Why Is My Dog Moving Her Puppies? - Causes and Solutions

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. August 14, 2023
Why Is My Dog Moving Her Puppies? - Causes and Solutions

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The arrival of new life through the birth of puppies is an extraordinary and touching moment in a dog's life. Witnessing this natural process can be both awe-inspiring and heartwarming for pet owners. Mother dogs, however, undergo some behavioral changes after giving birth that can seem perplexing to us. In this period of transformation, a dog's instincts and maternal instincts take center stage, resulting in sometimes inexplicable changes in behavior.

In the upcoming AnimalWised article, we will delve into the reasons behind why your dog is moving her puppies and provide practical advice on how to address this behavior.

You may also be interested in: Why do Cats Move Their Kittens?
  1. How do dogs behave when they are pregnant
  2. How do dogs behave after giving birth?
  3. Why does my dog moves her puppies?
  4. Why does my dog bring me her puppies?
  5. Why won't my dog let me near her puppies?
  6. Tips to prevent a dog from hiding the puppies

How do dogs behave when they are pregnant

Pregnancy is a natural and normal stage in a dog's life, and most of the time, her behavior remains consistent. However, as the delivery date approaches, you might observe some changes in her demeanor. Some dogs become slightly more restless, nervous, or anxious. While others may seek more affection and become clingy, wanting to be close to their human companions.

To ensure a smooth birthing experience, it's essential to create a comfortable resting area for your pregnant dog and her soon-to-arrive puppies. Provide a serene and stress-free environment, minimizing disturbances that could cause anxiety.

Don't miss our other article, where we offer a list of signs to help you determine if your dog is pregnant.

How do dogs behave after giving birth?

After giving birth, a mother dog may exhibit various behaviors, some of which might seem surprising or concerning to pet owners. It's essential to understand that many of these behaviors are instinctual and natural for the well-being of both the mother and her puppies. Here are some postpartum behaviors commonly observed in mother dogs:

  • Aggressiveness: the mother dog may display aggressive behavior to protect her puppies from perceived threats. This protective instinct might involve growling, baring teeth, or even biting if someone or something gets too close. This behavior typically occurs shortly after delivery when the mother is tired and feeling vulnerable.

  • Lethargy: after giving birth, a mother dog might exhibit lethargy and passivity. While some rest is normal, it's crucial to monitor for any signs of complications. If the mother seems excessively lethargic or neglects her puppies, seeking veterinary advice is essential to ensure her well-being and that of her litter.

  • Cannibalism: while rare, can occur in some dogs and is a natural behavior in the animal kingdom. It is crucial to understand that this behavior is not a result of malicious intent on the part of the mother dog, but may be influenced by various factors, such as stress or perceived weaknesses in the litter.

  • Anxiety: postpartum anxiety can manifest in whining, trembling, and increased affectionate behavior towards their human caregivers. Mother dogs may also become anxious if someone attempts to move or take the puppies away from them.

Understanding and recognizing these postpartum behaviors can help pet owners provide the necessary support and care for their mother dogs and their newborns. If any concerning behaviors persist, or you have questions about your dog's postpartum care, consulting with a veterinarian is always recommended.

Discover helpful solutions in our other article that addresses what to do if your pregnant dog stops eating.

Why does my dog moves her puppies?

If you notice that your dog is moving her litter or hiding her puppies, it's essential to understand her behavior. The mother dog does this to protect her puppies from constant human attention, which can cause anxiety and stress for her.

During labor and birth, it's natural for us to be excited and want to be with the canine family. However, holding or constantly touching the puppies can create fear and discomfort for the mother, leading her to seek a safer and quieter location to care for her young. This behavior is her instinctual way of ensuring the safety of her offspring.

However, the risk of her hiding them in potentially dangerous places, like holes or inaccessible areas, is a concern. To avoid this, it's crucial to provide a designated and secure space in your home for the mother and her puppies. This area should be away from constant human traffic, quiet, and stress-free to allow the mother to properly care for and feed her puppies.

The emotional state of the mother can also affect her milk production, so providing a peaceful environment is not only essential for preventing her from hiding the puppies, but also for ensuring their proper development and well-being.

