Pigletdog is expecting! Any advice?

(59 Posts)
Pigletpoglet Tue 19-Feb-19 17:28:30

Disclaimer: very careful planned and considered litter, all health and genetic testing done, carefully selected dog, lots of advice from our breeder, etc etc

Pigletdog was scanned yesterday, and it looks like we are expecting a litter of 6-8 puppies on 20th March. It's our first litter, and we are a little terrified! Please could we have any top tips for whelping and puppy care?

OP’s posts: |
BrendaUrie Tue 19-Feb-19 17:33:46


BrendaUrie Tue 19-Feb-19 17:34:59

If you have to come on the Internet and ask forums for tips on how to deal with birth and puppy care then maybe this isn't as planned and considered as you make out...

Whitney168 Tue 19-Feb-19 17:49:05

Congratulations, Pigletpoglet, what an exciting time. Great to hear of someone doing things properly.

Obviously you have done your homework, and you have advice on the end of the phone from breeders and friends, but it's still nerve-wracking when you're going to have to deal with it at a time of your girl's choosing. (Nice if you have someone nearby to sit with you at the time, IF your bitch is comfortable with it.)

Hopefully you've already got the dog breeder's bible - The Book of the Bitch? Read and inwardly digest, then try and relax and look forward to it.

Off the top of my head:

- Do you have somewhere nice and quiet for bitch to whelp? Set your whelping box up good and early so she has a chance to get used to it (and then accept she might be determined to have them on the lounge carpet anyway LOL).
- Make sure you have a comfy chair, loads of books, whatever you need to make 'puppy watch' comfortable - and you are then set up for the nights sleeping with your girl and her litter.
- Make sure you have everything you need easily to hand - you will find lists of stuff in TBOTB.
- Get family and friends saving newspapers if possible, they're in short supply these days. If anyone having a clear out of old towels, these will be useful too.
- You will buy stuff you will never use - but if it makes you more comfortable to have it, don't let that worry you!
- Make sure you know arrangements with your vet should you need them out of hours (and it nearly always is the middle of the night).

BorderlineExperimental Tue 19-Feb-19 17:54:52

The Book of the Bitch

Puppy Culture

PC Discussion Group

The Puppy Plan

Positive Reinforcement Breeders Support

Hints and Tips for Interviewing New Puppy Buyers

startingtolooklikemother Tue 19-Feb-19 18:17:14

First time is nerve wracking even tho I was well read up on the subject and had experienced mentors. I watched loads and loads of you tube videos, rang vets before hand so I knew what to do if there was an emergency in the middle of the night. Ordered 0% credit card to cover any medical costs for emergency
Anyway that aside, the bitch will probably whelp in the dead of night. Labour will usually be indicated by panting and circling and nest building. Don't let her out during this time into the garden as likely she will give birth out there.
Once baby is born get airway clear and run furiously with towel then pass to mum to lick. If not breathing you can try a tiny bit of brandy on the lips as this can stimulate things
Once puppy is feeding this usually bring on additional contractions (but not always)
Cardboard whelping box is fine no need to spend a fortune
Stay calm smile

Pigletpoglet Tue 19-Feb-19 18:20:44

Brenda - surely every decent breeder once had a first litter? There are a lot of knowledgeable people in the Doghouse: we are doing all the research we can, and also trying to spot any gaps in our knowledge.

Whitney - thanks for the tips! We have Book of the Bitch arriving tomorrow. DH had a conversation with the scan technician where she said not to bother with a whelping kit. I was planning to go ahead and buy everything anyway just to make me feel better!

Borderline - I was thinking about Puppy Culture - I think I might go and investigate further... Thanks for the other links - it's so difficult to know which advice is sound.

OP’s posts: |


Pigletpoglet Tue 19-Feb-19 18:25:29

Thanks Starting. DH is going to build a plywood whelping box with pig rails etc (I might order a cardboard one in reserve...) We are collecting tea towels, old towels and newspapers.
The vet will definitely be on call (and she only lives up the road), and I'm hoping that a vet friend who is also a breeder might be happy to be midwife for us...

OP’s posts: |
Muddysnowdrop Tue 19-Feb-19 18:27:27

I thought the title said Pigletjohn is expecting - it is less exciting than I thought blush

startingtolooklikemother Tue 19-Feb-19 19:31:36

Oh also they never actually want to whelp in the whelping box! I put a waterproof sheet on our bed and they tend to do it there, it also helps that I'm not bending down to see what's going on. Obviously I don't tell my DH!!!!
Oh and a heat pad to put puppies on, don't worry if the bitch does a lot of panting afterwards and is unsettled, after a few hours she will be a lot calmer.
If you can get a warming box that you put new seedlings into that works perfectly for an incubator (put some vet bed down on the base)
Some people separate mother and babies for safety but I never have
Great that you've got a vet down the road, it's honestly a wonderful experience but I have to tell you that's it's unusual for all of the litter to survive so prepare for the worst and hope for the best

SlothMama Wed 20-Feb-19 10:00:08

Is it possible to observe a litter being born before yours arrive? It will help when it comes to whelping your bitch, all those links by Borderline are great.

Puppy culture is very important when it comes to properly socialising the litter so they are ready for their new homes.
Have you got homes for the puppies yet? Now is a good time to properly meet and vet people before they buy a puppy from you.

Personally I don't mind if someone breeds as long as they do the correct health testing as you have. But make sure you have money put to the side in case whelping goes wrong and she needs a c-section. Good luck!

