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Author Topic: Carrying puppies and poking belly button = death
snopes
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Comment: Is it an old wives tale that if you hold or carry a new born
puppy before it opens its eyes or able to walk that it will die?

If you stick your finger deep into your belly button you will die?

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ILS
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The first one does not make any sense. As I'm sure vetenaries do this all the time. Some care, I'm sure, is required, but just holding and carrying should not be a problem.

The second one, I guess if you did it vilently enough to nick or tear some of your entestine, that could lead to a very serious infection, but OWWWW!

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
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I don't know specifically about puppies, but i do know that other animals might not care for their young if overhandled by people.

(And in some cases, the father would eat the young)

Handling babies can also affect their psychology, and cause behavioural changes, i don't know of any cases where a behaviour change would cause them not to nurse for example, but it might be possible.

Of course it's probably jsut an exaggeration for the puppies, but i still would advise to let Mom take care of her newborns, don't interfere anymore than necessary.

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Doug4.7
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Well if you stick you finger into your belly button far enough that it comes out the back, that would likely be a problem.

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And now for something completely different...

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MaxGunnar
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young pups are routinely handled for worming, space maintenance and health checks. They are also "chipped" or tattooed at about eight weeks of age.
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DougW
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quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
I don't know specifically about puppies, but i do know that other animals might not care for their young if overhandled by people...

Which ones?
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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
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I've never had a dog give birth but I know from experience that handling doesn't kill kittens. I have handled kittens stiff wet from the womb (the miracle of kitten birth is terribly wet and nasty when it takes place under your covers at 4 am, but the little blind mewlers are adorable in a drowned rat sort of way)

I doubt a pet dog would avoid the puppies for smelling like the dog's owner, dog's like things that smell like their owner.

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'Hello, assorted humanoid strangers. You are standing casually in our forest. This bewilders us.' Blatherskite

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MaxGunnar
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I think I've read in "In the Company of Wolves" that some shewolves will walk away from a litter that's been handled by people
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Xia
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quote:
Originally posted by MaxGunnar:
young pups are routinely handled for worming, space maintenance and health checks. They are also "chipped" or tattooed at about eight weeks of age.

They are also handled for socialization purposes. If you didn't handle them at all it could have a negative effect.
In fact, results of the miltary's "Super Dog/Biosensor" program show that handling a young puppy (in specific ways) has a very positive effect on their later personality/socialization/temperament/health. In this program puppies are picked up and handled DAILY starting at three days old. The military developed this program in hopes of creating superior canine soldiers, but what they found was that it resulted in more well-adjusted, active and exploratory dogs and they also saw improvement in cardiovascular health, immune health, stress response, and disease resistance. It didn't necessarily create superior military dogs, though.
Many dog breeders now use this program on their puppies, and I've never heard of any puppies dying because of it.

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
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quote:
Originally posted by MaxGunnar:
I think I've read in "In the Company of Wolves" that some shewolves will walk away from a litter that's been handled by people

Probably not before making the people regret handling the litter.

[Big Grin]

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'Hello, assorted humanoid strangers. You are standing casually in our forest. This bewilders us.' Blatherskite

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Errata
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Its not a good idea to handle newborn pups more than you have to, but it certainly won't kill them. I think this probably falls under the category of exaggerations that are told to children because its easier than relying on their good judgement.
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MaxGunnar
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here's the web page for you Xia

http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/achiever.html

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jessboo
The First USA Noel


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I've heard that cats, dogs etc. will abandon their offspring if they have a smell on them, even if it's the smell of their owner. The only way they can tell that the (for instance) kitten is theirs is by its' smell. Human smell will overpower that, the mother won't recognise its young, and will abandon it. If not looked after by the owner, then it would die. So it's sort of true, but holding a puppy won't kill it directly. Unless you gave it a squeeze...

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Donovan
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I've handled a number of kittens who were less than a day old (some less than 5 min old, mama's pick the most inconvient spots) and haven't seen any sign of adverse affects.

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Illius me paenitet, dux (Latin for fun and business)

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The Pikey Snow Queen
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quote:
Originally posted by DougW:
quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
I don't know specifically about puppies, but i do know that other animals might not care for their young if overhandled by people...

Which ones?
Mice definitely do. It'd be the mother though(not the father)who eats them. I have personally witnessed a mother mouse eat her young, it was bloody horrible! If they suspect the litter won't survive, they will eat them to re-absorb the energy used to create them. I think all rodents do it, they're not exactly sentimental about their offspring. [Eek!]

Never heard of a dog or cat doing it though.

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MaxGunnar
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There have been cases where bitches have eaten thier young. Ed Frawley of www.leerburg.com had one of his do that. Of course she was immediatley spayed after that
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The Pikey Snow Queen
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Nice!

