Friday, May 28, 2010

All is well in the whelping boxes

Things are going really well with Gilda and Keena's pups, but yesterday we had to do some adjustments. As you know Keena was caring for 9 puppies and Gilda for 5. I caught Keena several times carrying Green boy around in her mouth. At one time she put him in her own bed (see picture), the other time she placed him on the blanket. I see this behavior occasionally in our females and I really don't know the meaning of it. Sometimes a mom may choose a special puppy to give him attention one-on-one. I remember many years ago when Vamba had a "D" litter. She would persist in picking up Drake, her favorite puppy, and jumping on John's bed, where she would stay with Drake and give him extra attention. It is widely known that some bitches would try to get rid of a defective puppy and try to remove such a pup from their whelping box. In Keena's case, I read her actions in neutral terms. She was putting Green boy in her bed or on the blanket outside the box, but she was not staying with him. She did not act like she was trying to hide him either.  Even though Keena was very careful, I needed her to stop this behavior. Finally I decided to "give" the pup to Gilda. Since Gilda is larger than Keena, and she always produces excessive amount of milk (last year she raised 8 pups and managed to put on weight while doing it), we transferred two pups from Keena to Gilda. The pups are double marked by a different shape of collar and nail polish on their nails so we can always tell them apart from other pups, but this is going to help Keena cope with a huge litter. Also Green boy is safer with Gilda, who never carries pups in her mouth. Gilda had no problem with extra puppies, cleaned them right away and let them nurse.

Gilda stays in her box 100% of the time.

I took a short video of Keena's Red boy, it is not of the best quality but is is quite amusing and shows the pup's acrobatics.

To see the video in different resolution click here.


sam_acw said...

A puppy with nail varnish - that's got to be worth a picture!
How's it going with the Q names?
I can think of Quintus, Queeny, Quentin and Questor

Stan said...

Interesting situation w/green boy--glad it's working well now.
Red boy is a feisty one, isn't he? Do you find that early behavior like that carries on to produce a very active adult?