Human mothers spend endless hours showing off the photos of their babies online. While the mothers on the following pictures do not hold social media accounts; they are just as proud to show off their litters.
A mother dog just knows by instinct how to care for her brood. Whether feeding, sleeping, cuddling or exploring; mother dog is near-by. Just like human toddlers, puppies want to get into everything. Mom let’s them explore as long as they do not go too far. Her entire relationship with her puppies is one where they are protected and shielded until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Just like a human mother; she must feed her offspring and teach them the correct way to get food. She must teach them to stay where they are safe and keep them clean and warm. She will use her wits and her body to make this happen. As soon as she feels they are ready she will separate herself from them.
A puppy needs to nurse from its mother and live on her milk until he is six to eight weeks old. By that time he should be introduced to puppy food. At six weeks old the mother dog will push the puppies away from her. They should not be taken away from their littermates for about two more weeks. Separation too early can cause anxiety in the puppies. This may show up when they are being house trained or trained for hunting or sports.
By the age of six to eight weeks they should receive their first set of shots, but will require another set at about 12 weeks. It is important that the shots not be given too soon or too close together. If you are purchasing a puppy, ask if they were given this first set and by whom. In most cases the first set is given before the puppy leaves its mother.
Though the mother dog may look for her puppy when they are removed (at 8 weeks) she will not fret too much. However the puppy may cry for its littermates. Patience and love is the key. Keep them comfortable and kenneled so they will not feel too exposed. They also will appreciate a warm blanket. Soon your puppy will be happy and running around and feeling right at home.