Telling you the story of the first birth

Zina had puppies four times and Gizella Ménesi was in at the birth of all, who had been our volunteer for long ages. We had a talk with her and our professional mentor, how the mother dog experienced the first birth and the period of puppies breeding.


“The mother dog instinctively knows what she has to do. We are there to help if necessary and do it if justified” – says our professional mentor, Piroska Komondi.

The mother dog opens the puppies from the caul and chews the umbilical cord. This is the best as chewing damages tissues and wound heals faster. If it takes too long time we help her. That is why we have bought an artery forceps, applied once.

If lots of puppies come we arrange them because of precaution. We take care of her not to step on to the puppies, but as our professional mentor emphasizes mother dog can handle it without us as well. We help in the cleaning process and we do routine jobs, like weighting puppies for example.

“At the birth when puppies follow each other quickly, that one comes to the front who is being borned. The mother dog focuses on him or her” – says Piroska.

Zina first birth was remarkable. Our professional mentor was there at all of the four ones, but at the first birth she was late because of 200 km distance of driving. “We had to help puppies to be born. It was not an unexpected situation as earlier we had dealt with Bengal cats and we had experience what to do” – said Gizella Ménesi.

Puppies find breasts in some minutes. The first part of breast-milk contains lots of vitamins, antibody against infection. That is found in it in the first 24 hours only. It is important to have all puppies much enough, so we take care of it.

“If I hear strange noise of any puppy’s breathing I turn him or her upside down carefully with swinging. Gravity helps to get the fluid out from the respiratory tract” – says our professional mentor.

“After the last puppy comes out the mother dog calms down, it is clearly seen. She is thankful for our help” – adds Gizella.

The first month

Zina is on 24-hours duty in the first month. She falls asleep immediately when puppies suckling. She leaves them usually three times per day, each one around maximum one and a half hour long only. She eats and relieves herself in 10 minutes. After it she comes back to her puppies and lays next to them. There may happen less leave, when puppies are teeming she returns instantly.

Mother dog help puppies defecation as licking their bellies. She controls this process to realize it around the same time, not criss-cross. There may happen if mother dog does not handle this task. In this case we fondle puppies bellies, applying wet towel. Our dog, Szellő needed some assistance. She had to learn how to care puppies. Szellő had caesarean operation at her first birth. When she woke up from anaesthesia she did not know what to do with her ten puppies. Her nursing were there with them, mother dog and puppies in the first two days, night and day.

Maybe it is not a known fact that mother dog eats more and more by degrees during breastfeeding. In the third week she may have more food, even three times more, than usually. Beside she clears away puppies defecation as nature order.

The second month

Starting from the third week puppies start to get in touch with solid food beside breast-milk and also with the outworld by degrees. Starting from the first day they grow up quite quickly. In the second month the mother dog does play with them less and less, she spends less time with them. As puppies start having solid food, breast-milk has less role in their life, but more and more role of solid food. The mother dog usually starts to separate puppies starting from the sixth week. By this time they mainly plays with each other. Around the seventh-eight week it is not enough to play with each other. They need more impact from outworld, private care, to have educator who deal with them and help to dicover new things and situations.

Zina had ten puppies last time. Left one with her who dealt with by Gizella as puppy nursing. Other puppies have also personal educators. “She nurses Dongó joyfully, plays with her. They are intetested in the same things, like the same toys. It is easier and enjoyable to nurse one puppy than ten ones” – says Gizella.

“Zina is a real “foremother”. The male dog just look at her and she become pregnant. It is good as many visually impared people look forward to guide dogs at our foundation. She treats puppies joyfully, with full of energy and infinite patience. She is highly proud of them and herself too: “I am the queen mother, admire me”, – she behaves like this. There is another side of it as well. It is better if her dog friends do not look for trouble. As they just look into the door Zina immediately has audible sign to warn them not to look for trouble” – says Gizella.

Zina will never have more puppies. She keeps learning. She has a good time as learning with her educator is a real reward. She can guide in guide-sling, so she can help us in sensitiser programs. She also tried following tracks and she handled it as joyful work. She fulfills the same excellent level as being mother.

She had 38 puppies altogether from four litters. We are happy of Zina full life.