Dog Became Aggressive After Having Puppies?

October 11, 2007

A mother dog with one if her puppies.My pitbull terrier has 4 week old pups. She growls at them if they want to nurse and she has shown her teeth to one of them. She has attacked another dog in my home after having the pups. She just is not herself anymore. I am thinking that her aggression will soon cause more damage, I am thinking of having her put down and raising the pups. Is this normal from the mother?


Jae from Germantown, MD


October 11, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is not as uncommon as you would think. How old is the mother? If this is her first litter and she's young, the stress of dealing with the puppies may be too much. My German Shpeherd did the same thing when I bred her at 2 1/2 years. I hand-raised the puppies and within a few days she was her normal happy-go-lucky self. Also, be aware that mother dogs teach their puppies to be "easy" as they get older. The new puppy teeth are VERY painful I'm sure! Ask your vet if you are unsure about the behaviour, but don't put her down without exploring ALL the possibilities! She may just not be cut out to be a mother.

October 13, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

This happened to my Pom after she gave birth and at about the 6 week mark. I was told by my vet that it was the dogs way of weaning the pups and that I should be introducing them to puppy food...I would check with your vet for sure, your dog may be hormonally deficient, she may even have some sort of infection in her would certainly be worth the vet visit.


Good Luck.

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3 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

December 5, 2020

My French Bulldog has just had pups. She was absolutely fine, but has become aggressive to one of my children. I'm keeping all the children away from her now as I know this is common with new mums. However, my concern is will she stop this aggressive behaviour and go back to 'normal'? She has never been aggressive before and is the friendliest dog I've ever had, will she go back to this?

Thanks in advance.


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December 5, 20201 found this helpful
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This is normal after a dog has given birth to puppies. They are afraid that your children will hurt the dogs when they are so young. She is only trying to protect them. I would suggest for the time being until the puppies get a bit older than you try and keep the children away from the puppies.


Normally after 3 to 4 weeks the mother should feel more confident with the puppies and should allow the kids to be around them. I would take a lot of caution right now because you don't want her to attack the kids. This can be very dangerous.

There are some dogs that will continue to be aggressive and attack the children no matter how old the puppies are. In cases like this, it is best to allow the mother to take care of the puppies, try to give them away or sell them and then get her fixed. I would not allow her to have a second litter of puppies if this is the case. it is very dangerous for you and your children if the dog happens to bite one of them while she is with her puppies. You may need to get a special cage for the puppies that she can go in and the children will stay away from for right now.


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December 5, 20201 found this helpful
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This is very common behavior, unfortunately. It is best to keep everyone away from the mom and pups except for one person (you) who will become the trusted figure. She is acting on her natural protective instincts.


Watch her carefully as the pups age and she should return to her usual personality. If not, talk to your vet and they can look into giving her something (either medical or natural) to help.

I know my mom's dog had to be on a med for about 6 months after she had pups and then she was fine--that was over 10 years ago!


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December 6, 20201 found this helpful
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This behavior is normal for some dogs but not all dogs and it could be dangerous as this mother is over protective of her babies and you cannot really change that. This problem does usually resolve itself after the puppies grow and start roaming where the mom cannot control them but how long will it take? No way to know for sure..


I would say to isolate this mother and her pups so no children can be around her at all. You should continue to be her best buddy and continue to pick up the pups as this is very important to the future personality of the puppies.
You should let the mother see you holding and loving the pups and when possible slip away with a pup and take it to the children to pet. Be sure they know how precious these little ones are and do everything slowly and gently. If the puppy starts to cry return it to the mother immediately and pet and talk to the mother when you return her pup.
This will cause the children's 'smell' to be on the pups and will help the mother when it's time for her to let the puppies go their way.
If there appears to be one child that your dog favors you may be able to let that child sit in the room with the mother and pups but not touch for a while. Even 5-10 minutes will help.


You can also take a piece or two of the children's worn clothing and add it to the mother's bedding.
No one can tell you how long this will take because every situation is different.
Please be patient and keep taking pups to the children to hold so they will want to be around them later on.

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July 1, 2019

My dog had a litter of pups last year in August. Since then she has been aggressive (barking, running up to people/dogs, and launching at random people). The weird thing I can't understand about it is, it's not towards everyone and it's not constantly.

We kept one of the pups with us and at first I put this down to her protecting the pup. I thought she would grow out of it once she realised she was safe and staying with us, but this wasn't the case. She even does it when the pup isn't with us, so now I am trying a muzzle her to see if this can help calm her down.

Any advice would be great as I really would like to get her back to the way she was before, I was wondering if having her neutered might help?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 1, 20190 found this helpful

I would consult with the vet. The pregnancy and childbirth may have altered her hormones, just like in humans.


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July 3, 20190 found this helpful

It is not uncommon for female dogs to become more aggressive after having pups. Neutering will help. Talk it over with your Vet because besides neutering there are other things that help too.

December 19, 20190 found this helpful

My dog is the same way and its been 2 years since she had the pups and she is still aggressive towards people she doesnt know and other dogs

June 8, 20210 found this helpful

Spayed not neutered


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
June 8, 20210 found this helpful

Interestingly enough, it appears the term "neutered" is applicable to both sexes. Here's a Wikipedia article that talks about it a bit more.

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November 9, 2018

My Pittie had puppies 8 weeks ago. She has never snapped at my kids or me for that matter. But she snapped at one of the pups two weeks ago over a toy. No harm done, corrective behavior. But today I went to feed the last two pups and her, the pups were excited and went over to her as she was eating, and she attacked one. Not just corrective, the puppy was bleeding and shaking badly. I don't want to resort to letting her go (putting her down), but I'm scared out of my mind.

Please help, and no bashing please.


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November 9, 20181 found this helpful

Aww...poor pup and mom. I would talk to your vet ASAP. Today if possble and separate mom and the babies (NOW) and hand feed them until you can get an answer from the vet. You should be able to buy mom's milk for pups at a high end pet store or the vet.

Sometimes mom knows something is wrong with the pup and tries to euthanize it (prayers that is not the case), sometimes the mom gets (like people, post partum depression). The vet can give you the best input.

Prayers for all. Post back what the vet says.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
November 9, 20181 found this helpful

You need to talk to the vet. She may have a hormone inbalance that is causing her to behave this way.

November 11, 20180 found this helpful

Yes you should


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November 18, 20180 found this helpful

it would be good to know her history, has she been adopted from an abusive situation? Has she been aggressive towards other dogs?

one problem with Pitts is that they have a tendency to be great with people but terrible towards other dogs; they have been bred to be thus and this generally is made worse by abusive early conditioning

you probably will have to separate them from her, get her spayed, and raise the pups yourself by hand and then rehome them. Or you could rehome her I suppose but her life prospects will be greatly diminished/she will probably end up languishing in a shelter or be put down because nobody wants an aggressive dog

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