Pigletpoglet Wed 20-Feb-19 10:21:14

Thanks starting and sloth.
I think we're going to invest in puppy culture, just so we don't miss anything. Puppy list is open, and we're starting visits this week. We will go through the breed club (and word of mouth) for owners, then vet very carefully!
Sloth - that's an amazing idea about watching a litter. Our breeder is due a litter 3 weeks before ours, so I will go and observe that one. That will make such a difference to my confidence!

Any tips for puppy packs? So far we are including info on:
Traits of the breed (they are inveterate thieves)
Breed club application form
Food (plus enough food for first weeks and a container of water)
Inoculations, worming and flea treatment
And obvs breeder contract with endorsements

Anything else anyone has found useful?
(Thanks so much for advice, it's helping to keep my anxiety under control!)

OP’s posts: |
Lonecatwithkitten Wed 20-Feb-19 12:06:52

I just wanted to add puppy resuscitation advice, no no to brandy alcohol is toxic to dogs, plus alcohol is a respiratory depressant. Vigorous rubbing, if you can some one to teach you the puppy flick ( vet nurses are very good at this) to clear air ways. Occasionally a piece of cotton thread tickled up the nose.
Vigorous rubbing for longer than you ever imagined is usually successfully.

Pigletpoglet Wed 20-Feb-19 12:31:26

Thanks Lonecat. I will ask our breeder if she knows the puppy flick! If not, one of our vet nurses might.

OP’s posts: |
Crockof Wed 20-Feb-19 12:38:57

Have you registered as a breeder with the council. It is now an offense if you do not register.

missbattenburg Wed 20-Feb-19 13:08:59

The distinction on whether or not you need to register with the council for just one litter, would appear to be whether or not you make a profit...

Conversely “Breeders who breed a small number of puppies (i.e. fewer than three litters per year), and sell them without making a profit” are deemed to be out of the scope of licensing.


SlothMama Thu 21-Feb-19 14:26:46

Some things I'd add to the puppy pack is exercising your puppy, I had no idea that the rule was 5 mins per month of age until I asked my breeder! As well as some blanket or towel that smells like the litter can also be a comfort to a puppy in their new home smile

My breeder also had tips on crate training and made it very clear that if we didn't have a crate in the car for the pup to travel home in then we'd have to go and buy one. But it made the journey home much easier on my girl, she just snuggled up in her crate and slept pretty much the whole time.

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Thu 21-Feb-19 14:30:21

When you have prospective puppy owners - ask them to name their puppy..
When we brought ours home she really knew her name and early training went so well!!

Jappydooda Thu 21-Feb-19 14:38:30

Just a couple from experience....

Make sure you worm the Mum properly during pregnancy - puppies are born with worms already developed and can sometimes have a massive burden.

If she has been in labour for a while and not produced anything, get the vet involved. Don't let them fob you off with giving it another hour - that's how we lost a puppy. The puppy came down the birth canal, I could see it's paws and then went back in. The vet refused to give medication to strengthen the contractions as he didn't believe me when I told him about the paws. It took another trip, an hour later, to see a different vet who gave the injection. The first puppy was stillborn.

Watching puppies is addictive - you lose hours and hours just watching them grow up!

Enjoy - and don't forget the pics when they are born!!

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Feb-19 14:45:52

What breed? There may be breed specific advice your owners would need. (Wolfhounds are prone to pneumonia and bloat for eg.)
We also had details of expected growth/weight gain.
Could anyone who’s done this before be with you?

missbattenburg Thu 21-Feb-19 14:51:57

don't forget the pics when they are born

This is quite a nice idea for the puppy packs. A USB drive with plenty of photos of the appropriate puppy so that the new owners have lots of them from the time before they took them home. Maybe a short video?

I have a few of Battendog from that time but would have loved more.

Hubblebubbletripletrouble Thu 21-Feb-19 14:53:50

I have no knowledge or advice, just asking to please post photos so we can all see how cute they are!!!

Whitney168 Thu 21-Feb-19 14:56:40

The distinction on whether or not you need to register with the council for just one litter, would appear to be whether or not you make a profit...

The distinction on whether or not you need to register with your council for just one litter actually depends on your council - individual councils are interpreting the law entirely differently, so the OP needs to clarify on their own basis and ensure they have it in writing if their own council confirms they don't need a licence.

If a licence is needed, then bear in mind that it is likely to be impossible to register puppies or to advertise without a licence number.

Pigletpoglet Thu 21-Feb-19 15:55:42

Re licensing - we won't be making a profit (DD shows the dogs and it's bloody expensive! As is insurance, vet bills, food etc). Great advice to get written confirmation from the council though, so we don't run into issues with registration.
Sloth - we have ordered the Puppy Culture booklets on exercise to go in the puppy packs, so that will be covered. It's funny - the 5 mins per month thing is so ingrained when you've had dogs for a while, you forget that new owners won't know!
Wolfie - it's such a small (in numbers) breed that it's too outing to put on here! We are in daily contact with our breeder, and I am off to watch her litter being born next week. She is also on call as midwife, with another friend who is a breeder and vet as reserve.
Battenburg - what a lovely idea! We only have a couple of pics of our dogs as tiny puppies. I will definitely do this.
I will post non-identifying pics of pups when they arrive!

OP’s posts: |
Whitney168 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:03:52

It is my understanding that showing expenses are not able to be off-set against breeding profit/loss, but again you need to speak to your specific council.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in