Join Date: Apr 2007
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Mothering instinct, Geoff. She wants to see, and check on them, but does not want to feed them. They look to be of an age where they have teeth and will be eating solids. Her udder was not that pronounced so they may even be mostly weaned. The person with the cameral thought it an amusing thing to film but I doubt the mother, or the puppies, found it amusing.
Puppies do learn to deal with frustration by the mother standing up and moving away while they are feeding. That is a normal part of their development. I had to advise the breeder of my dog to let the mother stand up and move away from her puppies. She was telling the bitch off for not feeding them as and when they wanted feeding. That happens at the beginning, but as the pups grow the mother will cut short a feed or refuse to feed. The puppies feel frustrated but learn to deal with it. This is a good emotion for them to learn to deal with.
The puppies in the video were learning to be afraid when another dog looks at them (if you watch the mother she looks at them first). This is not something you want a puppy to learn because it can lead to reactive behaviour later in life i.e. another dog looks at them and they retrieve a memory of being attacked by their mother which invokes a fear response. In order to deal with a fear response the brain goes into fight/flight, though a puppy may use "freeze" which is what you see in the video. Some dogs carry the freeze response forward into adult life but most invoke the adult fight/flight response to a scary situation.
Funnily enough there is a Golden Retriever in our village that still "freezes" when it sees another dog.