Do Dogs Miss Their Puppies?

According to a 2013 study in Animal Cognition says that dogs have long-term memory. So, they may recognize their pets even after years. But does this mean that dogs miss their puppies?

Yes, mother dogs miss their puppies when they are separated. Pregnancy and birth are associated with a hormonal release that builds bonding between the mother dog and the puppy. But dogs don’t miss their puppies for a very long time.

The duration during which dogs miss their puppies is short and varies because it depends upon many factors. The prominent factors include the puppy’s age, the hormonal influence of the mother, and in some cases, even the breed.

Dogs miss their puppies the most immediately after the pregnancy because their bonding hormones are in excess. But the instinct decreases with time.

Do Dogs Miss Their Puppies When They Die At Birth?

Do you know that when is a puppy is diseased and is born with congenital disabilities, the mother dog commonly kills and eats him? That may seem cruel and immorally wrong, but you judge dogs based on human behavior. So, will a mother dog miss her puppy when they die at birth?

Dogs are very caring and protective for their puppies, but the emotional response isn’t the same for the dead puppy. If a single puppy dies, the mother dog won’t be affected much, but she’ll surely miss her puppies if the entire litter dies.

When the puppies die after birth, the mother dog has an instinct to care for them due to hormonal release, but she can’t care for them. She’ll produce milk but won’t find puppies to feed.

These things, due to the high emotions due to hormonal imbalance, will make the stressed and sad. Many dog owners describe it as missing the puppies after separation.

Do Dogs Miss Their Puppies When They Die At Birth?

Do Dogs Miss Their Puppies Once They Become Adults?

No, dogs don’t miss their puppies once they become adults. If you’ve assumed this by seeing the care that mother dogs show to their puppies, then it’s not true.

Humans, too, are more protective and caring for their kids when they are a baby. But as grow up, they make them free to make their own choices. The same is the case with dogs. They care for their puppies, but they set them free once they are grown up and aren’t dependent upon the mother for food and appropriate or sufficient nutrition.

Do Dogs Remember Their Puppies If Reunited?

Yes, dogs can remember their puppies if reunited. They have a strong memory and an incredible sense of smell. Dogs can recognize dogs, people, and other things by their scent alone.

Many studies have shown, too, that dogs can recognize their puppies if they are separated from them for even more than two years.

Do Dogs Remember Their Puppies If Reunited?

Do Puppies Miss Their Mother?

When the puppies are very young, they will not miss their mothers if separated from them. All they need is the best care and food. When a puppy becomes 8-12 weeks old, he can quickly settle down with his new owner, if he is getting good care and socialization. So, even then, they will not miss their mothers.

But dogs don’t become used to the new environment immediately. You’ll have to be patient and provide your dog with proper care to ensure that he doesn’t miss his mother. Also, make sure that you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, as he can better tell if the puppy is old enough to be separated from mother or not.

If you separate the puppy from the mother too early, he may develop some unusual behavioral changes as an adult. The time and space required to settle down with the new owner are different for every breed. You can get some guidance about this from the breeder.

Is Separating Puppies from Their Mother Cruel?

No, separating puppies from their mother isn’t cruel if you do it the right way. You can’t separate a newborn from the mother as he is entirely dependant upon her for his needs.

Moreover, dogs can have 1-13 puppies depending upon the breed. Taking care of so many puppies is often tiring for the mother dogs. So, if you separate the puppy from the mother after a certain age, she will feel relief rather than stress.

Do Mother Dogs Love Their Puppies?

All the mother dogs love their puppies as it’s their natural instinct. The bond between the dogs and their puppies is also influenced by the hormones considerably. That’s is why they are highly protective of their cute little pups.

Do Mother Dogs Love Their Puppies?

When To Separate Puppies From Their Mothers

The best time to separate puppies from their mother is 8-12 weeks. A minimum of 8 weeks is essential, and 12 weeks is generally considered an excellent period to separate puppies from mother dogs.

This time is required because when the puppies are young, dogs are very protective of them. In this period, you should even avoid getting close to the pups. But as time passes and puppies grow up, dogs start to look for them less and less. After 12 weeks, the mother dogs will abandon the puppies as they mature enough to handle themselves.

You can take them away, ensuring that you provide them proper care.


Just like humans miss their kids, similarly, dogs also miss their puppies. They can’t describe their feelings in words, but it’s evident in their behavior.

The separation anxiety (which can develop between dogs and owners too) that a mother dog feels is more visible if she losses a pup younger than 8 weeks. As the puppies mature, dogs set them free as they are no longer dependent on mothers for their needs.

But setting them free doesn’t mean forgetting them. Dogs can remember their puppies even after they are meeting after many years. It’s because they are a strong memory and sense of smell.

The same way mother dogs miss their puppies, younger puppies also miss their mothers. Therefore, it’s safe if you separate the puppy from the mother after 12 weeks.

Till this time, the puppy has become mature enough to live without the mother if the owner is providing proper care and food.