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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All I am very curious about what the public view is on the following subject: PERMANENTLY REMOVING momma dogs from pups. Will you PLEASE participate in my amateur poll below?

Based on your knowledge and/or opinion.....
1.) At what age do you consider permanently removing a momma dog from her pups reasonable and/or acceptable?
2.) At what age do you consider permanently removing a pup from its littermates reasonable and/or acceptable?

Please initially reply with only a number of ? weeks or ? months. However, If you wish to comment on your response please do so below the numbers you feel or know are best.

Also, I need you to know that it is my intention to submit the answers I get to this poll, strictly for informational purposes ONLY, to the Board of Directors for a rescue to which I belong as this is currently a hot topic issue among us.
I do so hope you will voice your thoughts here and I Thank You So Very Much!!!
 

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1.) At what age do you consider permanently removing a momma dog from her pups reasonable and/or acceptable?
2.) At what age do you consider permanently removing a pup from its littermates reasonable and/or acceptable?
1) This depends on a few factors - If the Mother is at risk of committing infanticide, then it is best to remove the puppies from her care as soon as possible for the puppies safety.

Barring infanticide as a risk, puppies should stay with their Mother AND Littermates until they are between 8-12 weeks of age, with 12 weeks being the preferred length of time.

This is important for their social development as their Mother will teach them dog-manners and their littermates will teach them appropriate play tactics, confidence, and basic social skills.

2) As stated above, puppies should remain with their Mother AND Littermates until they are between 8-12 weeks of age, with 12 weeks being preferred.
 

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I agree w 8-12 weeks. Though 8 weeks is the standard, I think 10 weeks is a happy medium. I got my current dog at just over 9 weeks.
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10 weeks are a very happy medium I found with the two BC litters I bred. Both for pups to leave mom and for pups to leave their litter mates.
At eight weeks they still have some to learn and at twelve they start entering their first fear period making the transition into their new home more difficult.
Physically pups probably din't need mom much past six weeks, but emotionally they do very well with the added two to four weeks.
 

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I thought 8-12 weeks was pretty standard for all breeds in normal healthy situations. What sort of "hot topic" debate is your rescue having?
 

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8 weeks is pretty standard for the minimum. Unless there are issues like the mother trying to kill the puppies. 8 weeks is also the legal minimum age for a lot of areas too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In the rescue to which I belong, it is common practice to remove the momma's from the pups at approx. 6 weeks though it has been done sooner. This while these momma's are still heavy with milk. I've taken issue with this and been told that
"Clearly you know nothing about puppies or animal behavior" by the woman behind these decisions.
 

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In the rescue to which I belong, it is common practice to remove the momma's from the pups at approx. 6 weeks though it has been done sooner. This while these momma's are still heavy with milk. I've taken issue with this and been told that
"Clearly you know nothing about puppies or animal behavior" by the woman behind these decisions.

I'm glad you're attempting to educate the rescue you are associated with. Many people who run rescues and shelters are very resistant to any advice that conflicts with their long held beliefs. Also there is often a desire to quickly get puppies adopted out. I can understand that mindset but unfortunately puppies that don't stay with their dams and littermates miss out on the vital learning that takes place within the litter.

I would refer the woman to as many science based studies as you can locate. This is a start on your research. Puppy Personality Development | Dog Star Daily

This may not change her mind but it might get her to thinking. The saying that's going around among dog training circles is relevant here. Just because you've owned dogs all your life, doesn't make you an expert on dog behavior any more than having a vagina all your life makes you a gynecologist.

Good luck. The less confrontational and critical you are when presenting information, the more likely it is to be received and considered. Also you might consider the Ben Franklin effect. Do something especially nice for this woman and she'll be more likely to have a positive perception of you as a person.
 

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In the rescue to which I belong, it is common practice to remove the momma's from the pups at approx. 6 weeks though it has been done sooner. This while these momma's are still heavy with milk. I've taken issue with this and been told that
"Clearly you know nothing about puppies or animal behavior" by the woman behind these decisions.
That's a shame. Honestly the longer they're left with mom, the better. Of course it does depend on the bitch too. With my BC, I got him at 7 weeks of age. His mom was notorious for being done nursing puppies almost as soon as they start eating solid foods, around 4-5 weeks. But he wasn't separated from her or his siblings until I bought him at 7 weeks old.

He of course turned out fine. And I prefer to get my pups around 8 weeks. But for the common dog owner, it's better to leave them longer. They learn much better bite inhibition, which is something that most inexperienced dog owners struggle with the most when it comes to puppies. I doubt Tigger would have lasted very long in a typical pet home with his land shark tendencies.
 
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