By understanding and respecting the mother dog's instincts and providing a suitable environment, you can support her in raising healthy and happy puppies.

Explore our other article, which offers tips and information on how to build trust and strengthen the bond with your dog if they seem to be distant or don't appear to like you.

Why Is My Dog Moving Her Puppies? - Causes and Solutions - Why does my dog moves her puppies?

Why does my dog bring me her puppies?

When a mother dog brings her puppies to you instead of hiding them or taking them somewhere else, it is because she feels they aren't entirely safe in their nest, and she sees you as a security figure. In her eyes, there is no safer place for her puppies than by your side. If this is the case, it's crucial to assess why she perceives the nest as unsafe and take steps to address any potential concerns.

On the other hand, the mother dog might bring her puppies to you due to an excessive dependency relationship between her and you. In such situations, it is common to observe that the dog seeks constant company from the person she is dependent on.

In both scenarios, it's essential to create a calm and secure environment for the mother and her puppies. Ensuring that the nest area is quiet, stress-free, and free from potential dangers will help alleviate any anxieties she might have about her puppies' safety. Additionally, offering the mother dog adequate attention and care without encouraging excessive dependency will help strike a healthy balance between bonding and independence.

Remember that every dog is unique, and their behavior can be influenced by various factors. By understanding and responding to your dog's needs, you can provide the best possible support for her and her adorable puppies.

Why won't my dog let me near her puppies?

As mentioned before, during a dog's postpartum period, it's common to observe that she becomes highly protective of her puppies and does not allow anyone to get close to them. This behavior is a natural instinct of the mother dog to ensure the safety and well-being of her offspring.

Moving the puppies and hiding them is her way of keeping them away from potential dangers or perceived threats. Some mother dogs may even become aggressive if they feel their puppies are in danger. It's crucial not to interfere with this protective behavior and to respect her maternal instincts.

If your dog doesn't let you touch her puppies, it's essential to stay away to avoid any accidental harm to the puppies or to prevent her from hiding them in hard-to-reach places. Only intervene if there is a genuine risk to the safety of the mother or her puppies.

In the case of an adopted dog that is pregnant or has recently given birth, it is entirely normal for her to be cautious and not trust strangers. Building trust and a strong bond with the dog over time will help her feel more comfortable and secure, allowing for a positive and nurturing relationship with her and her puppies.

Remember, a mother dog's protective instincts are crucial for the survival of her litter, and it's vital to provide a calm and stress-free environment to support her in caring for her puppies during this special time.

For a comprehensive understanding of the various stages of a dog's pregnancy, make sure to read our in-depth article where we provide a week-by-week explanation of the different stages of dog pregnancy.

Tips to prevent a dog from hiding the puppies

Ensuring your dog feels safe and secure is crucial for her well-being and that of her puppies. To prevent her from hiding the puppies and potentially putting them at risk, consider following these helpful tips:

  • Limit handling of the puppies during the first few weeks. Allow the mother to care for them, intervening only to prevent accidents and keeping handling to a minimum.

  • Minimize the presence of unfamiliar people in your home during and after the birth. Reducing external stressors can help your dog feel more at ease.

  • Communicate with your dog using a calm and soothing tone. This can help ease her anxiety and create a sense of security.

  • Praise and encourage your dog when she takes care of her puppies. Positive reinforcement will reinforce her maternal instincts and behaviors.

  • Take your dog for a walk in a park or a quiet outdoor area. Physical activity can help her relax and relieve stress upon returning home.

  • Don't forget to schedule a veterinary visit. It's essential to have your dog examined by a veterinarian in the days following the birth to ensure both her and her puppies' health.

Remember that patience and understanding are key during this special time, and providing the right care will contribute to the well-being of your canine family.

Make sure to check out our comprehensive article where we address the topic of exercising a pregnant dog.

Why Is My Dog Moving Her Puppies? - Causes and Solutions - Tips to prevent a dog from hiding the puppies

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  • Audras, D. (2018). Pregnancy and parturition in the bitch . USA: Vecchi Publishing House.
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Why Is My Dog Moving Her Puppies? - Causes and Solutions