Do Dogs Miss Their Puppies When They Are Taken Away? - Simply For Dogs
Dogs Miss Their Puppies When They Are Taken Away

Do Dogs Miss Their Puppies When They Are Taken Away?

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If you have ever seen a mother dog as her puppies are parceled out, one by one, to their new forever homes, you may think you have the answer to the question, “Do they miss their puppies?” When one leaves, the mother searches, and seems to be counting – or at least evaluating the collective body mass and coming up with the conclusion that something is definitely missing.

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Last update on 2018-12-17 at 19:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Lucy

My Rottweiler mom friend, Neila, has had two litters out of her Lucy. Neila swears that if you were to look for a definition of the ultimate helicopter parent, it would probably include a picture of Lucy. The thing about Lucy, is she doesn’t wean. If she were a human mother, she’d probably still be nursing her offspring by the time they were in high school.

Neila’s human friends, knowing of her passion for Rottweilers, are always giving her stuffed toy Rotts. She has them all over the house, and the biggest one is four feet tall! So, the last litter, with all the puppies finally placed and in wonderful homes, Neila decided to relax with a bubble bath. Imagine Neila in the tub, with the bathroom door open, and there goes Lucy – what does she have in her mouth? A stuffed Rottie toy! Then Lucy comes back with her mouth empty, and once again, goes past the bathroom door with another toy in her mouth.

So much for relaxing. Neila gets out of the tub and goes off to see what the heck Lucy is doing. She discovers a cluster of toys in a little-used corner of the house. Lucy, apparently, was thinking “You took all the others, but I’m keeping these.”

Now, if you don’t have a tear in your eye over that, you’re not even human!

Neila swears that Lucy misses her puppies, and I think I believe her. To learn more about dogs that are super-motherly, check out Dogs on the Mommy Track – It’s Not Always About Puppies.

The Other Side

Of course, anyone who has ever owned and loved a dog knows that each one is unique. Lucy may be a little more on the mommy track than most dogs. In fact, Galit Reuben, who is the Executive Director of Dogs Without Borders, believes that dogs do not miss their puppies, nor will they recognize them if they encounter them later on. She maintains that she has seen mothers reunited with members of their litter at various events, and seen nothing unusual. “If she’s a happy dog who likes to meet other dogs,” she maintains, “she will respond positively. If she’s shy and not socialized, she will react accordingly.”

In other words, from the mother’s perspective, it’s just another dog.

Long Term Memory in Dogs

It is almost certain that dogs have long-term memory. Back to Neila’s Lucy again, when Lucy was just a puppy, she was bitten by a Yorkshire terrier, or as Neila words it, “nasty little Yorkshire terrorist.” Lucy pretty much gets along with all dogs, but to this day, she is afraid of Yorkies. I know, I know – a hundred pounds of Rottweiler, terrified of a 15-pound Yorkshire, but that’s how it is, and it’s proof that Lucy remembers.

So why don’t they remember and recognize their puppies? Well, let’s put it in perspective. Suppose you had a child that was taken from you shortly after being born. And then you didn’t see that child for years. Would you really be able to say, with any degree of certainty, “Yes, this is my child”? I’m thinking probably not. Whether a mother dog knows her offspring probably depends in no small degree how long they have been apart.

Getting Them Off to College

We’ve all heard about that 45-year-old guy who still lives in his mother’s basement, playing video games and living amongst moldy pizza crusts. And we all wonder why his mother didn’t just kick him out.

Maybe this is in part the reason why most dogs don’t seem to miss their puppies – they know, in ways that a lot of human moms don’t seem to, when it’s time to let go. It’s like, “Okay, I’ve done all I can here, now scoot!” It’s the human equivalent of getting them packed up and off to university. Some females will even take this to extremes, trying to drive their puppies away at a certain age.

Your Dog’s Wolf Relatives

In wolf packs, the puppies usually remain with the same pack. In this type of situation, mothers do know their young. But in a situation where people are breeding dogs, it is very rare that the young ones stay with the mother. For that reason, it is almost impossible to say if a female would really continue to recognize her puppies as years pass, if they were allowed to remain in the household.

Neila thinks Lucy would always recognize her babies, but who knows?

What to Do About Separation

Clearly, with Lucy, she was going to miss her puppies once they were re-homed. It makes me so sad to think of her taking all those stuffed toys off to a safe corner. And I kind of hesitate to suggest stuffed toys as a replacement for the puppies that a dog has given birth to, but Neila did round up all her stuffed Rotties – she’s quite partial to them. But she bought Lucy a Zanies Cuddly Berber Fleece 8-Inch Babies Dog Toy, for $6.75 at Amazon. The regular list price is $8.74. It’s a cute little pink elephant, and Lucy takes it everywhere with her. I really hope it’s not the equivalent of giving a rubber doll to someone who has just lost a child, but it’s got to be better than just letting Lucy grieve.

Dog’s Toys Products On Amazon

Hide a Squirrel Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by Outward Hound, 4 Piece, Junior
KONG Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red
Jolly Pets 6-Inch Teaser Ball, Red
Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys For Small to Medium Dogs (Set of 4)
Chuckit! Flying Squirrel Spinning Dog Toy Orange/Blue 3 Sizes Available
Hide a Squirrel Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by Outward Hound, 4 Piece, Junior
KONG Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red
Jolly Pets 6-Inch Teaser Ball, Red
Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys For Small to Medium Dogs (Set of 4)
Chuckit! Flying Squirrel Spinning Dog Toy Orange/Blue 3 Sizes Available
$7.99
from $7.49
$9.49
$10.87
$8.54
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Hide a Squirrel Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by Outward Hound, 4 Piece, Junior
Hide a Squirrel Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by Outward Hound, 4 Piece, Junior
$7.99
-
KONG Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red
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from $7.49
-
Jolly Pets 6-Inch Teaser Ball, Red
Jolly Pets 6-Inch Teaser Ball, Red
$9.49
-
Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys For Small to Medium Dogs (Set of 4)
Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys For Small to Medium Dogs (Set of 4)
$10.87
-
Chuckit! Flying Squirrel Spinning Dog Toy Orange/Blue 3 Sizes Available
Chuckit! Flying Squirrel Spinning Dog Toy Orange/Blue 3 Sizes Available
$8.54
-

Last update on 2018-12-17 at 19:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Of course it’s also important to give the mother a lot of extra-special attention once the litter is gone. Let her know how much she is loved. There is so much we don’t know about how dogs react to losing their puppies, but one thing is for certain – if you love your dog enough, you can make almost anything right for her.

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