Separate the puppy from the mother: when and how to do it


Puppies need their mother at the time they are born. In their first contact with the world they are really vulnerable and being with their mother helps them to nourish and grow, in addition to being their first social contact. Do not rush to take away the puppies from the mother, as this could have serious consequences. We tell you from when you can separate a puppy from its mother without taking risks or altering its breeding.

Life after weaning

When a puppy can be separated from his mother, it is because he is already prepared to be independent and know the world around him. Between two and four months of age the puppy is ready and really receptive to discover and learn from everything around him, It's time to take him home!

If you want to have a puppy as a pet, you should always make sure that it has not been weaned prematurely and that he has been with his mother all the time necessary to have good physical and mental health.

Did you know that the stage of breastfeeding and motherhood was so important for puppies?

The importance of socialization

Once located with its owners, it is recommended that the puppy remains in contact with other dogs. It is a mistake to prevent the dog from interacting with others, for fear of suffering damage. It depends on your correct socialization, which will allow you to avoid behavioral problems.

The mother is more severe with the puppies from the nine weeks of life and will bite the puppies in the neck to cause them some pain and get them to meet their standards. In this way, children learn to obey spontaneously. The later the puppy separates from the offspring, the more complete and adequate will be its learning process of this type of norms, as well as its maturation.

The importance of the game

Game behavior begins to develop between the fourth and seventh week of life, then begins to manifest what is called "the playful bark." By then the puppies spend more time researching the world around them and dedicated to social game. Children spend less time at this age to feed and sleep and investigate and interact more with the world around them.

The fifth week of life It marks the development of the dog's senses and it is considered that the puppy begins to understand and handle social relations with ease. This is partly due to the fact that it begins in the management of the attack and shaking and in the game, which is closely linked to the development of the puppy's sexuality, such as the fact of riding on top of his brothers and pushing.

Six and seven weeks old Puppies advance in their social evolution, which is very close to their ability to play, which at this age is more developed: they are able to interact with objects, for example nibbling paper or some toy. In the seventh week of life the puppy runs, does somersaults with his brothers or interacts with his owners and his mother.

Pregnant puppies

The correct development and evolution of the puppies also depends on the proper care of the pregnant mother.

It may happen that the mother ignores the weakest and most troubled puppies

For example, improper feeding during pregnancy is one of the main causes of puppy mortality, as well as malformations and ailments. Newborn puppies of malnourished mothers have the following alterations: they cry a lot, do not gain weight, their body temperature is low and they have anemia.

It may happen that the mother ignores the weaker puppies and with more problems. It is a survival strategy, so that only the strongest dogs get ahead. The mother's approach is that you cannot spend energy on the offspring that are not likely to get ahead. Therefore, we must monitor the litter and provide alternative feeding to puppies with problems.


It is essential that all puppies suck the colostrum or first milk the mother produces after birth. According to Manuel Lázaro, veterinarian at the Mirasierra veterinary clinic in Madrid: "Colostrum is a modified milk that contains a large amount of immunoglobulins or defensive proteins against the main infectious diseases." These proteins are absorbed as such, without being destroyed in the digestive process, only in the first 48 hours of the puppy's life.

Usually, the mother's milk production is enough to keep her litter without problems during the first days of the puppy's life. Afterwards, the feeding needs of the young increase more than the increase in milk production of the female. That is why it is convenient to provide a dietary supplement, especially when it comes to a large litter. In this sense, who can best advise us is the veterinarian.

Try to leave the puppies as long as possible with the mother and her siblings.

When the puppy is no longer with his canine family, encourage him to keep in touch with other dogs.

Ensure that the pregnant mother is fed well, to ensure that their young develop healthy.

Monitor the litter to prevent the mother from neglecting weaker or troubled puppies.

When should puppies be separated from their mother?

When we talk about the separation of puppies from their mother, we must initially clarify that there is an essential time and another that is ideal. Taking into account two very important factors, socialization and breastfeeding, we will explain when puppies should be separated from their mother:


One of the most important reasons why a puppy should stay as long as possible with his mother is feeding, since only breast milk It contains a nutritional composition that is exactly what the puppy needs for proper development and maturation.

The milk of the dog contains colostrum, a substance that offers its little ones the first days of life. Colostrum protects them avoiding any infection. Later, the mother's breast milk will offer the little ones all the essential nutrients for good growth, as well as defenses, enzymes and hormones. At this stage, the parent must be very well fed, resulting in a better health for the little ones.

