When’s The Right Time For Pups To Leave Their Mom & Why?
Just like any younglings, puppies will do a lot of learning during the first few weeks of their lives. An adult dog has influence over the behaviors and traits of a puppy. For a pup, there is no better dog to learn good behavior from than its mother and littermates.
After all, all these traits, skills, and behaviors will remain with them for the rest of their natural lives. That's why a pup needs a considerable amount of time before with its family of origin before it is left to live on its own. But when is the right time for pups to leave their mom?
When To Wean The Puppies Off The Mother Dog?
- I’d recommend waiting at least 8 weeks before removing a pup from its mother and littermates.
Why? A puppy needs its mother to learn how to socialize with other dogs, learn good eating habits, and discover the basics of obedience. If you are a breeder, you will also play a crucial role in rearing the pups so they do not misbehave or develop behavioral issues in the future.
Although eight weeks is the average timeline when puppies are separated from their dam, professional breeders prefer to remove the pups at twelve weeks old.
The Negative Effects Of Early Separation
Multiple studies show that early separation has detrimental effects on dogs. In a study published in NCBI, early separation may lead to weight gain of separated pups and stress due to shorter material contact. In addition, puppies that are separated early from their dam (six weeks old pups and below) are more likely to be fearful of other dogs.
Studies also show that puppies removed from their mothers at 6 weeks old and below have higher mortality rates and higher susceptibility to diseases.
Removing the pups from their mother at a time when they are most socially sensitive could also cause future behavioral changes. These changes range from excessive barking, biting, nervousness, and inability to get along with other dogs.
Early separation could also lead to separation anxiety. When the pups reach adulthood, they are not as well-adjusted as dogs that were not removed from the litter early. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety are harder to train because they do not play well with other dogs or people.
The right time for pups to leave their mother is about 8 to 12 weeks. In the United States, some states have laws on the legal age of puppy sales. Across the majority of states, it is illegal to sell puppies that are younger than 8 weeks old.
Always consider the social sensitivity of the puppies before you separate them from their mother. After all, puppies learn at a much faster rate if they stay as a family during the most critical period of the puppies' socialization.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Sara and I would like to thank you for checking out my blog. I have been around dogs since I was kid and I cannot imagine life without one. So now, I am sharing with you the knowledge I have accumulated over the years and hopefully it helps you too.