When I had the rescue dogs here whelping, they were so freaked out they were trying to eat there pups. It does happen. One of my females had a not so thrify pup, and she keep taking it out of the whelping box. I think she knew it would not survive. I think your friend is going to have to have someone watching these pups 24/7 until they are a couple of weeks old. Such is life when raising pups. Sleeping is such a over rated luxury.
He's your friend,your partner,your defender your dog.You are his life,his love,his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.You owe it to him to worthy of such devotion
Tell her to have the whole litter checked by the vet. It's been my experience that sometimes a bitch will take out a sick pup because she knows it's going to die, just as Windy said. I have had that happen to me.
I had a Dalmatian that had 12 pups in the litter, and the next morning, there were only 10. I called the vet to make sure I wasn't crazy and they said yes you brought in 12 pups...Mom ate them to thin down the herd to a number that she could manage. I had to take the pups away from her at night until they were past the "bite sized" satge.
There could be a less morbid reason for this. It is possible the mom does not like the whelping area that was chosen for her and prefers a smaller, darker out of the way place like the closet. Given time, she would have probably moved the entire litter in there.
It happened to me once in a while. The moms just moves them to a "better safer place". I once woke up one morning to find the whole litter and mom gone. After thoroughly searching every possible and few impossible hiding places throughout the house, no trace of pups or mom could be found. we eventually found them all a couple of hours later in a very deep hole in the ground at the edge of the property under a utility shade. We had to send my 10 year old down the hole to retrieve them all. Apparently she dug a huge deep den and moved them all over night with out anyone noticing.
If I seem to have a superiority complex, it is because you make it so easy.