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Raising LGD puppies (warning - cute pics)

 
Cj Sloane
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My Maremma puppies are 4 weeks old and I've had to move them into the house because the mother isn't staying with them reliably and isn't being great about nursing either. It's going down into the 30s at night which is too cold for even Maremma puppies if mom isn't around for snuggling.

This is from 2 days ago:


I took Sugar to the vet and although she didn't have mastitis, she does have a temperature which probably explains her behavior.

So the question is how to keep them warm, dry, & safe without getting poop & pee all over? Looks like my "empty nest" lasted about a week!

I put them in the tub with a sheet which was OK for about 12 hours but then was pretty nasty. Then I tried without the sheet.

Seemed like a good idea but a few hours later they were damp from pee and getting cold - they were snuggling by the drain.
This morning I moved them downstairs in a box with hay - but it's too small except for when they're sleeping:

Finally, back in the tub in a large box that just fits with hay:


Not sure how long that'll suffice.
I guess there are puppy pads I could purchase but I'd like stick with hay if I can for multiple reasons.

Looking for any suggestions. They seem to be doing fine with puppy food and milk. I'm taking turns feeding them individually just to make sure they're all eating.

One more:
 
David Livingston
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awwwwwwwwwwwwwww I want one !

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Hey David, what breed to the French use for LGDs? It seems like most countries in Europe have their version of THE BIG WHITE DOG. Maremma=Italy; Great Pyrenees=Alps?; Kuvatz=Hungary; Tatra=Poland.

Pause while googling...
OK, looks like Pyrs are from France/Spain. Do you see them in use much?

If you google puppy images all the LGD puppies look the same!
 
David Livingston
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Pyr is the dog beloved in France because of the great series for children Belle and Sebastian


In the french Alps with the return of the wolf I think they use mems when they are not sitting around complaining

I doubt there is a single wolf within a thousand miles of me but I would still like one

david
 
C. Hunter
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At 4 weeks, most babies are going to be toddlign around a LOT. The folks I know usually open up the side of the whelping box/nest at that point and offer a second area with a different substrate for a pee/poop area. They won't hit it ALL the time, but even if they just try it will help. In general, using any sort of sheet/bedding, even if they DO manage to hit the litter box, with large breed puppies and a big litter, you're going to need new bedding probably twice a day (or more) ANYWAY from about now on, especially now that mom has started weaning them (and hence is no longer going to be cleaning up after them, yuck). More space means more area to poop but if there is less stepping in it, you're ahead of the game just cleaning up wherever they are located vs cleaning the floor + changing bedding + washing puppies.

Here's a fairly typical setup - http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/breedingdogs/pottytrainingpuppies3weeks.htm - this could be set up fairly easily in a box stall or something if you had a way to keep it warm enough with a heat lamp or two, maybe?

Very cute little guys- I love Maremas but mostly only see crossbreds down here!
 
Cj Sloane
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David Livingston wrote:Pyr is the dog beloved in France because of the great series for children Belle and Sebastian...


Belle/Bella is a really popular name for Pyrs. If it's because of the series I wonder why Sebastian isn't popular too?
 
Cj Sloane
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C. Hunter wrote:
Here's a fairly typical setup - http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/breedingdogs/pottytrainingpuppies3weeks.htm - this could be set up fairly easily in a box stall or something if you had a way to keep it warm enough with a heat lamp or two, maybe?


No can do on the heat lamp as we are off grid. Not sure it's a good idea anyway as I have heard stories about puppies dying from smoke or fire in that set up.

I'll have to think if I can set something up like that link, that was helpful, thanks.

Sugar will let them nurse a bit.
IMG_0041></a>
I let her in the house and she ate a little and sat down so I stuck the puppies by her and that was OK for a while. Now everyone is sleeping and I can contemplate this situation. My floor has seen better days!
 
David Livingston
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CJ
er .... because Sebastian wasn't a dog ?

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Hahahahaha!
 
Cj Sloane
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C. Hunter wrote:More space means more area to poop but if there is less stepping in it, you're ahead of the game just cleaning up wherever they are located vs cleaning the floor + changing bedding + washing puppies.

Here's a fairly typical setup - http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/breedingdogs/pottytrainingpuppies3weeks.htm - this could be set up fairly easily in a box stall or something if you had a way to keep it warm enough with a heat lamp or two, maybe?


Wow C. you joined permies just in time to save me tons of grief!!! A million thanks!!!

Hopefully, 12 hours from now, I'll have this all set up correctly. I think I'll have to do it in my bedroom. In the meantime, I now know that if I hear a puppy whining, they need to get moved out of their sleep area so they can pee/poop. They can't do it themselves because they're contained in the bathtub.

Too bad Sugar can't do this but at least there is a procedure to work with their natural tendencies toward cleanliness. They'll be much easier to house break too. She's still letting them nurse but only if I put them on her when she's laying down. She's still cleaning them up too.
 
Cj Sloane
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So, does anyone know of a good way to mark the puppies to keep track of whose who? I suppose I could get little collars or something. I'm trying to keep track of who has eaten and personalities and so on. Just wondering if there is some standard procedure I'm not hip to.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Cj Verde wrote:So, does anyone know of a good way to mark the puppies to keep track of whose who? I suppose I could get little collars or something. I'm trying to keep track of who has eaten and personalities and so on. Just wondering if there is some standard procedure I'm not hip to.