The socialization of the puppy

In addition to breastfeeding, another very important aspect for which a puppy must remain a minimum time with his mother is that the education of the same is not initiated by the human family.

During the period of breastfeeding the mother begins with the socialization of the puppy, and teaches her how to communicate with her peers, this in turn strengthens the safety of the dog, since the same, being a very sociable animal has as a basic need the sensation of belonging to a pack. If a dog does not socialize properly, it is susceptible to future behavior problems such as insecurity, fear and reactivity with others of the same species. Apart from teaching him the basic rules of communication between dogs, his mother will also teach him how to act in the environment in which they live and live with other living beings (humans, cats, birds.).

So when should we separate a puppy from its mother?

The minimum time that a puppy should be with his mother is 6 weeks, period in which the puppy begins its weaning. However, it is most common for weaning to last until approximately the 8 weeks of life. So it is the optimal time to separate the puppy from its mother.

We should point out that the longer a puppy is with his mother, the better it will be for him, therefore, it is advisable to leave a puppy with his mother up to 3 months old approximately.

Problems caused by premature weaning

Puppies should only be weaned prematurely in those cases where the mother could not take care of them for health or behavioral disorders, in other cases respect a minimum contact of 2 months With the mother it is essential.

You should keep in mind that premature weaning of a puppy can cause various problems:

  • Decreased immune system response
  • Behavioral disorders in adulthood
  • Hyperactiv>

If you want the best for your puppy you must wait

As you have seen prematurely separating a puppy from its mother can lead to numerous problems and contrary to what many people mistakenly believe, it does not facilitate adaptation to the human home.

When a puppy arrives at your home you will still need several important care, and it will be your responsibility to provide them, however, these care do not replace under any circumstances the important role of the mother during the first months of the dog's life.

In this regard, you should know that if you really want the best for your puppy, It is not advisable to receive it before 2 months of age.

Tips to separate a puppy from its mother

From 8 weeks of age and, progressively, we will encourage the puppy to start weaning. You should be offered wet food or think of soaking, thus facilitating adaptation to your new diet.

It's important pointing that we should not take away all the puppies from their mother at the same time, especially before 8 weeks of life, as it can cause depression in the dog as well as problems related to milk production, such as mastitis. On the contrary, if we have waited properly, the dog will instinctively know that her puppies are independent and the separation will not be negative.

If you want to read more articles similar to At what age can puppies be separated from their mother?, we recommend that you enter our What you need to know section.

Elements that define the moment of separation

Breast milk is important so that puppies develop healthy and strong. The nutrients that milk has are essential to prevent future diseases or infections during the growth of puppies. Colostrum is the first milk you should consume, for defensive proteins or immunoglobulin, since your immune system will be strengthened in the time they are breastfed.

The mother must be well cared for and fed, that way she will offer her puppies better nutrition and will enjoy good health in the future.

Humans ignore the damage that can cause weaning prematurely or the early separation of a puppy and his mother. During the first 7 weeks of life, the puppy will learn from his mother and his siblings. Being with your canine family, you will grow up to be a safe and emotionally balanced dog.

For the immaturity of the puppy, cannot be separated from his mother at an early age, since it will cost to adapt and learn from us the behaviors of a puppy. Being with your family, you can acquire your dog conscience and learn your lifestyle. With early weaning, the puppy can present problems of separation anxiety, hyperactivity, aggressiveness or suck on fabrics or objects, such as an involuntary act of the puppy.

Neonatal (0 to 2 weeks)

They cannot see or hear, they can only eat (breastfeed, because they have no teeth) and feel with their legs. Their ability to smell leads them to their mother to feed. They need mother's stimulation To be able to make your needs. Influenced by her, they will develop simple skills.

Transition (2 to 4 weeks)

They begin to hear and open their eyes. His taste and smell are becoming more acute and already take their first and unstable steps. Between the 3rd and 4th week the canine teeth come out. Their tails move, play with each other and with groans and barks begin to communicate. Slowly they learn to do their needs Without the stimulation of the mother.

Socialization (from 4 to 12 weeks)

At this stage he establishes links and interacts with other dogs and is receptive to people. Between the 4th and 6th week the full teeth appear.

In the 5th week they enjoy more safety> the training should be encouraging.

For the 8th week weaning is a fact that the mother no longer feeds them, having gone through a period of rejection towards the puppies. Between week 8 and 10 your pet goes through a stage of fear, help him with a positive orientation. At 9 weeks the mother scolds the puppies when they do not obey her, either with a growl or biting them on the neck. Puppies are in a period of emotional development and social skills, they observe everything around them.

