Fostering mom and pups have a question

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love my family- but strangers- beware
Barked: Wed Jun 27, '12 8:08am PST 
I would normally just call the shelter that I am fostering for but the wonderful lady in charge is out sick and nobody else knows. The shelter called and asked me if I could foster a mom Chihuahua and her two 5 week old pups. We said we would take them but I have never fostered the mom with the pups usually pups that were to young to be adopted that were abandoned. Long story short my question is about the mom and pottying. When is it ok for the mom to leave the pups to go outside to potty? They are now at the house and set up the pups go on the potty pads and the mom did once, but she won't poo. Nobody knows much about them except they were on the kill list and time was up yesterday so we took them. Could she be housetrained and not wanting to go in the house now that the pups are a little older? Little advice on if I can take her outside yet. The pups are still nursing but eating the can food the shelter gave me and drinking water out of a bowl. Thanks in advance.
Ch. Ali, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!
Barked: Wed Jun 27, '12 11:29am PST 
At five weeks she definitely needs to have time away from those babies. I fix my puppy pen so that the Mom can climb out on her own, and from the time the pups are about three weeks old, the Mom spends most of her time OUTSIDE the litter, either lying beside the puppy pen or on her favorite dog bed with the other dogs.
I start putting the mother outside to relieve herself from the day the pups are first born. Usually I need to take them outside on a leash for the first three or four days but after that they go out four or five times during the day and at least once during the night. By the time those pups are eating on their own the mother usually just hops in four or five times each day to nurse them and to clean them, then hops right back out again. Within a week or so of their eating solid food the Mom only plays with them several times a day and has them completely weaned on her own.