Discounted Halloween temporary hair dye might work. Gentian Violet is also really great at making just about anything purple. A little goes a LONG way!
 
C. Hunter
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They'll lick the hair dye off really quick. (My last group of fosters were pyr Xs and that was an adventure. 8 solid white puppies. ) We used food coloring (the gel kind that is REALLY pigmented) because I had some on hand and I KNEW it was nontoxic, but other methods that I have haeard of people using are shaving a different bit of fur on each pup and colored rickrack or yarn collars. By 5 weeks though, it was pretty easy to tell them apart- personalities got more distinct so it was big girl, big boy, shy boy, fat girl, etc. Gentian violet and beet juice might give you two colors for marking pups, and if you put the markings in different places (left foreleg, right foreleg, left/right rear, head, body, no paint) that'd give you a LOT of combinations possible to make it simple. Just spending time and hanging out is good, and honestly, puppies need that anyway, even LGD puppies who aren't going to be pets- they need to at least be COMFORTABLE with people or you will have the devil of a time catching them to vet them.

My experience has been that moms are REALLY ready for pups to be getting a significant chunk of their nutrition elsewhere by 4 weeks, especially with big litters, but good moms will still nurse 2-3 times a day (or a bit more with smaller litters) for another 3-4 weeks. Especially in cold weather, I'd be concerned about letting mom get too worn down. It sounds like your guys are doing great though.


C
 
Cj Sloane
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With some help from hubby I've got the puppy area set up a la the Misty Method:


I cut open some plastic feed bags and he stapled them to the floor. Then we put down rosin paper - Staples was out of newsprint rolls so that seems like a reasonable substitute. Then hubby found the old baby gates from 18 years ago. I sort of hate to see our hording pay off but their you go! I guess I'm also a little glad we never finished our bedroom - still has just subflooring that I painted and the sheetrock hasn't been taped - one of these days!

Anyway, in theory they'll sleep on the towels, step over the box and go to the newspaper to pee and poop, and then eat & play in the other spot. Hopefully Sugar will go in to let them nurse - she fed them 3x today - an improvement!

So here I sit, waiting with baited breath for someone to wake up and poop!
 
Cj Sloane
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C. Hunter wrote:Especially in cold weather, I'd be concerned about letting mom get too worn down.

Yeah, she's too skinny and a picky eater to boot. And inconsistent in what she'll eat. Today I made her 2 3 egg omelets with cheese and butter mixed in with kibble & a little milk. The puppies are eating canned puppy food with a little puppy formula too. They seem like they are gaining fine - they're much heavier than the balls of fluff that they look like!
 
Cj Sloane
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Cj Verde wrote:So here I sit, waiting with baited breath for someone to wake up and poop!

SUCCESS!!!
 
allen lumley
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Cj : Been there done that! if you are open to looking at it from their needs you can usually be successful, this last time around it was single drops of cows milk
dripped off of the tip of the little finger, and waiting for the 'licking their muzzle reflex'….!

Mom jet needed a little help from super mom ! For the good of the crafts ! Big AL
 
Cj Sloane
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I've decided to try au natural and move them outside. They were great about keeping their sleeping area clean but not about play/eating v pooping/peeing area. On top of that, Sugar kept wanting to come into the room but didn't want to lay in their yucky area (who could blame her) so I had to lift each one out and she let them nurse for like 90 seconds. Then I had to try to catch excited puppies before they peed. BTW, I was changing the paper but going to work threw the whole system out of whack.

Right now it's 50 & I put them in a small paddock with a dog house. Sugar nursed them a bit and I put out some food for them which they all ate but 1 snuck back to the teat and she let her stay.


When they were done and getting sleepy I put them in the dog house in the box their were sleeping in prior with the towels so the smell was the same.


Only going down to the mid 40s so I suspect they'll be fine. I'll monitor their behavior for shivering but they are little puppy furnaces. They actually seemed a bit too hot sometimes in the house. They are Maremmas after all and belong in the Alps!
 
Cj Sloane
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At 5 weeks they've begun their shape-shifting shenanigans! Today, Sugar jumped into the sheep paddock and all 6 pups followed her. I looked out the window in time to see a ewe head but one of the pups. What next?

They do get messy while they eat:
 
Irene Kightley
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They're beautiful pups Cj !

We've got pups too at the moment. We've had Daschunds for 16 years and this is our first litter - a wonderful experience !
 
Cj Sloane
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The puppies/dogs put me thru the wringer this morning. Sugar was in the sheep shelter and when the puppies came out of their dog house to eat they looked cold (we had some snow and now its 36 & drizzling). So I started moving puppies to the hoop house but in the middle of moving the 3rd one the 1st had escaped somehow. Shapeshifters - remember -doh!

So the best thing was to shore up their dog house. It may not look like much but they do seem snug in there.



As long as Sugar doesn't wreck the whole thing getting out of there, they should be all set. I hope.
 
Cj Sloane
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What do 6 six week old maremma puppies do when the temperature drops to 19F and their mother wont stay with them because she's weaning them? Do they freeze to death in their puppy house? No, the stinkers weren't even in their puppy house at 5am. They were running around, playing in the cold dark dawn!
 
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