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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know where to post this!

I have a litter of four, 4-week-old puppies. These puppies came as an unexpected surprise along with the shelter dog we adopted that no one knew was in early pregnancy at the time of adoption. (Yes, she will be spayed!)

She took good care of the puppies for a few weeks, but now shows no interest in them at all. They are in the weaning process, and she is pushing that schedule up fast.

I have read that momma dog will teach pups not to bite too hard, intervening when things get out of hand, etc., but she isn't doing anything except letting them nurse a minture or two while she eats the rest of their food (and anyway, how can she be teaching them things when you are keeping her separated for weaning?).

So my general question is how rough and growly is okay/normal for littermates? There appears to be up to three fathers to these pups from the looks of them, so possibly more than the usual range of temperament? One pup is so much more aggressive than the others. He doesn't seem to let up and now isn't always sleeping with the others. I know playful biting/growling/wrestling is normal, but not sure how much. Should I be intervening/separating them? I did push him away at one point when it was sounding more like a dog fight than a wrestling match.

I am keeping one of the other pups so am especially interested in any negative effects the aggressive pup could have on the others.

Also, do dams tend to reconnect with their pups after weaning if sharing a home? Any suggestions for facilitating this? (She's somewhat jealous of the pups at this point, but doesn't act out, just needy.)

Thanks for any suggestions or information.
 

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So my general question is how rough and growly is okay/normal for littermates? There appears to be up to three fathers to these pups from the looks of them, so possibly more than the usual range of temperament? One pup is so much more aggressive than the others. He doesn't seem to let up and now isn't always sleeping with the others. I know playful biting/growling/wrestling is normal, but not sure how much. Should I be intervening/separating them? I did push him away at one point when it was sounding more like a dog fight than a wrestling match.
Three fathers? One litter? My understanding of biology says that is impossible. I have only had experience with one litter before, but they would fight constantly. Usually they chased and bit each other until one of them squealed, then they back of for a half second and repeat. I thought it was a lot of fighting too, but maybe it's normal. They were also very competitive about any food.
 

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I was surprised at the concept of more than one father, too! But stray dog in heat, multiple eggs to be fertilized... I guess it happens! This was first suggested to me when I posted pics of the newborn puppies here! Go figure...
 

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yes- more than one father is possible--the rest I can't help you with sorry-pictures please I would love to see the puppies and bless you for taking care of them
 

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My understanding of biology says that is impossible.
Then it's time to read up, because it's certainly possible (and common). Sometimes when a breeder wants to breed a bitch but can't pick a stud or wants the chance of progeny from both for one reason or the other, they'll breed the bitch to both males and do DNA testing in the hopes that she's got puppies from both sires.

And, while rare in humans, it is possible for eggs to be fertilized by more than one man
 

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Ditto to what Xeph said. Multiple fathers is not uncommon at all in dogs. As for human children; it probably happens more often than folks realize but isn't obvious unless it's one of the well known cases where the fathers were of different races. Looks like someone needs to read up. ;)

Jihad
and the pound puppy crew.
 

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Ditto to what Xeph said. Multiple fathers is not uncommon at all in dogs. As for human children; it probably happens more often than folks realize but isn't obvious unless it's one of the well known cases where the fathers were of different races. Looks like someone needs to read up. ;)

Jihad
and the pound puppy crew.
It definitely is impossible in humans except with certain kind of twins. You cannot have two fathers fertilize the same egg. I am 100% certain about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am fairly certain that no one is suggesting that a single puppy or a single baby can have more than one father! Only littermates or fraternal twins can have different fathers, not more than one father per baby/puppy!

Any comments on my original questions? I'll try to get some photos up later for anyone interested -- I have four kids as well so its a little crazy here!
 

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The puppies should help teach each other some basic manners (puppy bites too hard, brother yelps, pup knows it bit too hard). They will sort their own pecking order out and will wrestle pretty much as far as my knowledge goes. My 2 dogs (not littermates, not the same age) wrestle more than I would have thought could be normal. They have never had any problems.
 

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I have never heard of this phenomenon in humans (though I've heard of it in dogs). Does anyone have any links to sites with case studies?
 

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It definitely is impossible in humans except with certain kind of twins. You cannot have two fathers fertilize the same egg. I am 100% certain about that.
If there were a multiple sired litter in dogs, the puppies can't have two dads. Some would belong to one, and some to the other.

It happens in goats, pretty cool.
 
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