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I read across the forums a little before asking and from what i can tell people typically want as many details as possible so ill try to include anything i can think of. Apologizes for the length post but when a puppies life is lost i think its warranted.
Today my Pregnant Female BernaDoodle (Her name is Rome) Killed a Puppy from a different mother (Mothers name is Aleta and she's a cavapoo) who shed been having scuffles with. I chalked the scuffles up to hormones, and they were fine 99% of the time. They got into it twice since aleta had her pups, but they reached 8 weeks this week so I sent Aleta back home to her guardian family yesterday to try and prevent further confrontation. I don't think its a coincidence that rome attacked her puppy out of 3 litters we currently have.

We keep all the nursing moms, and puppies on separate floors but occasionally let all the puppies out together with the other dogs to adapt them to possible future circumstances. Rome typically loves these times, playing with the puppies, never ever shows ANY aggression! Just wags her tail and lays down/ stares at them. I couldn't believe it when while i was washing 2 of the puppies i returned to the dead puppy with rome laying right beside the body and acting almost like nothing had happened, all without any commotion apart from the normally puppy yipping and playing.

Not knowing what to do i slapped Rome's nose which i never never do, and locked her in a kennel as punishment.. What would be a gentle/humane punishment and training i need to do with Rome to prevent anything like this again..? Ive tried humbling her today by kenneling her for awhile today and now that ive let her out ive been telling her to shew, because ive read separation from the family unit (Me and my gf included) is the best way to get a dog out of the alpha male or female mentality.

Is the best/only course of action to try to humble her or is there something else i should be doing..? Rome is 'My' Dog (Out of 4 that stay with us year round) as in we have the strongest connection out of all our other pups.
I feel awful she could do such a thing when shes normally so playful and protective of all the puppies in the house... Ive read its a natural thing induced by pregnancy hormones..? Is this true? Is there a chance she accidently injured the puppy while playing then put it out of its misery? Can she be trusted around puppies again..? How should i prepare for once she has her pups as far as interaction with other moms, pups, and her own pups...? Ive got thick skin so im prepared for the berating im sure ill receive for leaving them alone but my priority is fixing or preventing anything like this again so im ready for it. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
 

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I read across the forums a little before asking and from what i can tell people typically want as many details as possible so ill try to include anything i can think of. Apologizes for the length post but when a puppies life is lost i think its warranted.
Today my Pregnant Female BernaDoodle (Her name is Rome) Killed a Puppy from a different mother (Mothers name is Aleta and she's a cavapoo) who shed been having scuffles with. I chalked the scuffles up to hormones, and they were fine 99% of the time. They got into it twice since aleta had her pups, but they reached 8 weeks this week so I sent Aleta back home to her guardian family yesterday to try and prevent further confrontation. I don't think its a coincidence that rome attacked her puppy out of 3 litters we currently have.

We keep all the nursing moms, and puppies on separate floors but occasionally let all the puppies out together with the other dogs to adapt them to possible future circumstances. Rome typically loves these times, playing with the puppies, never ever shows ANY aggression! Just wags her tail and lays down/ stares at them. I couldn't believe it when while i was washing 2 of the puppies i returned to the dead puppy with rome laying right beside the body and acting almost like nothing had happened, all without any commotion apart from the normally puppy yipping and playing.

Not knowing what to do i slapped Rome's nose which i never never do, and locked her in a kennel as punishment.. What would be a gentle/humane punishment and training i need to do with Rome to prevent anything like this again..? Ive tried humbling her today by kenneling her for awhile today and now that ive let her out ive been telling her to shew, because ive read separation from the family unit (Me and my gf included) is the best way to get a dog out of the alpha male or female mentality.

Is the best/only course of action to try to humble her or is there something else i should be doing..? Rome is 'My' Dog (Out of 4 that stay with us year round) as in we have the strongest connection out of all our other pups.
I feel awful she could do such a thing when shes normally so playful and protective of all the puppies in the house... Ive read its a natural thing induced by pregnancy hormones..? Is this true? Is there a chance she accidently injured the puppy while playing then put it out of its misery? Can she be trusted around puppies again..? How should i prepare for once she has her pups as far as interaction with other moms, pups, and her own pups...? Ive got thick skin so im prepared for the berating im sure ill receive for leaving them alone but my priority is fixing or preventing anything like this again so im ready for it. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
My condolences... Without personally knowing the dog, i'm inclined to give the dog the benefit of the of the doubt and call it an accident. In the future either keep the dog separated and/or be vigilant with surveillance...
 

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Punishment needs to come within seconds of an action for a dog to successfully connect that action to the punishment, which means there's really nothing you can effectively do at this point that Rome will understand as a consequence of what she did to the puppy. Instead, I would focus on strict supervision of puppies when they're around any adult dogs who aren't their mother, especially when there's such a huge size difference as I imagine there is between an adult Bernese mix and a puppy Cavalier mix. Baby puppies are quite fragile, and it's entirely possible that Rome wasn't behaving aggressively at all, but only stepped on the puppy wrong, or played too roughly. I wouldn't assume that this has anything to do with Rome and Aleta's relationship at all, nor any kind of 'alpha' or 'dominance' issue (these labels are often extremely vague and inaccurate to true dog behavior, anyway, so aren't used by most modern trainers and behaviorists that are up to date on the science of how dog social behavior works).

Again, because it's impossible to say how the puppy actually died, it's extremely difficult to predict whether this is an issue that will reoccur, either with Rome's own puppies or any others. It's probably wise to keep a close eye on her behavior when she has her litter, and have a plan of action in the worst case scenario where you need to remove the puppies from her and hand-raise. It's probably unlikely that you'll need to go to this extreme, but better to plan for the worst and hope for the best than be caught off-guard.

I'd also be extremely cautious if you plan to bring Aleta back in the future. Bitch-bitch aggression is notoriously difficult to manage - when two females decide they don't like each other enough to physically fight, it's often for life and can be deadly to one or both dogs. I'd be extremely careful re-introducing them to each other, even if neither is pregnant or nursing, and have a plan for keeping them entirely separated behind secure barriers if they continue to show aggression towards each other, especially in breeding situations where it's so important to keep things low-stress for pregnant dams.
 

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Keep her separate from the puppies like you were doing. It is not a training thing. It is a management thing.

You have a LOT going on with 3 litters on the ground. A lot of dogs. Management is key.
 
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