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Brosandi. Hendumst hringi
Hldumst hendur
Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

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Raven Waift
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by jessboo:
I've heard that cats, dogs etc. will abandon their offspring if they have a smell on them, even if it's the smell of their owner.

When my kits were born we were the first thing to touch them (I helped them out of the sac), and we were constantly playing with them and holding them. Mom just got irritated that we wouldn't leave them alone and so she moved them- we then stuck her box and the kits in my closet and limited kitten time- if only for Mom's sanity.

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have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
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When my MIL's new corgi had puppies, I handled them when they were barely 24 hours old. I'd never seen newborn puppies of any kind before, so it was a new experience for me! Corgi-mum kept a close eye on me but I never took the pups out of her sight.

She certainly never rejected them, but she was a rather careless mother - she'd be nursing the puppies and as soon as she saw someone walk in she'd rush up to greet them, leaving the pups behind! (Not sure if that was the inexperience of a first-timer, or just cluelessness. She's not a terribly bright dog!)

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Whaler on the Moon
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A bit of hijack, but was the ony one that read the title and got the mental image of someone suffering instant death by holding a puppy and touching their belly at the same time?

Yeah, i probably was.

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A cat shall lead the dumb, and the dumb shall rejoice. But of course, they shall misspell their banners. - Get Fuzzy

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Mosherette
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No, I'm afraid you weren't.

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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ravynwriter
I Saw Three Shipments


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Actually, this is a total old wives tale. Neither dogs, nor cats, nor mice, will abandon or eat their young because humans have handled them. Even wild birds will not, despite most people's beliefs to the contrary. I have first hand knowledge on this.

A wild bird will not abandon her nest if her young smells like a human. She MAY abandon her nest if it has been altered or disturbed to the point that she believes there is a predator in the immediate area. But many many times in the past I have found baby birds knocked out of a destroyed nest by a storm, built them a new nest out of sewing baskets or old easter baskets, put the babies in, hung them in the same place, and the mother came back and raised them without so much as an eyelid batted.

Any good dog breeder will not only handle the puppies when they are only minutes old, they will be there to help the mother deliver. Sometimes they will clip the cord themselves, peel off the remnants of the birthing sack, rub the newborn, clean out its airways of fluid and dry it off before giving it back to the mother. Same thing with cats and kittens. Even feral cats will not abandon their kittens simply due to handling by humans. If nothing else, they'll just move them to a safer hiding spot.

Having bred mice for many years I can also tell you that I have handled newborn mice that were still wet from being born, and every single day thereafter until they were fully grown, on MANY litters. This results in extremely friendly and tame mice. In all that time, I've only had two cases of cannibalism. In the first case, the mother was young and ate the babies as they were being born...she didn't know what they were and was inexperienced. In the second case, a mother with a large litter ate two of the pups that were fairing poorly and not growing. Mother mice can sense when a baby is sick, malformed, or otherwise not thriving. They will eat that one to regain energy to devote to the rest of the litter. Or, if for some reason the mother mouse has reason to believe that resources are scarce and she may not be able to raise a litter to maturity, she may eat the whole litter. In her mind, she can make more, but she needs to survive first. Better than all the babies and the mother starving to death.

If you handled a litter of mice and the mother then ate them, its more than likely simply coincidence...she likely would have eaten them anyway. You still want to take precautions of course. No strong perfumes or soaps...this is more for the hairless babies' sensative skin than because it will incite cannibalism.

I've also handled newly born rabbits since the moment they dropped in the hay. Same thing. They grew up just fine, and extremely friendly and tame.

In nature, it would be silly for a mother to abandon her offspring because the offspring smell like a predator. Unless that predator was laying on them for hours on end (unlikely, as the predator would eat them before that) enough of the baby's smell is going to remain to let Mom know exactly what and who it is. Also, remember...animals have eyes too. They do recognize their offspring by more than just smell. Size, color, predictable motion, all tell a mother 'this is baby'.

The smell of a predator/human being is more likely to cause a wild mother to move their offspring to a safer location rather than kill or abandon it...dogs and cats consider us part of the family. Issues are usually a result of health problems they can sense in a baby, or simple bad mothering. Like people, animals can be bad mothers too.

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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by ravynwriter:
Having bred mice for many years I can also tell you that I have handled newborn mice that were still wet from being born, and every single day thereafter until they were fully grown, on MANY litters. This results in extremely friendly and tame mice. In all that time, I've only had two cases of cannibalism.

I am guessing the mice that you bred were friendly themselves, and used to human contact?
If they are used to people they will not be stressed (or as stressed) by you handling their babies. Stressing the mother can in fact result in her killing the babies. Handling of the babies can cause stress, especially if the mother has just given birth recently and is already stressed, and is not friendly towards humans or not used to handling. The mother may also feel threatened (if she is not used to humans) and that can also cause her to kill the babies.

As for wild birds, birds sense of smell is very poor so they probably would not even notice a change if you had handled their babies.

