More often than not do we hear an experienced breeder making such irresponsible comments like “let nature have its way”. No one can deny that the female dog has a very strong instinct and is capable, in most cases, solve any difficulty that might arise during birth. But that does not mean that we should just “close the door” and forget about her; however, obviously, it isn’t a time to invite all your neighbors and friends for a social gathering so they can be witnesses of “the wonders of nature”. The dog will certainly need to be comfortable, secure and protected in an adequate environment so that the birth can go about without any problems, but it is important that the person in whom she trusts be with her at all times and be able to anticipate any risky situations, acting consequently.
Usually the female dog will be able to take care of her own puppies by herself. She will do everything that she has learned (or inherited) from her wild ancestors. In those times, they used to make sure that they didn’t need any trace in the cave where they had given birth so as not to attract any predators. They would do this by eating all the residues, fluid and blood, along with the placenta in order not to give away their location. They would even transfer the puppies to another cave so that they could be safer.
Anyway, the domestic dog usually has these kinds of traits, but sometimes there are exceptions and we find ourselves faced with a rather clumsy dog which gets confused and doesn’t know how to react. This sometimes happens only with the birth of their first puppy of their first litter she is able to react and take control of the situation. However, there are others who simply do not have that motherly instinct and are incapable of assuming the responsibility or at least part of it. It is then that you must intervene.
The first thing you must do if you realize that the bitch is confused, frightened or incapable of duly reacting is liberate the puppy from the surrounding membrane, cut the umbilical cord, stimulate breathing, dry him and put him to breast-feed.