Happy Mother's Day!
SPRING IS IN THE AIR HERE IN THE UK (…AT LAST!!)
…and so it’s the time of year for us to celebrate the Mothers in our lives: the Mums,the Grandmas and the dog-mommas too!
Why is it people mis-gender dogs as Male so often? It’s common-sense that half of the dogs that you meet will be female… otherwise there would be no puppies, right?!
It’s a time to reflect on how much a doggy mum, or ‘Dam’, gives her pups and how important that time is to help them develop not just physically, but also behaviourally. Mum’s love is really important to all pup-sters in their early days (see below for more).
A big high-paws to all of those amazing doggy mums who create those gorgeous puppies we all love so much
Did you know?
The largest litter of puppies ever recorded was a staggering 24 – coincidentally very close to us in Cambridgeshire, UK! Not only local but one of our favourite big-girl breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff. Since then, a few have got close to the record but none have surpassed it in the last 15 years. There’s a particularly gorgeous litter of 16 Guide Dogs here
The ‘mum’ in 101 Dalmatians was called Perdita (which means ‘little lost one’ in Spanish). In the first 1961 Disney movie, she was voiced by Lisa Daniels, from Birmingham!
Most female dogs could deliver around 30 litters in a lifetime, which means around 180 pups! The maximium is thought to be around 3 per year for adult female dogs today – although that sounds like a huge amount of work to us.
Researchers in the UK found that female dogs are expected to live longer than male dogs, but really not by much — the average life expectancy for female dogs is 11.41 years, while the average life expectancy for male dogs is 11.07 years.
Mum knows best
Time with ‘mum’ as a puppy is really, really important. She teaches the youngsters lots of things and won’t be shy to give them a little ‘nip’ when they’re being too mouthy with her, or boisterous with their siblings. It’s why is recommended that puppies stay with Mum for at least 8 weeks (our friends at Battersea have more on this, see below).
The mom, or Dam, not only nourishes her puppies, not only keeps them clean and safe, but as they get up onto their feet, as they interact with her and each other, she teaches them how to play, how to have good manners, and how to respect their elders.
Her milk also delivers all sorts of nutrition and of course she’ll be passing on all of her breed instincts and her own training and behaviour to her pups through guidance, reward and control. It’s one of the things that helps dogs to be naturally pack-minded, but also look to authority and leadership to be comfortable (which is where the human mums – and dads – come in later)
Read all about it