Can Puppies Leave Mother At 6 Weeks? – Why You Should Wait a Bit Longer to Take Your Puppy Home

Can puppies leave mother at 6 weeks? This is the question that many first-time dog owners have, and most of them do not even get the right answer.

For most people, getting a young pup is the best choice because it will be easier for it to bond with its new owner, but that isn’t necessarily true.

There are many cases where separating the pup too early from his mother will lead to dire consequences later. If you are thinking of getting a new puppy then you might want to check out these facts first.

Can Puppies Leave Mother at 6 Weeks? NO, and Here Are the Reasons Why

There are many reasons why it is a not good idea to take a puppy home too early, and you need to find out as much of them as you can if you want to make your “future” canine best friend to feel welcome in your home.

According to an article from, here are some of the many reasons why it is not advisable for a puppy to be separated from his mother before he is ready


1. He Won’t Get the Proper Nourishment

Newborn puppies rely on their mother’s milk for all their nutritional needs, and this goes on for a couple of weeks.

During their 3rd and 4th week of life, the puppies will start to wean themselves from their mother’s milk. At this time, they will start eating solid food while still drinking from their mother’s teat occasionally.

The weaning process would usually last four weeks, sometimes even longer, and this means that when you take the puppy away from his mother before he is weaned off milk completely, he might not get enough nutrition that his body needs, which will lead to health complications later.

Ideally, you should re-home a puppy after eight weeks because by then he would have transitioned to eating solid foods only

2. He Won’T Have A Healthy Immune System

Some people think that getting their young pups vaccinated would be enough to keep them healthy, but that is usually not the case.

If you separate a puppy before he is six weeks old, it could significantly compromise his health. Yes, your puppy would need vaccinations later to protect them against serious diseases, but they need to be at least a couple of months old before he could get vaccinations.

During those critical first few weeks, the puppies need to get vital antibodies from their mother’s milk, and when separated too early, they might not have all the antibodies they need to fight off disease and infections.

3. He Will Have A Hard Time Adjusting To His New Environment

According to the Humane Society of the United States, puppies learn how to behave from their siblings and their mothers, and they learn all of these during the first 3-12 weeks of their lives.

This first couple of months is where the puppy learns about how to interact with humans and with other dogs.

For instance, when the puppy is playing fighting with his sibling and his mother, he learns that biting is pretty painful so he will learn not to bite his owners and other dogs, at least not in full force.

4. It is illegal To Separate Puppies From Their Mothers Too Early

It is illegal in some states to sell puppies that are six weeks old or younger. Seventeen states require puppies to be at least eight weeks old before they are sold or put up for adoption.

In fact, in Nevada and Illinois, it is illegal to separate the pup from his mother before he is eight weeks old, even before sale.

The best course of action here is to choose your puppy from the kennel, pay a reservation fee and wait a couple of weeks before you take him home; it will be quite an excruciating wait, but it will be well worth it.

5. They Won’T Be Able To Self-Soothe

​Very young pups will most likely be anxious all of the time, and they won’t feel content. They will whine and bark loudly at night, and many times they would be inconsolable. Yes, you might have a cute puppy but are you ready for many sleepless nights due to his constant crying and barking.

If you could just wait for a couple more weeks, the adaptation period would have been much shorter, and maybe even non-existent at all.

Puppies who are forcibly removed from their mothers too early are also subject to develop extreme separation anxiety, and they will grow up hating being left alone for periods of time.

This will resort to the dogs developing destructive behaviors (they will chew on the furniture, topple over garbage bins, and other stuff to vent their frustrations), and in some cases, there is also a risk of self-mutilation.

6. Potty Training Would Be Harder Than Usual

The bladders and bowels of young puppies are still immature, so trying to potty train them this early is not only frustrating but it is also futile.

In fact, if they develop a habit of peeing and pooping inside the house, teaching them to go outside will be a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Ideally, you need to wait until the puppy is at least eight weeks old to make potty training possible and easier.

7. The Dogs Will Revert To Fear To Bite

can puppies levea mother at 6 weeks

Photo credit: Jim Grant on Flickr

Dogs are not born with the innate understanding of the body language of other dogs, which is the reason of most dogfights. Young puppies do not know how to interpret the calming signals given off by other, older dogs, and all they see are threats.

Mother dogs teach their puppies how to interpret these signals by examples, and if you separate them too early, these lessons might not be ingrained in their minds.

When animals are not taught how to behave around other dogs or even people, they will constantly be on the defense; every little action they will perceive as hostile, and they will react to them through fear biting.

Read more to know about the animal rescue fundraisers if you care about!


If you were to ask legitimate dog breeders or kennels, “can puppies leave mother at 6 weeks?” the answer you will get is a resounding “NO”.

So many things could go wrong if you take the puppy away from his mother too early, and you don’t want to risk any of them happening.

To sum it all up, if you are going to get a new puppy, make sure that:

  • He is at least eight weeks old and can be safely separated from his mother.
  • You and your home is prepared for the new puppy.
  • You have all of the things that you need to make his transition to his new home as smooth as possible.

​If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the contents of this article, please feel free to leave a comment.

Can Puppies Leave Mother At 6 Weeks?

Jennifer Wood

Hi there, my name is Jennifer Wood, founder of - a great resource for pets lovers.

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