Your pooch may be your best friend, but that doesn't automatically make him a good daddy. In fact, your normally gentle pal could turn mean when confronted with a litter of little furballs. Your manly pooch should keep his distance from mama and babies for at least a month.
Helpless and Vulnerable
With a gestation period of only two months, the in utero development of puppies is more like a sprint as opposed to a marathon. Such a short pregnancy means the pups aren't completely developed by the time they are born, and newborn puppies are helpless and dependent on their mother for everything. They are born blind and deaf and only able to wriggle themselves toward their preferred nipple. During this stage, their Mama focuses all her energy on their safety and care.
Don't Mess With Mama
Many male dogs aren't interested in the puppies once they're born, but even if Pops wanted to check out the squirming little things he may find it a bit difficult. Mama will be very protective of her brood in those early weeks, and may growl or even snap at Dad should he come too close for her comfort. For his own safety, Dad may stay away until Mama relaxes. However, if both parents have been raised together, Mama may have no problems allowing Dad to come near and help clean and snuggle with his pups.
The dynamics in your little puppy family are unique, and are most useful to determine when it's safe to allow everyone to mingle. Some doggy daddies are involved in their puppies' lives practically from the start, while others may stay away due to personal preference or the “subtle urging” of Mama. Generally speaking, once the puppies start to explore, play and socialize, it's time to start reintroducing Dad to help show his brood appropriate doggy behavior. This typically happens at about the four-week mark, when the pups start to wean and venture out to check things out on their own.
Reintroducing your daddy dog to his puppies isn't just a matter of letting them all outside at the same time and expecting them to figure it out. This could be a disaster as Dad may decide he doesn't like the yipping and nipping of the little furballs. Proper supervision is key for successful introductions. Let Dad sniff the pups and become familiar with their scent. Always supervise playtime and step in immediately if Dad seems to get anxious or angry at the puppies antics.
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