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Canine Behavior/3 yr old Female Boxer


We have a 3yr old female boxer, (we also have a male boxer who is will be 1 in November) her temperament is normally energetic but lazy inside, mostly attention needy!!  Last heat may 1st to May 21st seemed normal she is pretty well supervised when let outside during heat cycle(out to do business and run)and during heat we kept the 2 separated, no tie that we know of and she has never been pregnant in the past... Issue a week ago we noticed enlarged teats with milk a little swelling in vulva and a very slight clear discharge, on 10th she was pacing, nesting, whining and panting, she also found my sons toy that makes noise and won't put it down her normal temp is about 101.3 since the 11th it has dropped as low as 99.3 but returns to about 100.7.  I took the toy as we went outside and she seem to be better yesterday and today but she found the same toy and is back to whining, pacing and wanting me right next to her, she has gained NO noticeable weight!! We look back now and wonder because she had been eating food off the table and this is not normal for her, her appetite has decreased slightly but if you take toy she eats fine, she is energetic outside but not as long as usual, she is still urinating and having small bowel movements, also she was trying to eat grass the other day which I believe is a sign of upset tummy or nausea. I have been reading about false pregnancy and think maybe that is what is going on but not positive, she is not in distress and we are pretty sure she is not pregnant as we never saw a tie or mating happen!!  If this is a false pregnancy what do we do to help her move on... is taking the toy a good idea or bad??  
Thank you

Did she flag the male?  Did he even have TWENTY SECONDS alone with her?

Your bitch may be suffering from false pregnancy.  This requires veterinary attention and will respond to a short course of hormonal treatment.  I believe it might be too late to palpate the uterus to try to determine if she's pregnant (I think this can only be done around the 21st day of gestation) but an x-ray or ultrasound will prove it (so will a blood titer, for that matter).  

She needs a veterinarian, tomorrow.  I strongly suggest you have her spayed after this has been resolved (wait at least two months).  Her temperament (attention needy) - although possibly "trained" inadvertently - may indicate she is a poor choice for breeding and, unless you know what you're doing and both Boxers have been tested for genetic defects, trust me: breeding these two is a VERY BAD IDEA.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

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Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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