When can I separate puppies from their mother?

When can I separate puppies from their mother?

Last update: 03 July, 2018

A healthy, happy and well-adjusted puppy will need to stay with his mother for at least 10 weeks, since each week matters in different ways for his health and socialization

The first minutes of a puppy’s life are the most important. Making sure they bond with their mother and siblings is necessary for proper development. If you’re wondering when you can separate puppies from their mother, we’ll give you the answer.

Why puppies should be with their mother

There is a stage that every puppy must experience called imprinting. It is vital that the stage be carried out properly because the puppy’s ability to develop correctly and grow into a well-adjusted, happy dog depends on it.

What is imprinting? Well it is simply the first experience of socialization, one that will teach him certain guidelines. He’ll spend the first moments of his life with his mother and his siblings, which will help him with several things that will serve him throughout his adult life. Here are some:

  • He will learn to live with others. A dog that has spent enough time with his mother and siblings will not be scared every time he sees another pet or person. He’ll have gotten used to being surrounded by others, and this will allow him to become a sociable, friendly dog.
  • He will know how to behave. Puppies can be annoying, as cute as they are, because they’ve just entered the world and don’t know how to behave. If they spend enough time with their mother, she’ll let them know what they’re doing wrong. The result will be a dog with the appropriate level of playfulness.
  • He needs to gain weight. Feeding during their first days of life is vital for a puppy’s physical development. If the pups are separated from their mother too early, they could suffer from malnutrition that later could lead to other ailments.
  • He learns to play. Being with his mother and his siblings will also help socialize him. In other words, he’ll learn how to play and control his natural strength and ‘weapons’, like his claws and teeth.
  • He learns what love is. His mother will give him all the love and affection she can. As a result, your puppy will grow into an affectionate and loving dog.
imprinting of puppies: When you can separate puppies from their mother.

These factors are what make the difference between one dog and another. When you see dogs that bark about everything, don’t want to be with anyone except their owners, and are afraid of everything, it’s likely because they did not experience proper imprinting.

So, when can you separate puppies from their mother?

Due to everything that imprinting involves, the puppies and their mother must be allowed to be together as long as possible, but at least 10 weeks are recommended. Why? Because each of the weeks has a purpose.

how much time should a puppy spend with his mother
  • During the first weeks, the puppy first receives colostrum and later breast milk, with all the nutrients he needs to develop.
  • Starting at weeks four and five, the puppy learns to play with his siblings and develops a friendly personality.
  • In week five or six, the puppy learns about social relationships by playing around and wrestling. In fact, this will later help in his sexuality.
  • By the seventh week, he will begin to interact with objects, which will greatly help his motor development, and he will also begin to run and roll around.
  • Starting at the ninth week, the mother considers the puppies to be old enough to follow rules. Therefore, it’s important that they be with their mother at least until week 10.

So, if you can afford to wait until three months, that would be ideal. Your puppy will have good imprinting, which will result in a healthy, happy and well-adjusted dog.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.