions.  Since I have so many puppies coming and going from my house, all dogs are trustworthy around them.

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I have no experience at all w/litters of pups and adult dogs who are not the mom. I would be very, very cautious about exposing pups to any adult dog other than their mom. The pups could be 'collateral damage' if the mom took offense and a tussle started. I wouldn't want to take that chance at all.

Ruth & Gibbs

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