Category Archives: Surrogate puppy mother
A very interesting thing happened this week. Cherry, one of our other breeding bitches, started to howl and cry and make strange noises. It was kind of a sing-song whine-howl noise that she would make. As this was a problem at night, I had to lock her away in a separate room, but the crying noise did not cease. She did not like being locked away and scratched on the door, forcing me to let her out. It took me a couple of days to realise that she wanted to be with the puppies. As she was in season at the same time as Abigail and Jade, she seems to think the puppies are hers. At first I alternated her with Jade, the real mother, so that they were not with the puppies at the same time, as Cherry started to be very protective of the puppies, even though they were not hers. I was concerned that Cherry and Jade might fight. So at night I would make a bed for Cherry in the kitchen and then give her 2 puppies to look after for the night, while Jade slept with the other seven.
One evening I made a mistake and I let Jade into the puppy room while Cherry was with the puppies. A very interesting thing happened. Instead of a fight as I had expected, Cherry, as a surrogate, submitted to Jade as the real mother. From then on, it was okay to allow both girls in with the puppies at the same time. Then I realised that in the wild, the alpha bitch bears the puppies and the other bitches in the pack assist her with the young ones! How awesome to see this natural phenomenon happen in my very own yard! Cherry enjoys being with the puppies more than Jade does. I guess it is because the pups are getting rough with Jade and bite and pull hard on her when they drink from her. Jade enjoys short periods of playing with the puppies. Cherry seems to love having her ears and tailed pulled and bitten, and to have puppies climb all over her and cuddle up next to her. Jade doesn’t seem to mind Cherry being there, so I let them both go to the pups whenever they want to. The interesting thing is Cherry’s teats seem to be filling up with some milk. This apparently is also a natural phenomenon.
One thing I did notice is that Cherry included the big ‘green pepper’ soft toy as one of her puppies. She carries it around and cuddles up to it, as if it is also a puppy! Very interesting! I guess the softness and size of the toy meets some maternal need within her.