When is the best time to take a puppy from mother?
The sight of a troubled dog, which with wild eyes searches everywhere for its little puppy and does not find it at all, will definitely be remembered by you for a long time, especially if you are observing this sentimental picture for the first time. Choosing the right moment and the right way to excommunicate the puppy from the mother is quite problematic. Despite the fact that it is almost impossible to avoid stress and stress, you can alleviate the situation by carefully considering and planning everything. The most important thing is to do everything very smoothly for all participants in this sometimes tragic process. In order to finally understand at what age a puppy is best to do this, you need to dig deeper and deal with the development of sensory perception and motor skills of dogs. Next, everything that behavioral scientists attribute to the most important stages of puppy development will be listed.
From birth to two weeks: neonatal period (neonatal period)
Puppies are born with an incompletely developed and strengthened brain. Their eyes and ears are not functioning, they are not able to walk, and the only movements they are able to carry out are constant shaking of their heads and crawling on the floor. During the neonatal period, the female constantly licks her puppies, giving them her smell and stimulating them to urinate and defecate, because puppies are not yet fully capable of doing this on their own.
Conrad Lorenz in 1937 developed the theory of imprinting, according to which the image of the mother is imprinted in the consciousness of little goslings. A similar process of capturing the image of the mother occurs in dogs. A training center for dogs in the Swedish city of Sollefteo revealed that some behavior, such as whining, is not genetically determined, but is a direct result of imprinting. Even the shaking of the head by a newborn puppy occurs along a path that is optimally suited to improve the imprinting process.
Thus, it can be assumed that everything that very young puppies pass through has a huge impact on their future development. Even the slightest thought about weaning the puppy from the mother during this period of growing up should be eliminated, because this can lead to the physical and psychological underdevelopment of the puppy and even to his death.
Two to four weeks: transition
During the transition period, the puppy’s sensory abilities begin to develop rapidly. He develops hearing and vision, teeth erupt. From now on, maternal care will never be presented to him by all that is in this world. Suddenly, the puppy begins to show interest in the neighboring puppies and, in general, in what surrounds him. He will start chasing his own tail, running back and forth around the house and lawn. It is during this period that he will bark for the first time.
The maternal influence on the puppy is still quite strong, although the process of its separation from the child is already running. She may go to another room when you are babysitting a puppy, or even begin to burp food, thus speeding up the weaning process. No matter how dubious and inadequate it may seem to us, eating vomit is often quite normal behavior for females. And this happens despite the fact that over many years of selection, a person tried to eliminate this aspect of the behavior of an adult dog during the weaning of the puppy from it.
But the most important thing that happens to the puppy during the transition period is that he begins to notice you. The way you interact with the puppy at this moment will determine his attitude to people and to an environment rich in constant communication with other people. Your proper behavior will influence the formation of the appropriate behavior in the dog, as well as fearlessness. In addition, it affects the development of the brain and intellectual abilities.
From four to eight weeks: a period of socialization
Changes in the development and experience of puppies during this period are so important that behavioral dog handlers often call it the “critical period”. As the name implies, this is the time when the puppy begins to interact with other dogs and play with their offspring. But just like any baby should be trained in certain manners from a very young age, so dogs try to instill in their puppies basic social norms.
The most important thing that a puppy learns during the period of socialization is the ability to play. Your dog will play most of his life and especially during the period of socialization, when she only knows this wonderful world through the game. The game is of great importance in the life of a puppy and carries a lot of necessary functions. She takes and stimulates the puppy, teaches his agility, intelligence and determination in difficult situations, as well as observing the dog hierarchy. More importantly, through the game, the puppy is really learning how to communicate with other individuals, so the removal of the puppy from the canine society can affect the formation of a lonely and immature personality in it for the rest of its life.