Dog Breed Information

When can a puppy leave its mother? – Early Separation Effects

When can a puppy leave its mother? – Early Separation Effects


The role of mother is very important in everyone’s life even it is for humans and animals. Likewise, when the puppy was removed from mother too early it will likely to be emotionally immature puppies which also face difficulty in adopting new environment.

For puppy’s basic training it is crucial to let puppy live with mother and littermates at the specific time period. Since early separation from mother and puppy’s littermates can cause several disadvantages to new owners. When can a puppy leave its mother? And what are the effects of early separation are the basic questions, explained well in this article.

First, we need to understand the emotional and physical need of animals/dogs (human included), let’s start understanding;

Emotional and physical need of living creatures

For all living creatures, physical primal needs are physiological after this crucial need physical safety comes. Physical safety includes shelter of the element and that specific someone that physically administer care for those who are not able to care for them.

For attachment, love, and belongings the most advanced higher needs are emotional needs whereas not much of primal physical need.  Animals which live in social communities to make them secure emotionally usually have two essential emotional requirements or in another case it causes them to become emotionally unbalanced, insecure and unstable.

When can a puppy leave its mother?

Same like the young kid require security along with comfort to be with as well as love and belonging to his family. In this way, young puppy wants safety or security and belonging to being with to his prolonged family. The young child needs to learn rules of belonging to our society and establish part of continuous transformation like we travel from childhood to adolescence and adulthood and so on.

This development cycle of human relates to development stages in dogs instead the process take place in weeks, unlike a human. Every week development in the life of a young puppy is corresponding of years of physical, emotional and social development in human life.

Are you one of them thinking to separate a puppy one or two weeks early not a big problem? So you are wrong or might you are not well aware that these few weeks’ functioning, development, and learning are a big deal for your pup’s life.

When can a puppy leave its mother?

It is crucial that puppies are not separated from mothers and littermates too soon. First few weeks of puppy’s life make big difference in behavior, psychology and social interaction as a grown-up dog. The age in which puppy is separated from his mother impacts not just his behavior or dealing with humans in the rest of life but his behavior and relationship with other dogs.

For complete learning and development of skills, personality traits, behaviors it is important for puppies to spend sufficient time with the family unit. Learning in first few weeks develop the puppy/dog throughout his life and this learning can only be learned from mother and littermates.

Releasing puppy early from mother has not any benefit but it can cause several irreversible emotional and behavior problems throughout the dog’s life. Early separation not only harm puppy but also make owner’s job unbelievably difficult. According to American Kennel Club and Kennel Club UK, puppies should be 8 to 9 weeks old before being rehomed. Several breeds erssay the puppy has completed its weaning process; in spite of this, it is essential to separate puppy after 8 to 9 weeks.  Weaning is not only the reason to eliminate puppy before 8 weeks, there are several other reasons to keep puppy with his family unit at least for 8 weeks.

What are the effects of early separation?

Excitement to bring a new puppy to your home is amazing and sometime we can’t even wait to bring anew cute friend home earlier. There are several breeders sell young puppies earlier to save their cost of taking care of puppies. Early separation of puppy to its mother and littermates affect their behavior, social acts, inability to learn, psychology, etc. However, early separation of six weeks old puppy is not likely to survive because they need their mother and littermates the most.

Therefore it is important and crucial to be aware that when you can bring your pedigree puppies at home. These are mentioned common problems demonstrated by puppies and later by mature dogs that have been separated from mother and littermates to be rehomed before the 8 weeks of age.

  • Inability

Puppies are anxious and never be content also they bark, cry and whine a lot. They seem brokenhearted even when the owner provides complete attention. They become dogs which will cry throughout the night even when the normal adoption time long way has passed. These are likely to develop minimally or severe separation anxiety along with they are aggressive when they left alone.

Their inability to self-soothe make this happen also because they frustrate easily when they recourse to physical devastation of their environments as a channel for their frustration and anxiety.These are at the highest risk of becoming self-mutilators.

  • Rule breaking (housebreaking)

They have immature bowels and bladders so that insisting on regulating is most of the time annoying and useless for owners and dog/puppy. Once they adopt any habit it will be harder enough to retrained or make them learn new rules. Housebreaking rules for dogs cannot generalize; there are one to two categories of rules for dogs/puppies Always and Never. In case you allow them poop or pee sometimes in the house they interpret it as Always.

You can only make housebreaking not only easier but possible when you bring your puppy home when they are eight weeks old.

  • Psychological issues

Early separation of a puppy from family unit exhibit them a myriad of Psychological issues. Such Psychological issues include lack of confidence to face new people and situations. Additionally, they are unable to have proper social interaction with other puppies or dogs due to phobias and crippling fears. These dogs are not fine to take into obedience classes and provide them socialization breaks.  They will become fear aggressive if you take them to obedience class and offer them socialization chances also they are likely to become a fear biter.

Through constant management, you can diminish these problems but rarely these issues can be completely eliminated

  • Behavior issues

They are insecure and defensively attack other dogs. They have fear and these are also uncomfortable and just want to be left alone. In another case, they can be aggressive and can attack other dogs or person. They are unable to read or understand the body language of another dog. Also, they are bad with communication skills and unable to understand calming signals. Also, some other behavioral problems in these puppies/dogs include

  • Destructiveness
  • fearfulness on walks
  • toy selfishness
  • unnecessary barking
  • food greed
  • noise reactivity
  • attention seekers


Johni Barresto

Johni Barresto Is a father and animal lover. With a range of expertise in animal health, he decided to start Animal Heed. His passion is to share his knowledge to help animal owners worldwide. When not in front of his computer, he's out with his kids, teaching them the importance of animal care.

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