When Can A Puppy Leave Its Mom?

eleven puppies with their mom

Most breeders prefer to release the puppy from their mom too early; they want to save themselves the effort of dealing with the newly active puppies. And to reduce the expenses of keeping the puppy two or three weeks more.

So, sometimes we might want to ask ourselves, when can a puppy leave his mom? What if we released the puppy too early? Is it harmful to the health of the puppies? How can we deal with a misbehaving pulpy due to early separation?

A puppy can leave its mom when he is 8 weeks old. However, Puppies can miss lots of things, so it is not recommended. It is better to have a puppy stay with his mother until he is 12 weeks. At this age, he is familiar with all his surroundings, and the puppy would be ready to interact with other dogs and humans.

When Should Puppies Leave Their Mums?

There are two points of view in this respect. Professional breeders prefer puppies to go to their new homes at the age of twelve weeks.

However, other breeders allow puppies to leave their mom at the age of eight weeks. So they won’t have to deal with the increasing mobility of the puppies, as well as the added cost of several weeks to feed the puppies on dry food.

Well, their point is: when puppies are weaned at the age of seven weeks, they start eating solid food, and they don’t need to be nursed from their mom anymore. All right then, what’s the benefit of leaving the puppy for more months with its mom and siblings?

These additional months are crucial in the formation of the puppy’s socialization behavior, personality traits, and skills, which is essential as a foundation of the puppy’s behavior in the future.

These puppies will be more balanced emotionally and easy going.

Additionally, these months will allow the puppy to take its first two-stage vaccinations, which will help him to face and resist infections from the outside world.

What Happens If You Take A Puppy Away From Its Mother Too Soon?

As mentioned, the first few weeks of the puppy’s life form its behavior and skills and personality traits for the rest of its life. But how does a mother dog do this?

Physical contact is vital to the process of bonding between the mother dog and her puppies. You will notice that she spends much one-to-one time with each. She licks them frequently, which will get them acquainted with the power of touch that leads to a feeling of security and safety.

In addition to the puppy living in the warmth and comfort of his siblings would develop a positive relationship with other dogs later on and affects its socialization habits.

At a later stage, when their senses are fully active. They start moving and investigating the world around them, which helps them to interact more with people.

In this stage, they begin learning about the position of a dominant dog (their mother). And they will start to respect commands, as well as appropriate and inappropriate behavior. While doing this, they learn to communicate, bark, and chew at things together with acceptable behavior of their siblings.

What Are the Disadvantages Of Separating A Puppy Too Early From His Mother?

Most mother dogs become reluctant to nurse their puppies at the age of 4-6 months, as their tiny teeth become razor-sharp at that age.

Breeders now will offer dry puppy food moisture with little water. But the early separation from their mother may cause significant problems. It will add more difficulties to your job as the owner.

  • Early separation can cause difficulty in adaptation to his new home
  • They can become fearful of other dogs
  • They show appetite
  • Can show weight loss
  • Increased distress
  • Higher mortality rates
  • Higher vulnerability to diseases
  • Does not have time to learn to moderate the strength of his bite from his mother and siblings
  • Socialization problems

Early separation of the puppy from its mom would cause difficulty in his adaptation to the new home. These puppies become fearful of other dogs; they show appetite and weight loss, increased distress, higher mortality rates, and higher vulnerability to disease.

 Bite inhibition is also one of the severe issues that arise if the puppy is separated from his mom at an early stage. At this stage, he learns not to play rough from his mother and siblings.

Puppies naturally cry and whine at their separation from their mom and siblings, which will add to your responsibility for additional attention and contact.

You can compare his behavior to a three-year-old child sent off to boarding school. And you wonder why he isn’t able to adapt emotionally and socially with this new experience.

Socialization Problems

One of the significant difficulties of early separation of puppies from their mom is socialization problems. Whether the dog becomes “well-socialized” or “poorly-socialized” depends on the environment he is exposed to as a puppy.

They learn about the social world through interaction with their mom, siblings, and humans. However, puppies who are isolated at an early stage, don’t get the opportunity to learn how to interact with adult dogs and humans.

Accordingly, keeping the puppy with his mom for a longer time will save the new owner a lot of time and effort to solve the “poor-socialized” behavior of the puppy.

Getting over a “poorly-socialized” behavior

This may involve a lot of patience, commitment, and long-term training.

As an owner, you need to spend around fifteen minutes on daily training for your puppy, which may not be all at once, often five minutes three times a day may work better. The puppy would be exposed to more humans and other dogs every time.

This should be combined with daily activities, toy playing, and walks. Regular lessons are the only way to teach the puppy what he had missed.

Alternative Milk Feeding For Puppies

While it is natural to think that once the mother dog stops nursing her puppies, we should feed them on cow’s milk instead.

Well, cow’s milk typically causes diarrhea to dogs. It’s advisable to feed the puppies on dry puppy food moisture with a small amount of warm goat milk or warm water.

Don’t miss to provide the puppy with a constant source of freshwater to keep her healthy and prevent dehydration. This will help the puppy’s digestive system to adapt to the new type of food, especially if it’s giving her diarrhea.

In conclusion

While it is commonly accepted for the puppy to leave its mom at the age of eight weeks, it is preferable to wait for an additional four months.

Keep the puppy with its mom and siblings.

The puppy will be more physically and emotionally healthy, which will reflect on his training and behavior for the rest of his life.

Make sure to check our latest article right here! And as always, stay tuned for more amazing articles 😉

Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

Recent Posts