Where would we be without our mothers?! From day one, humans and doggies alike depend on a mother’s tender love and care to survive. For puppies, those first few weeks are crucial.

This Mother’s Day, if you’re looking to surprise your mom with a new furry friend, be sure to wait until your new puppy is a full eight weeks old before taking it home. Just like human babies, the first few weeks of a puppy’s life are very critical. They learn a lot from their mothers during this time. Puppies may be weaned from their mothers at six weeks, meaning they can eat solid foods, but remaining with their mother and siblings for another two weeks can make a huge difference when it comes to their development.

Here’s why puppies need a full eight weeks with momma:

  1. Digestion: Puppies transition to eating solid food around six weeks. This puts their digestive system through a lot of change, making them more susceptible to upset stomachs. Moving them into a new living environment during this time will only put further stress on their system and impede their development.
  2. Biting: Puppies need to learn not to bite too hard. Although we all know puppies bite when they play, an extra two weeks to play with their siblings can teach them the difference between a playful bite and a painful bite!
  3. Behavioral Development: Puppies who leave their mothers too early are known to have more behavioral problems in the future. These issues can include possessiveness of their toys and food, high reactivity to noises, fearfulness, destructiveness, and excessive barking.
  4. Rest: At six weeks old, puppies still need about 18 hours of sleep a day. They will sleep best with their mother. While asleep, puppies grow, mature, and strengthen their immune systems. Allowing them to get this important rest with their mother will help your puppy to grow up healthy and strong.
  5. Touch Tolerance: Allowing puppies to stay with their litter longer will improve their ‘touch tolerance’. They grow used to being bumped and touched, whereas a puppy who leaves his litter early may grow to dislike being touched. This can lead to aggression later in life. Giving your puppy more time with his siblings will increase his tolerance to being touched.

So, you can see, puppies need their mommas for so many great reasons! A good breeder should insist on keeping the litter together for a full eight weeks. Although it can be hard to wait, your puppy will be much better off if it can get a full two months with mom. Be patient, you have a lifetime of doggy motherhood ahead of you!