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First puppy but worried that all its siblings have died

(72 Posts)
AvonleaAnne Sun 19-Oct-14 21:03:24

I'm just hoping that somebody can give me some advice please. We are supposed to be getting our first puppy in December and we were very excited about it but since the litter was born, about two weeks ago, all the puppies but one have died.

It is very sad and I feel terrible for the owner of the mother. We still want to have the puppy but I am wondering whether we should be worried about health issues given all the other puppies have died. Is there anything I need to check? The owners are not professional dog breeders they just wanted their dog to have puppies as she is such a lovely, good natured animal.

I'd really appreciate any advice. Thanks for your help.

beachyhead Sun 19-Oct-14 21:12:32

I think you are right to be concerned. I'm not sure i would take the puppy under these circumstances. What do the owners vets have to say?

WeAreGroot Sun 19-Oct-14 21:16:08

Situations like this are exactly why breeding is not something to be done lightly sad

I would be running a mile I'm afraid. It is absolutely not normal to lose so many of a litter and chances are there's either something wrong with the pups or the breeder has missed something/done something very wrong.

I'd be looking for a decent breeder with a litter planned to get a pup from instead. Aside from not wanting to risk losing the pup or dealing with possible health problems I wouldn't want to be supporting someone breeding just because their bitch is lovely as, chances are, they won't have put the effort in to do it properly.

AvonleaAnne Sun 19-Oct-14 21:44:35

Thank you so much for your advice. I wish that we had stuck with our original plan to go to a dog breeder as it is very awkward now as the owner is the parent of my friend and they are asking to be paid so I need to sort this out soon. I put so much research into how to train a puppy and the best breed for our family but I didn't realise that the problems can start before you even get the puppy.

I wasn't worried until the last sibling died yesterday as before that I assumed maybe they had just got too cold or were too small. The owner is so sad that I feel terrible creating more bother for them but it is such a big decision for us that I need to be sure that everything is ok.

Thank you for your advice.

That's really not normal and you are right to be concerned. I would be very wary of taking the pup.

Also, someones dog being lovely is not a reason to go and breed it.

Go to a proper breeder and a decent one with a waiting list.

This pup could have something wrong with it. How many pups were in the litter? What health checks have been done? What breed?

What has the vet said about the pups that have died? Has she even talked to a vet or did they just die and she got on with it?If she did then you definitely need to run for the hills

AvonleaAnne Sun 19-Oct-14 22:55:18

There were six pups in the litter. Two died straight away, two a week later and the fifth one yesterday. I have only heard that she has spoken to a breeder who she knows, who told her that there wasn't anything wrong with the puppies but I'm not sure what this was based on. I will ask her what the vet said. The puppy is a sprocker spaniel.

bakingtins Sun 19-Oct-14 23:03:56

The puppy is a crossbreed, bred by someone who clearly knows very little -- trying to make some cash breeding trendy crosses with silly names-- To say there is 'nothing wrong' with a litter of dead pups is like something out of a Monty Python sketch. Do not give them any money unless the pup you have an interest in gets to 8 weeks unscathed and then passes a vet check. Your vet, not one the breeder claims to have spoken to!

bakingtins Sun 19-Oct-14 23:04:28

strikeout fail

AvonleaAnne Sun 19-Oct-14 23:18:14

Sorry I didn't realise Sprocker wasn't a proper name blush. We were originally looking at Springer Spaniels and then when we read about these dogs they seemed to be a nice combination. Will a vet be able to tell that the puppy doesn't have any problems?

Thanks for your advice.

TheCunnyFunt Sun 19-Oct-14 23:22:06

I would be running a mile. If 5 out of 6 puppies have died then there's a good chance the last one will too. And also there was a thread on single puppies recently, the advice was that if there is just one puppy in the litter then you really have to work and work HARD to teach them all the right things that they'd learn with siblings and you have to socialise them extremely well. The general consensus was not to touch a lone puppy with a bargepole iirc.

InfinitySeven Sun 19-Oct-14 23:23:39

Not definitively.

I'd walk away. The chances of having a healthy dog that lives a full life after all its litter mates died is slim to non existant.

The last thing you want is to pay, take the dog, train it and find out its dying.

MitchellMummy Mon 20-Oct-14 07:38:19

I agree with other posters. If you get the dog, fall in love with it (which will happen over a couple of days) then it dies, you'll be devastated. There could also be big vet bills. The breeder's friend was just saying what the breeder wanted to hear. Unless the puppies had post mortems then no-one can know. Puppies don't die if there's nothing wrong with them - that's absolutely ludicrous. I know you feel bad as it's a friend's parent. BUT they're the ones who are at fault, expecting money from you when clearly there's something wrong. Decent breeders should be prepared to keep puppies that don't sell. Particularly if it's the last one in the litter. This sounds like a money making exercise to me. Most breeders I know only breed when they want to keep a puppy for themselves. Have you signed any contract? There's no guarantees with any puppy, but it would be good to have a fighting chance from the start. If you speak to the breeder and tell her how you feel then I'm sure you'll feel better afterwards. Good luck, whatever you decide.

