How to Raise and Train Outstanding Livestock Guardian Dogs - Dam Care - Moms Need TLC, too!
All new moms deserve a little pampering and dogs are no different. Marcella enjoys a little break from the puppies every now and then. Mama dogs should always have a way to get away from the puppies, especially as they grow and get more demanding with their sharp little teeth and nails. Moms that don't have a way to get a break can become aggressive towards their puppies, which in turn can cause the puppies themselves to become either fearful, aggressive or both. An aggressive LGD is unsafe with stock, humans and other dogs and a fearful LGD is harder to manage than a happy, well-adjusted one.
I prefer to give my moms a "maternity clip" before they whelp. This helps keep everything clean and dry, helps the pups find the teats more easily and makes inspecting for mastitis and other issues easier. It's especially helpful since LGD moms go outside with the stock and bring so much of the outdoors back in with them. It helps keep the whelping box and the puppies a little bit cleaner without all that excess hair for dirt and debris to stick to.
There will be some discharge for a while after whelping so regular "butt baths" keep Marcella clean, dry and comfortable. We also check her for signs of mastitis or scratches or bites from the puppies, which could lead to a painful infection.
We use Arlo and Ring cameras to keep an eye on Marcella and the puppies no matter where we are. Whelping pads are changed daily to keep everyone clean, dry and comfortable.
Moms tend to have looser stool for a while after giving birth. This is largely because of them eating the placentas and eating the puppy poop, which they do for several weeks. We add Doc Roy's GI Symbiotics and Pumpkin Powder to their food, as well as Kaolin Pectin, to help firm things up. We also add calcium citrate powder twice a day. Calcium deficiency can cause moms to be neurotic or aggressive with their puppies. Extra calcium usually keeps them calm and happy, and protects their own bodies from being robbed of calcium to feed the puppies. We mix all this into either raw goat milk from our goats or a little canned dog food.
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Hi I'm Kim. I have been an avid animal lover all my life but goats and dogs are my favorites so I built a business around them, breeding registered Mini Nubian & Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and MSCA registered Maremma Sheepdogs. I love sharing my passion and knowledge of these amazing creatures with others.