Canine Behavior/pups


my 4 year old labrador had a litter of pups last year. she gave birth to two pups on her own but got into trouble and had to have a caserian.when she got home she started picking pups up and dropping them round the house and hurting then slightly and digging holes in the garden. she has had another litter a few days ago, the same happened and she ended up in the vets again. but this time she hasn't picked any up but she has started digging holes again. im worried that she will harm her pups again and try to bury them ???

Remove the puppies.  Talk to the veterinarian and ask him how to supplement/feed neonate dogs.  Ask him for hormonal treatment for the confused mental state she's in and, as soon as the veterinarian says it can be done, HAVE HER SPAYED.

Learning to handfeed pups is not easy and it is an around the clock deal.  It also involves a scale to check for weight and a close eye to see that all pups are thriving.  Weaning pups from handfeeding must be done carefully, not abruptly, just as the dam would do it.  (Some pups will still be going to the teat as late as eight weeks of age if a damn "allows" it even though, by that time, they are being fed solid food).

DO NOT do this alone.

Frankly, I'm rather shocked (and appalled) that your veterinarian did not STRONGLY suggest spaying this bitch following the first experience.  Perhaps you should ask for referral to a more experienced veterinary generalist.  I would.

Canine Behavior

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

Past/Present Clients
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.

©2017 All rights reserved.