Kormachameleon Mon 20-Oct-14 07:50:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 20-Oct-14 07:54:26

That many dogs dying makes you think there's either a genetic problem or they haven't been well cared for. Either of which means you need to run a mile. The worry of possibly upsetting a friends parent shouldn't be a consideration.

Floralnomad Mon 20-Oct-14 08:21:06

Definitely do not take this pup ,and tell them now . Frankly if their dog is so nice I'm amazed that they would even be interested in letting the last pup go ,I would have thought they would want to keep it themselves. If you are happy with a Xbreed pup have a look at some rescues Many Tears for example often have pups .

muttynutty Mon 20-Oct-14 08:22:45

Apart from the health reasons of the other littermates dying I would not ever ever have a puppy that will now be brought up a single puppy in a litter. You will have development problems and socialisation problems as the puppy will not learn to interact with other puppies.

Walk away - even if your friendship is ruined.

Booboostoo Mon 20-Oct-14 08:36:16

What everyone else has said, plus it's awful that the breeder did not seek vet help when the first puppies died. I have no idea what was wrong with them but the vet may have been able to save the other ones and either way a responsible owner does not take this risk.

needastrongone Mon 20-Oct-14 09:04:57

I am very sorry for your situation sad

Many things raise red flags for me I am afraid. All raised above.

I agree with mutty. Puppies learn how to be social, well adjusted dogs by having siblings. All that play fighting etc. that they do is teaching them valuable lessons for adulthood. So, you may not just have health issues, but social issues as well.

I know you might feel bad about letting a 'friend' down but you may well be saddled with huge vet bills and behaviour issues for the next 15 years. Do you really want that? Don't feel bad.

They have asked you for money anyway, and are still prepared to sell the remaining puppy, which says it all really.

And the fact that they have bred for the wrong reasons and have bred a cross breed, wrapped up in a designer name.

In other matters smile are you aware how er, busy a springer/cocker cross would be? She says, with a Springer and a Cocker currently asleep at my feet. Mine are lovely, but need bags of exercise and stimulation in the form of training (you can't really wear them out physically). In reality, I am out for 2 hours a day, in mud, rain, wind, snow etc. My DC are teenagers, so can be left alone and even help with the walking and training, but they are not breeds that will be happy with a quick walk round the block.

Is there anything about either a Cocker or a Springer that would put you off having either? Why a Sprocker in particular?

Good luck OP. Carefully research your next breeder if you can smile

EasyToEatTiger Mon 20-Oct-14 09:18:07

It is entirely possible that the remaining pup will be dead before it's time to take it anywhere. Why should you be paying good money for something you may never see in your own home? This problem is nothing to do with you at all. It is entirely an issue between the breeder and the vet. It is for them to get the problem sorted, not for you to spend your money on something which does not concern you. Run for the hills!!!

kilmuir Mon 20-Oct-14 09:22:19

Irresponsible breeding

LoofahVanDross Mon 20-Oct-14 09:27:33

You need to express your concerns with these people. Whether they are friends or family or whoever, they should understand that if 5 of their 6 puppies have died, then why would they be asking for money when the chances are something is very wrong with the last pup.

They should be telling you NOT to have it. If they don't then they are not decent people.

sorry about the situation you are in though.

TheStarsLookDown Mon 20-Oct-14 09:38:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AvonleaAnne Mon 20-Oct-14 09:44:07

Thanks for all the advice. I am going to speak to my friend. I really want to start puppy training from the best possible place as this will be our first puppy. I feel so sad for the puppy though, it is isn't just the owner I feel like I am letting down but the little puppy.

I wasn't set on having a Sprocker and we had been looking at both Cocker spaniels and Springers until my friend found out her parents' dog was expecting puppies. I wanted a dog that would be able to come out running with me, so I thought an energetic dog like a Springer might be best, also I had read that they are good with children. I am at home all day and have two children (5 and 7) who love being outdoors. We originally intended to go through a Cocker Spaniel breeder in Devon recommended by my Mum and her friends. It sounds like that would have been a more responsible thing for us to do.

Shlep Mon 20-Oct-14 09:45:58

Absolutely do not get that pup. I'm a breeder. She sounds irresponsible. It might hurt her feelings, but she might continue to breed more genetically unsound puppies if you buy this one.

Being in a litter develops their social and emotional skills. They learn together what is too far and crosses the line, the rough and tumble from pups they know and aren't scared of, will mean they become more robust (socially/emotionally), they will learn not to be too dominant or submissive, and how to cope with pups which are either one of them, they establish a natural place in the hierarchy and learn that they don't need to compete for attention- and how to get attention without aggression, yapping or other inappropriate behaviour, and learn how to deal with not getting attention immediately or quickly (unlike a lone puppy).

Booboostoo Mon 20-Oct-14 10:00:09

I know it is very difficult to walk away from a puppy but if you make the wrong decision now you will have to put up with the consequences for the next 15 years. As an adult you may be more tolerant with challenging behaviour but with young children you may have less patience.

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