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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ravynwriter
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Handling the babies no. But I think she'd notice if the nest was suddenly an easter basket.

And yes, most of the mice I bred were from my own lines and friendly with people. However, the very first litter I had was not bred by me. The mouse was a pregnant feeder, pulled out of an overcrowded feeder bin at a pet store. Pet store feeder mice are notoriously not socialized and extremely stressed. She gave birth the night after I 'rescued' her, and I handled both her and the babies from day one. She was a bit skittish, but did not eat a single one of the babies, who all grew up to be extremely friendly.

I'm not saying it doesn't happen at all, but to put down the blanket statement 'handling by humans will cause *insert animal here* to abandon or eat its young' is as preposterous as saying 'a teenager getting pregnant will always result in a child wrapped in plastic and abandoned in a dumpster'. Yes, it happens, but due to bad or immature mothering and inexperience, not due to the handling alone.

But yes, dogs and cats not only can be handled right from birth, they SHOULD be. It does produce far more friendly, well-adjusted, and even-tempered animals.

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LemonLimeade
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I can't comment much on dogs, but we adopted a pregnant cat that had been abandoned at a shelter (she is the sweetest and most beautiful cat I've ever seen, if not very bright) and she ended up having three litters. With each delivery she would cry and cry if we weren't right there in the room with her and would present her belly, not being happy until we'd gently rub it for her. With each litter there was always one or two that we had to break the sac and help clean their noses and mouths of fluid. A couple needed a little vigorous rubbing to get them going. Thereafter, from the very first day, the kittens got a fair amount of holding time, between our children and ourselves. The mother really seemed to encourage it, and when we'd go to put the kitten back, she'd nuzzle us, nuzzle the little drowned-rat-looking kitty, and happily go back to nursing it. Our other older female cat also helped raise them, teaching them to use the litter (the mom just wouldn't do it), washing them frequently (another thing mom didn't do much), and playing with them...it was pretty funny because with the first litter the older cat liked to roughhouse with them, but then they got bigger and played too rough for her tastes, so with the next she made sure that when they got rowdy she would gently hold them down for a minute until they calmed down. So even their play ended up being a bit more reserved. They all turned out to be wonderful, very friendly pets, though the one we still have is so docile he's actually lazy, does many things in slow-motion, and is pretty non-predatorial - he prefers to gently play with and actually "talk to" squirrels and birds than chase or hurt them, and birds often pick on him. He's neutered but if he weren't I think he might be gay, he's so fabulous [Smile]

Puppies I've never had, but I've seen vet-assisted births on television, where the vets would immediately take the little guys, clean off the sacs, and vigorously rub them to get them breathing. Sometimes even breathe into their little noses. It seems if holding them were dangerous, they would know.

It looks here from the comments like the less domesticated, or less socialized (to humans) animals have more risk of having a problem with their babies being handled by people. With exceptions of course.

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Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.

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Xia
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quote:
Originally posted by LemonLimeade:
I can't comment much on dogs, but we adopted a pregnant cat that had been abandoned at a shelter (she is the sweetest and most beautiful cat I've ever seen, if not very bright) and she ended up having three litters. With each delivery she would cry and cry if we weren't right there in the room with her and would present her belly, not being happy until we'd gently rub it for her.

OT but wow, it's nice to hear that this stray pregnant kitty is not just weird... The kitty I helped my friends take in is due any day now, and she is constantly wanting people to pet her, especially pet or even just put their hands on her big stomach. Which is odd, because for most of her pregnancy she was grumpy and annoyed with humans (we thought she was just grumpy until we realized she was pregnant.)

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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The dog myth is flase unless you got pissed at it and started to become violent against the dog, but lets not go there! Another way is not caring for it properly and its neck is fragile.

Belly button myth, maybe if it was a sharp knife or you fell down from the second floor on your stomach with the finger in there, it can puncture through and you can die of internal bleeding.

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Joseph Z

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LemonLimeade
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Maybe this myth developed from parents who told their overly curious children it was dangerous. As in, the kids just wouldn't stop picking up the puppies and the parents told them something a bit extreme to get them to leave the pups alone more.

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Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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I would ask "Justanswer.com" for a pets page but paying $9 $15 $30 is not my thing.

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Joseph Z

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LyndaD
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We raised Yorkshire Terriers when I was growing up. My mother ans I assisted at the births, including cleaning puppies off, cutting the cord and settling them in with the mom. Never had any puppies abandoned, killed or eaten.
Since someone brought up cats... the cat I had while in high school actually held off having her kittens until I got home from school. She then meowed insistently until I followed her back to my room and promptly gave birth to three kittens on my bed. They came so fast she didin't have time to attend to one before the next one came along, so I helped them out of the sac and cleaned off their faces so they could breathe.
I could see parents telling little kids this to make them leave the puppies alone.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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