6 to 18 months

Your pet can behave defiantly, know that it is part of a pack, which is why your dog's education must be constant and positive. During this period sexual behavior appears and the dog becomes territorial, unlike bitches.

Depending on the breed of your dog, reach adulthood. Usually: from 9 to 12 months the small races, from 12 to 18 months the medium race and at 24 months the large races.


  • Feed the puppies' mother wellThe state of health of the offspring depends on their diet.
  • Try to keep your puppy in contact with other dogs if it was separated early, it will have a better emotional development.
  • Constantly monitors the mother's behavior towards puppies, you can reject the weakest or everyone if you don't want to feed them.
  • The stimulation when talking to puppies will make them develop emotionally fast>

When to separate a puppy from its mother?

When you have completed your breastfeeding time, that is, after 7 months of life.

In case of being an orphan or weaned as a newborn, it is advisable to provide a bottle formula, recommended by a veterinarian, and give all possible attention, human warmth and love, so that it grows strong and healthy. Remember that they are delicate and more prone to diseases. It is not the same as breastfeeding his mother, to be fed with a bottle.

It will not be an easy task to educate him as a child, fears and insecurities for the lack of the mother will manifest at any time.

Why puppies should be with their mother

There is a stage that every puppy must live and is called imprinting. This stage is vital to carry it out in the right way, because it will depend on it that the puppy develops correctly and that it is a balanced and happy animal when it grows.

What is the imprinting? Well, it is neither more nor less than the first process of socialization that the animal has in his life and that will teach him certain guidelines. He will spend the first moments of his life with his mother and siblings, which will help several things that will serve him in his adult life. These are some:

  • Learn to live with others. An animal that has spent enough time with its mother and siblings will not be scared every time it sees another pet or someone. He will have become accustomed to being surrounded by others and this will allow him to be a sociable and friendly dog.
  • He will know how to behave. Puppies can get heavy or too playful, as they have just arrived in the world and do not know how to behave. If they spend adequate time with their mother, this will mark what they do wrong and they will learn to remain calm for the v>

These reasons are what make the difference between one dog and another. The dogs that you see that bark for everything, that do not want to be with anyone but their owners, and that are scared of anything, is because they have not had a good imprinting. Up to that point this stage is of importance.

How can a puppy be separated from its mother?

Taking the necessary provisions regarding the puppy's health and physical and emotional well-being.

If you have to separate early, try to be sensitive and talking with the puppy's mother. Show them that with you it will be fine and allow them a moment of physical contact and affection.

Nature is wise, each puppy grows at its own pace And they are a gift of life. Take care of your puppy and educate him in the best possible way, keep in mind that it will be your best company.

When then the cubs should be separated from their mother

Because of all that the imprinting supposed, puppies and their mother should be allowed to be together as long as possible, but at least 10 weeks are recommended. Why? Because every week has an end.

  • The first weeks the animal first receives the colostrum and later the breast milk that provides all the necessary nutrients for its development.
  • Enter weeks four and five, the animal learns to play with his brothers and this creates an affable character.
  • In the week five or six the puppy learns to manage its social relationships, especially in the game and the shaking that will later help you in your sexuality.
  • For theseventh week will begin to interact with objects, which will greatly help in its motor development, and will also start running and somersaults.
  • From the ninth week, mother consider that the puppies have grown enough to set certain standards that will force them to comply. Therefore, it is important that they be with the mother at least until week 10.

If you can afford not to separate the puppies from their mother until three months of age it would be perfect, and you will have a puppy with a good imprinting That will result in a healthy, happy and balanced dog.

When does weaning begin in dogs?

Canine moms feed their little ones from the first moment they are born until about six weeks old. Of course, you should know that if they are left, they can continue to breastfeed occasionally until they reach two months.

Anyway, From the month and a half you can start giving them wet feed for puppies or dry feed soaked with warm water.

When can they be separated from the mother?

It depends. At least it is recommended to wait until he is two months old, because he will be completely weaned and most likely he has learned to eat feed. But especially if it is of a large race or a cross of large races, the ideal is to wait for twelve weeks.

Why? Well, another month may not seem like much, but from the second to the third the puppy will learn where the limit is, to control the strength of the bite, and also by being in contact with his mother and brothers, also You will learn to feel more and more calm and safe.

What happens if it separates early?

If it is not expected to be at least eight weeks old, the puppy can become very insecure and / or fearful, which can lead you to behave improperly.

So, you have to be patient and leave it with your mother for a few weeks. For your own good ... and so that then living with you is happy and pleasant for both of you.