What Happens When the Male Dog Is Around for Birth?

By Prev Info - October 10, 2022

Female dogs instinctively are protective of their puppies. Unlike human beings, dogs mate only to reproduce. Because canine reproduction is an instinctive process, the male and female dogs rarely experience any significant degree of attachment to one another. For this reason, the female dog usually does not want the male around when whelping, that is giving birth, no matter how much he might appear to desire it.

The Female Dog Prefers Quiet

Many people provide a kennel, crate or quiet corner in a bedroom to a female dog for whelping purposes. Typically, she is confined to this area for several days before she is due to whelp. If a quiet place is not provided for her, she will seek out what she perceives as a secure den, potentially in the back of a closet or cupboard, under a bed, or anyplace that is small, dark and warm. Because she chooses to be quiet and alone, she will not welcome the male’s company. She may seek to move her puppies during whelping or immediately afterward to ensure her puppies a quiet and secure place in which to grow.

Spread of Disease

Puppies are born with little to no natural immunity from disease. They do obtain a limited amount of passive immunity from their dams’ blood or through nursing over the first few days of life. This limited immunity, called “maternal immunity,” is variable and unreliable, since it depends on the amount of antibodies present in the mother’s body. Even if the male is not obviously ill, he may carry bacteria or viruses that may harm or even kill the puppies. Until the puppies have some immunity of their own, through vaccination, it is best to keep other dogs away from the dam and puppies.

Potential Conflict

Female dogs, especially those having their first litters, are protective of their puppies. As a result, they may see anyone other than the owner as being a threat to the puppies, including the male dog. The high degree of stress that the intrusion of another dog can cause may lead to aggressive behavior aimed at the intruder and puppies. This aggression can lead to fighting between the dam and the second adult dog. It might lead to the dam moving or even killing the puppies. To avoid this situation, keep the male out of the room where the puppies are being raised.

Life is Not a Movie

Some dogs do form closely bonded pairs. Males in such pairs can provide comfort to the females simply with their presence. Unlike female dogs in romanticized fictional canine relationships, however, most real-life female dogs prefer to be alone when whelping. Rather than put the female under any undue stress by allowing the male to be present while she is giving birth, wait until the pups have been delivered and the female is out on a potty run for any happy reunions.