Dog Litter Separation – Do Puppies Miss Their Littermates?

Here is everything that you should know about dog litter separation. Read on to discover if dogs' can remember their littermates.

Only a few things in the world are so cute as puppies. They are fluffy, sweet, and have that show-me-the-world attitude.

Due to their appearance, those who want a puppy are up for a big task – not taking every puppy home.

As you probably know already, dog litter size can be made of one puppy to ten puppies in different or the same color.

Puppies are always a great addition to families that are willing to take bigger responsibility and treat their dog as a new family member.

Did you know that puppies shouldn’t be separated from their mom fast?

Dog Litter Separation

The most important thing for puppies is to be with their mother and new sisters and brothers. This is a significant period because it may affect how your dog will behave in the future.

The timeline should be followed, or the puppies could develop a line of problems later in life, and even the mother can experience medical problems.

Mother dogs rarely get to keep their puppies, because breeders or pet owners, usually give them off to family members, friends, or sell them.

In some unfortunate situations, puppies do end up on the street, which is why adoption is so important.

Although giving the puppies away can be tempting, the proper period must be followed from when they are born to the day they are old enough to leave mom.

Puppies must spend a certain number of weeks with their mother, brothers, and sisters before they leave them. During that time they will learn a lot.

Again, if the proper period is not followed, puppies could develop problems later in life, and the mom could also suffer serious medical issues related to separation anxiety and stress.

Young Pups

During the first few weeks of a puppy’s life, the puppy is heavily dependent on his mother, similar to a human child. As expected, the puppy gets love and food from mom.

Also, from that new surroundings, puppies learn about social skills. They are learning from their mother and siblings. Simply said, they are learning how to be dogs.

Puppies learn through playing with their littermates that biting is wrong and that there is a thing as playing too rough.

It’s common to separate puppies from their litter when they are 6 to 8 weeks old. However, you should bear in mind that the socialization period in puppies typically lasts from 6-to-12 weeks of age.

During this time, puppies are learning about the rules and how they should behave. This is the main reason why some breeders won’t separate puppies before they turn 10 – 12 weeks.

During this time, puppies are also introduced to humans, and they increase their contact with people.

This is the time when they learn that humans are dominant, but that they can be a part of the pack with them.

During this period, it’s essential to give each puppy enough attention so that they can get used to positive interaction with people.

At What Age Can We Separate The Litter?

As mentioned earlier, it’s common to separate a puppy from others is from 6 to 8 weeks old (although many recommend it not to be before puppies turn 10 to 12 weeks).

This timeline is on course with a mother dog’s supplemental feeding and when the puppies should be weaned off their mother milk.

At the end of the sixth week, it’s essential that weaning takes place gradually – for the health of the puppies and the mother.

The weaning process can be supported by supplementing the puppy’s diet and reducing the mother dog’s frequency in nursing her puppies.

This practice can encourage her milk to dry up gradually and naturally during the six weeks to 8 week period.

It’s All About the Mom

This 6 to 8-week timetable fits when supplemental feeding should be instituted, and final weaning occurs.

It’s crucial that weaning from the mother becomes a regular practice – this is the sure way to keep mothers and puppies health on the right track.

Abrupt weaning, especially when large litters are involved, results in congestion of the mammary glands, which can be painful and may lead to mastitis, the inflammation of mammary glands.

When Separation Goes Wrong

If you separate puppies from the mother too soon, you can expect a long line of different consequences.

If they are separated too soon from the litter, some health, and behavioral consequences may occur.

Plus, if you wean the puppies off their mother’s milk too abruptly, it will cause congestion of the mother dog’s mammary glands.

This move can lead to mastitis, which is the inflammation of mammary glands, so you are putting the mother directly at risk.

Furthermore, an early puppy separation leads to health and behavioral problems that may occur and follow your puppy right into adulthood, such as:

  • Poor physical condition
  • Decreased weight gain
  • Increased disease susceptibility
  • Decreased learning ability
  • Separation anxiety
  • Decreased learning ability
  • Nervous in nature
  • Possible aggression

Overall, a dog can become more prone to disease and sickness from a lack of mother’s milk.

Do Puppies Miss Their Littermates?

After birth, puppies are so attached to their; usually, large families, that many wonders if puppies suffer for their mother and littermates.

According to many dog experts, dogs don’t get sad when they leave their litter.

Furthermore, they don’t even believe that puppies can recognize each other if they met later in life, or that reunion with their mother later in life goes with humans.

Still, puppies can be scared of a new environment, so you should think about leaving a night light on in the room, and a clock ticking, nearby to help your puppy feel safe.

You can also play soft music designed for dogs, or even leave a TV on if you know for sure the program and there are no harsh sounds.

Remember that when the sharp noise kicks in, dogs have no idea what it is, and they get serious anxiety.

The lack of introduction to new sounds and proper socialization are the main reason why dogs are so terrified of thunders and fireworks.

Now that you know the possible consequences and why it’s not wise to separate your puppy from litter too early, let’s see what steps to follow once you bring your puppy home.

Bringing Puppies Home

It’s common for puppies to spend eight weeks of their lives with their littermates.

They are adjusting together, discovering the world together, and they sleep and eat together.

So, any change can be a huge one when it comes to adjusting to new surroundings.

They may have the best forever-home ever, but this is still a significant change for them, and it’s a big adjustment.

They don’t understand why they are alone, and they have no idea where their littermates are, although they probably won’t recognize them later in life.

This is where the breeder’s role is so important – if the breeder socializes them properly, the adjustment will be more effortless.

Once you welcome your puppy home, you will become their ‘parent.’ You can expect your puppy to start crying because the mother is no longer home – this is the adjustment period.

When the puppy is first separated from his mother, he will need a lot of attention and contact from his humans.

Your puppy will likely choose one person to be attached to the most, but you shouldn’t force it, because it will come naturally.

Here are the mandatory steps when it comes to bringing your puppy home.

As you probably know already, you will have to take your puppy to the veterinarian office and provide the necessary vaccine, as well as parasite control as needed.

1. Puppy Comfort

Make your puppy feel welcome. Make the surroundings as familiar as possible with the scent of the dog’s littermates, if possible.

The best move would be to place the towel with her littermates scent in the crate to comfort the dog.

If you don’t have anything from the dog’s littermates, make the crate as comfortable as possible.

It’s important to place something fluffy with a dog, so he can have a feeling of ownership and develop feelings for something similar.

2. Puppy Play Time

Interact with your dog as littermates would. Puppies usually sleep a lot and play.

Provide periods of exercise and daily activity. When your new puppy sleep, don’t wake him.

Provide toys, and always have near a bowl of freshwater.

3. Socialize Your Puppy

Expose your new puppy to early socialization, from day one, and expose him to new smells, sounds, people, and others pets.

When your veterinarian gives you the green light, go outside and visit a doggy park. Keep your puppy on a leash and set some ground rules.

Socialization will make the training process easier, and helo you have a well-behaved pet.

The Bottom Line

Having a puppy in your life is such an enjoyable experience. Being a pet owner is so rewarding to experience, as long as you know how serious a role this is.

Pet ownership means that you are responsible and that you are willing to invest your time, money, and energy into raising a healthy and happy puppy.

If you are ready to commit, you will have a true friend who will follow you around.

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