Pups are tattooed to help identify them in case they are lost or stolen. Microchips are great, but sometimes do not always work. They also tend to migrate which has some breeders wondering how safe they really are when they are implanted in the neck and found a year later in the rear leg. A tattoo can be removed, but a microchip is more difficult to remove. The number on the pup is like a license plate, and will lead back to the breeder and the owner if the dog is registered. For example, if you register with the CKC, the CKC registers all tattoos automatically. Some breeders microchip dogs, which means a chip is inserted into the dogs neck that, when scanned, shows an identification number. However, tattooing is usually a better method, as with the microchip, you have to have a special scanner available and you cannot tell the dog has the microchip unless you have a scanner and run it over the dog. You do not need any type of special tool to see the identification number on a tattooed dog if the tattoo is legible, though 50% of them are not done properly. For a dog that is just lost, there is a 24-hour number, to call, and anyone can find out the owner of the dog, whereas with a microchip, you would have to find a chip reader. My personal advice to pet owners is to have both. Tattoo the puppy at six to seven weeks old with a legible tattoo, AND then, if your vet recommends a microchip, have him implant one properly at six months of age, when you spay or neuter your puppy. (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that the vet scans and checks the microchip BEFORE insertion, as many are faulty.)
First, clean the area well with alcohol. The tattoo gun also needs to be very clean with alcohol. I have never had one of my puppies get a tattoo infection, BUT, I have seen others that have.
My pups were sooo good, Emily held them, and one even went to sleep.
It takes about 30 seconds to one minute per pup to do a permanent tattoo. I like to do large breeds at six weeks, and toy breeds at seven weeks.
Sassy with her six-week-old pups being goofy.
Sassy playing with her six-week-old pups.
Emily trimming Gus Gus's nails.
When trimming nails, have quick-stop on hand in case you cut a quick. Don't make a big deal of it and carry on.
This pup is six weeks old, look how BIG he is already. He is 13.2 pounds. Notice the pot belly! :)
Courtesy of MistyTrails Mastiffs
Although this section is based on a whelping of an English Mastiff, it also contains good general whelping information on large-breed dogs. You can find more whelping information in the links above. The links below tell the story of Sassy, an English Mastiff. Sassy has a wonderful temperament. She loves humans and adores children. An all-around mild mannered, wonderful Mastiff, Sassy, however, is not the best mother toward her puppies. She is not rejecting them; she will nurse them when a human places them on her to feed, however she will not clean the pups or pay any attention to them. It is as if they are not her puppies. This litter is getting mom’s milk with major human interaction, manually giving each and every pup what they need. In return, the pups will be super socialized and will make remarkable pets, however the work involved is astounding. It takes one dedicated breeder to keep this situation healthy. Thankfully this litter has just that. Read the links below to get the full story. The pages within include a wealth of information that everyone can appreciate and benefit from.