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 Raising Sled Dogs
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 Sibling sisters
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Team Schwartz

United Kingdom
6 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2014 :  08:37:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, i'm a newbie, both here & to the sport - we've just completed our first dryland sledding race season with our small team - 2 purebred GSP's from the same litter. I'm planning to take a litter from one of my girls early next year, did a lot of thinking about it first, did loads of research & took literally a couple of years to decide on a stud dog! I am wondering how things will pan out when the time comes with having her sister around. They are incredibly close, work together, eat together, play together, sleep together etc. I'm expecting we may have a fairly large litter - they come from a litter of 11, & one of their other litter sisters whelped a litter of 9 last year. My question is this - will it be okay to have my second dog around while the first one is raising pups? I've discussed it at length with my vet, & her opinion is that it could go both ways - the whelping bitch may be become pup-proud & want nothing to do with her sister, or she may welcome her & allow her to help rear the pups, especially if a bigger litter. I've bred a litter before, & my parents did too as i was growing up, but never been in this situation before & wondered if anyone had any experience of it? Thanks in advance.

Maurizio

Italy
15 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2014 :  07:24:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Team Schwartz, welcome to the forums. :)

Imprinting in the first few weeks of life is VERY important for the future of a dog, especially a sled dog. I don't take any chance, and let the mom raise the pups alone in a separate box. When they're old enough to walk, I slowly introduce them to the other dogs in the kennel.

You can try to keep the sisters together if you can keep an eye on them, but I wouldn't do it with my dogs.
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endurancekennels

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2014 :  12:06:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit endurancekennels's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We've never had issues with other bitches around our young pups but they have whelped a litter themselves. Every dog is different and the whelping bitch may not want her sister around and become very protective or be entirely receptive.

Just play it by ear and see how it goes. You'll figure it out.

Tone Coughlin
Endurance Kennels LLC - Hound Cross Sprint Racing Sled Dogs
Vice President - United States Federation of Sleddog Sports
http://www.endurancekennels.com
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Team Schwartz

United Kingdom
6 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2014 :  2:11:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the welcome & the advice! I guess i will be very careful & let the whelping bitch dictate what she is comfortable with. She is generally a very laidback, affectionate girl (one of the reasons i'm breeding her & not her sister, who is more intelligent, but can be a bit stressy) but who knows what she will be like when she has pups on the ground. I'll let you know how it goes!
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MSeavey

USA
202 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2014 :  9:58:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit MSeavey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'd never let any other female have access to a litter. The problem isn't between the two adults. Sisters or not, I hope the non-mother doesn't kill the pups. GSPs may be different than huskies, but "that there's your problem."
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Team Schwartz

United Kingdom
6 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2014 :  6:38:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks all for the wise words of advice - GSP's are indeed very different to huskies, but at the end of the day, they're still dogs. I think we sometimes forget just how close to their insticts they can be, overlook the animal & see only the pet. I have known of a male dog to acidentally gain access to & kill pups of another sire. I will be very very careful re access, especially around the early days. The whelping bitch will have all the peace she needs to rear her pups.
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