Why did this dog ignore her pup?

End of January 2021,
Bhandup, Mumbai

A stray female dog gave birth to five puppies in a building complex under a car. She wouldn’t let anyone come near her and her puppies. She only left for food. After the puppies started moving on their own she started moving around again. When the puppies were able to run and play with each other there was one who couldn’t keep up with it’s siblings. It kept getting weaker and weaker. We took care of it, at first we tried to help it by attempting to keep it near it’s mother but she would just growl or move away from it. No matter how many time the puppy was kept closer to its mother she just ignored it. She wouldn’t nurse it, feed it or even come near it. It was like she knew it wasn’t going to survive. We kept it at home. We did take it to the vet, many times, no tests could be done because it was not even a month old. It’s health kept deteriorating, it could barely walk or eat, it had no energy to even move. It would just keep lying in one place not able to move or even walk.Just like that it died lying there. The question was: Did she know that it was going to die ? Is that why she ignored it? Did she feel grief? Why did she behave the way she did?


I’m a dog lover.
Yes @Mahek ! We had a German Shepherd female that abandoned and even threw the puppy downstairs once she found it didn’t have hind legs.
In my opinion dogs do that to conserve resources, most importantly food (milk). In the jungle lionesses abandon their cubs if the food is scarce. Desperate times call for desperate measures and sometimes mothers will eat their offspring, an unfortunate event in the animal world. This type of cannibalism is called filial cannibalism .

Rats, along with other rodents are known to commit infanticide. They often have large litters of baby rats, or pups, which typically means that many of these young may be malnourished, sick or deformed. Mother rats may kill the weaker offspring in order to provide more resources to her healthier offspring.

Even for puppies many things are on first come basis. The strongest puppy will drink most of the milk by reaching first and also by pushing away others. Its Survival of the fittest!!.

Humans have a different value set. Such things appear strange even abhorrent to us. This is what makes us HUMAN!!!


I am a little bit scared of dogs and don’t know much about them. I have a doubt. Why do some dogs try to bite people while some dogs don’t do that? And does father dog ever care for his children?


The simplest answer would be ‘PERSONALITY’ - both ours and theirs.

Some dogs are nervous around strangers, some are scared of humans, others are just trying to save their human companions (at least in their own opinion) while some are trying to defend their territory and some may be startled. All these are potential scenarios for a bite.

Mostly its the humans who are at fault.

We don’t respect their privacy, we don’t their respect their rights, we don’t respect their space, we try to grab everything considering it our right being the most intelligent and (in our view) the most superior race on the earth. we do that to all other animals as well.
Dogs have their own personalities depending on why they were bred. Dogs were created by humans some 13000 years ago ( we like to play GOD most of the times) as companions and over the years we have them in different sizes, personalities, functions and purposes. They can be highly protective, highly intelligent and independent thinkers!, full of stamina, full of courage.

Take an example the most common breed of dogs that people like the most - the German Shepherds. They were bred to run, protect the sheep, herd them. They were bred to be highly intelligent and take decisions on their own in the absence of their human companions. Good for sheep farmers, bad for us.
We dont give them enough exercise or stimulation. they end up assuming leadership role and try to protect everything they (we) own. Such a situation is always a recipe for disaster as they tend to take decisions without our consent.

Take it this way -
If a stray dog bites - we are at fault
if a pet dog bites - we are at fault.

I am attaching following links for reference :



These can clarify some of the confusion.

You can also start watching Caesar Milan - the dog whisperer for better understanding of their personalities and why its important for humans to be the leader.

Hope it helps.


Thanks for your answer. I’ve got a new perspective now. I forgot that dogs are living organisms just like us and no one has told me till now that dogs have also different personalities just like us. The article you shared clearly explains many things related to dogs.


We had a pet dog named Apsi. She was a female Pug. She was a very sweet dog. The best dog I have seen.
My father made strict rules - No climbing the bed and sofa, She was also not allowed in the bedroom. She slept on her small bed in the outside room. She was very cute and welcomed all to our house. We took her out every day to meet other children in the colony. She was always very friendly with other children and everyone else also.
But due to some reasons, my father’s cousin took her to Delhi. There she used to sleep on the bed with uncle and also climb sofas. Sometimes uncle’s wife and children slept on the floor and Apsi slept in the bed with uncle. After 2-3 months she became very aggressive. She would only listen to uncle. she bit his son many times. She also bit his wife and doodhwala. Now She is like a T-rex. She barks at everyone. Uncle becomes happy when he sees her barking and says that earlier she was very fearful and now she can defend the house. People like aggressive dogs and think that quiet ones are useless and I think this is wrong opinion.
These are the two personalities of the same dog. May father says that we need to treat a dog like a dog and not like a human. In dog world the Alfa dog sits on high ground. So when the dog sleeps on the bed with us it starts to think that it is the leader of the house. So it treats others badly. Its personality can change with the situations in the house or according to the way we treat a dog.