Male dogs may be loving companions and friends to your family but they are not good Fathers. You may see them snuggling with puppies but generally, they do this because they are forced to coexist with them.
Male dogs do not make great fathers because of several reasons. One would be because of us. Pet owners nurture puppies and they take away the responsibility of the male dogs to provide for the family. We answered more of your dad dog questions below to help you understand why male dogs behave this way.
Do Dogs Have a Sense of Fatherhood?
To answer this question, you have to know the background of their closest relative which is the wolves. Wolves are led by the alpha pair, the dad and the mom. They command all the pups that have not created their own wolf pack yet. The pack includes the young ones, the newborns, and those that have not joined with another wolf to form a new pack.
The dad and mom wolf tandem lead the pack because they are generally their parents. They teach and help the pack get food and protect the young. The parents nurture their pups the way most normal family animals do. Until the male pups become dads, they never leave their pack.
The dogs’ roots help them have a sort of sense of fatherhood. Dogs in the wild still have this cognitive ability but most domesticated dogs do not have an idea of how to father their babies.
Dog owners always have good intentions in taking care of their dog buddies but unconsciously they are taking the place of male dogs to put food on the table. Because pet owners love their furry friends so much, the puppies easily receive food and affection from them. Dogs today are now being recircuited to not have a sense of fatherhood during their lifetime.
Will a Male Dog Protect His Puppies?
Male dogs react differently to their puppies. Some become playful with them while others become aggressive upon seeing their litter. Male dogs are well- aware that there is a new set of dogs arriving at the house but there are not enough studies that prove whether they recognize their puppies or not.
Dog owners must not take their eyes away from the male dogs and their puppies in the first instance of meeting each other. It is safe to assume that male dogs will not protect their puppies so you need to be careful of introducing them to the male dogs in the house. This is especially true if they feel threatened or jealous as the pet owners give more attention to the puppies compared to what they are currently receiving from them.
Some male dogs may just outright ignore the puppies. They may be indifferent and even step on them accidentally. This lack of interest can be dangerous to the puppies because it may cause permanent damage to them.
Do Male Dogs Care for Their Babies?
Female dogs naturally care for their babies especially in the first 15 days after birth. They may even become overprotective with their litter of puppies and can be very aggressive at times. They provide breast milk and take care of them until they grow up.
For male dogs, however, it is a different matter. Since domestic male dogs are not raised to care for their pups, they can be aloof and not care for their babies at all. They can be affectionate with their owners and their children but they give little to no effort in caring for their babies.
You may see dogs that cuddle with puppies but it may not be because they recognize them as their own. Dogs are naturally gentle creatures. They can also be very compassionate to puppies. Their environment also influences them to care for other dogs
Should a Father Dog be Around the Puppies?
To make sure that the babies are safe, you must keep the father dog away from the puppies for at least two to three weeks after birth. It is mainly to prevent the puppies from getting any potential infection from them.
For older pups, you may allow the father dog to get closer to them but make sure to keep an eye over them consistently. Male dogs behave differently toward pups. Some may get aggressive while others may instantly get along with them.
Fatherly presence may also give a boost to the behavior of the puppies because they have somewhat of a model to emulate and imitate. Let the father dogs become playful with the puppies as long as they are fully weaned.
Take note though that you should make sure that the mother dog does not feel threatened by the presence of the father with the puppies. They can also be defensive toward them.
Why Do Dad Dogs Hate Their Puppies?
Dad dogs hate their puppies for a number of reasons. The first is jealousy. Male dogs that have been around the house alone for a long time may feel threatened when a new batch of puppies becomes part of the family. Dogs can be attention-seekers. If they feel that the attention that they receive diminishes, they may get frustrated and snap at the puppies.
Another reason is anxiety. Father dogs may get agitated when pups get too close to their personal space. The puppies that are harassing the male dogs may attack the puppies especially if they do not feel the authority of the pet owners over them.
Do Male Dogs Miss Their Puppies?
Since there is no proof that male dogs recognize their own puppies, it is also safe to assume that they do not miss them. But this does not mean that male dogs do not miss other dogs. If male dogs have bonded well with the puppies for a long time, they may still miss them.
If you are worried that the father dog will be sad if you re-home their puppies, you can take comfort knowing that they do not have the paternal instinct to miss their babies.
Will a Male Dog Hurt His Puppies?
A lot of pet owners have seen male dogs attack their puppies. The main reason is that dogs can be territorial. If they see their personal space being taken by the puppies, then they will do anything to protect it. Hurting puppies is not part of the instinct of male dogs but it is caused by the territorial invasion.
You may want to introduce the puppies to the father slowly. Getting them together in a room is a small step. Then, you may gradually put them closer together to observe how each behaves.
What Do Dog Fathers Do?
Domesticated dogs do not take themselves up as fathers. They often let the mom dogs nurture and raise the babies into adulthood. The main role of male dogs as providers of the pack is taken away by us, the pet owners. Supposedly and instinctively, they are the ones that will hunt and get food. But today, they are just seen as affectionate and loving creatures that give friendship to humans and their families.
Do Dogs Recognize Their Fathers?
Puppies, technically, do not recognize their fathers. But this does not mean that they do not recognize familiar faces. According to canine studies about face recognition, it was found out that dogs can discern the face of their owners from strangers. This study was also applied to dogs in the same household. Dogs that see a familiar face stare longer compared to unknown ones.
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