Can puppies leave their mother at 6 weeks? This is a popular question for dog lovers as the consequences of having to re-home a puppy too soon may be grave for both owner and puppy.
At the same time, knowing the answer to this question will help prospective puppy owners to choose only responsible breeders. Here are the facts about the right time to re-home a puppy.
Can Or Should Puppies Leave this Young?
To properly address this question, it is important to distinguish between can puppies leave this young or should puppies leave this young. This is because physically, puppies can leave their mothers even at 6 weeks old since, at this age, they are already weaned and are getting used to solid food.
However, it is at this stage that they are adjusting to solid food, which means they have to be protected from stress as much as possible.
At this age, the puppy is vulnerable to indigestion and stomach upset. Therefore, it is definitely not a good time to uproot a puppy from the environment it has grown familiar with.
True Cost of Abandonment at 6 Weeks Old
According to experts, puppies should only be separated from their mother and siblings at eight weeks old. There are very well-researched reasons why it is costly to adopt or purchase a dog at 6 weeks old. These reasons include:
1. Bite inhibition is a long process
Bite inhibition is taught to the puppy at a very young age. It is a normal part of their behavioral development.
However, it is observed that puppies at 5-6 weeks old tend to bite harder than older puppies. This is because they learn the difference between biting for fun and painful biting through their mother and siblings.
2. Behavioural problems
As mentioned earlier, puppies learn to adjust to their environment through their mother and siblings.
Thus, removing them at a young age will result in behavioral problems that include destructiveness, toy and food possessiveness, excessive barking, attention-seeking, and reactivity to noises among others.
Check out our post, “How to Keep Your Dog Off the Furniture.”
3. Being a singleton puppy
Another issue that comes with removing a very young puppy from the nest is the fact that they are removed from their playmates. This means you will need to put more effort into the puppy to ensure he or she is well socialized.
4. Establishing social ranking
It is within the 6-8 weeks of a puppy’s life that its natural temperament begins to become apparent. This is also the time when the mother teaches her puppies the social rules.
Removing a little pup at this stage may lead to a socially and emotionally crippled puppy that could potentially affect him or her behaviourally throughout adulthood.
How You Can Help Address the Problem
Unfortunately, it is naïve and lazy to believe that breeder will act in both your and your puppy’s interest. At the end of the day, they are running a business.
Sadly, some breeders want to make money so bad that they are willing to sell out their ethics as well. Here are some ways you can address the problem of removing puppies from the nest at a very young age.
1. Educate yourself
Educate and inform yourself so that you can share these important facts when faced with a breeder who lacks both information and experience.
In most cases, breeders who sell puppies at an earlier age also lack the knowledge to produce a good genetic product. In most cases, they do not have the personal responsibility or the latest information on how to raise well-adjusted puppies.
2. Report breeders with poor breeding practices
By arming yourself with knowledge and information, you can stay away or even report breeders who adhere to poor breeding practices.
More importantly, you can withdraw support and refuse to fund breeders who do not care about the lives that they are selling.
3. Look for well-informed breeders
There are ethical and well-informed breeders out there. You have to take the time and energy to find these breeders and research more about their practices before you support or purchase a puppy from them.
Make sure you spread the information as well and promote only those that have ethical practices in this industry.
Six-week-old puppies are not yet fully developed emotionally, physically, and socially. They are at risk of health and behavioral problems when they are uprooted from their mothers and siblings at a very young age.
While there are ethical breeders out there, there are also a number of those who don’t care about the puppy or the future owner’s wellbeing. Therefore, it is your responsibility to exert effort in researching and investigating these unethical breeders.
Do you have additional information you wish to share? Or maybe you have questions about the topic. If so, feel free to write them in the comment section below.