It is hard to know what to make of a mother dog putting her puppy in her mouth. Have you ever been equally horrified and perplexed seeing your dog exhibit this strange behavior? Is it common for her to do this?
When a dog puts her puppy in her mouth, it is typically indicative of her wanting her pup to be in a safe place. She also puts her puppy’s entire head in her mouth for easy transport. She could be concerned that her pup is not warm and will put them in her mouth to protect them.
If you ever see your mother dog with a puppy dangling from her mouth, know it is her instinct as a dog to demonstrate this behavior. If you want to learn more about why your dog keeps putting her puppies in her mouth, check out this article.
Why Does My Dog Keep Putting Her Puppy in Her Mouth?
It can be a rather alarming sight for a pet parent to see, but there could be many reasons why your dog keeps putting her puppies in her mouth:
1. She is Disciplining Her Pup
When a mother dog puts her puppies in her mouth to discipline them, it is called a muzzle grab. She may be trying to correct her puppy and teach her little one something important. The mother dog may take their mouth and put part of the puppy’s head into it.
She is simply trying to control her pup and discipline them, which is perfectly natural. Mother dogs may use their mouth to restrain an overzealous puppy, but do not worry; she knows how to do so without harming the pup.
2. She Wants Her Puppy to Be in a Secure Place
Your mother dog may be putting her puppy in her mouth because she wants them to be in a safe place. If the mama pooch does not feel her pup is in a safe place, she will move them to another location to keep them from perceived harm.
If one of the pups strays from the litter, your dog may put her puppy in her mouth to bring them back to their original space. Mother dog may want her little one to stay close to her. It is part of her job as a parent to make sure her litter is safe.
3. She is Concerned Her Pup is Not Warm
If any of her puppies feel too low in energy, they are not warm enough. The puppy’s body temperature should be about 97 degrees Fahrenheit. If a pup is cold, they cannot nurse. You can try warming a sock filled with raw rice and putting it in the microwave. Put the sock in the mother’s nest so that if the babies want to keep warm, they have a constant source.
If a few of them are cold, and momma can only put one pup in her mouth, the others have a good source for them to seek warmth. It is essential to know this since puppies do not develop the shiver reflex until they are around two and a half weeks, so they may need a little extra help being warm.
4. She May Be Harming Her Pup
Your dog may be feeling stressed or threatened. Maybe there is too much noise, and she is becoming anxious. Your dog may respond to these stimuli by putting her puppy in her mouth in an attempt to protect them, but she accidentally harms them.
She may injure her puppies because of the alleged threat. Sometimes dogs do not have an excellent nurturing instinct. In this case, you will need to step up and take care of these precious pups until they are a bit older and better able to fend for themselves.
5. One of the Puppies May Be Sick
One of the puppies may be sick, and your dog is trying to separate the puppy from the rest of the group. She is taking the weakest link out of the equation. It is awful, and nature is quite cruel. You can help the pup by nursing them yourself with special milk from the pet store.
After all, you are a parent yourself to your dog, and you want to help the puppy stay alive and grow strong. Mother pup may be rejecting her puppy because she wants to give the milk to the healthy ones who are more likely to survive. If this occurs, talk to your veterinarian about how you may be able to help.
6.She Wants to Keep Her Puppies Clean
Your dog may not think that the area you have set up for her and her babies in the home is clean enough. The site may have been dirtied from the birthing activity, or the puppies have made the area unkempt. If that is the case, your dog may relocate her puppies to what she believes is a cleaner, more suitable space for her to nurture her little ones.
7. She is Overstimulated
If your dog is overstimulated, she may want to move her pups. She may become anxious and transfer that energy to her babies, which makes her feel like she needs to take action. Maybe there is too much traffic in the area where she has her nest, and she needs to move her pups. Whatever the case, she may decide to do just that.
8. She is Being Playful
Mother pup may like to pick up her puppy and carry them by mouth to be playful, as she is trying to bond with her offspring. It can sometimes be challenging to tell the difference between normal play and aggression, but if your dog puts her puppy in her mouth, this may indicate that she wants to teach her puppy how to play.
How to Stop My Dog from Carrying Her Puppy
If your dog refuses to care for one of the puppies in her litter, you will need to jump in and take action to ensure the puppies’ survival. You may want to try relocating her whelping box. You can also try a pheromone collar on your dog, as this could calm her down if stressed, and it may incline her to want to nurse her puppies.
Why is My Dog Biting Her Puppies?
Mother dogs may bite her puppies if she is trying to teach them that something they are doing is not appropriate or if it is bothering them. Additionally, if your dog is stressed out or bothered by the noise surrounding her whelping box, she may react by biting her puppies.
A bad past experience with other puppies may also cause her biting behavior. This situation can occur with first-time mothers who cannot respond well to their puppies’ behavior. However, a mother dog often can bite but not injure her puppies. When a dog wants to move her puppies to a new location, she may pick them up in her mouth to accomplish this task.
Why Does My Dog Bring Me Her Puppy?
If your dog is bringing you her puppy, it could be because she feels she has a special relationship with you and wants to bring you her baby for you to bond with. It is similar to her bringing her toy and laying it beside you. She feels that her puppy is safe with you. It is the best compliment your dog could give you.
She may also be proud of her puppy and wants to show you what she created. She is showing off her baby for the first time. IT could also be that your dog trusts you and wants your love and reassurance. She wants to learn from you how to be a good nurturer.
My Dog Keeps Hiding Her Puppies
It is a maternal instinct for your dog to want to protect them from predators. Even though your dog and her puppies are in no danger of being prey, your dog acts on instinct. Puppies are innocent, helpless, and dependent on their mother, just like human babies. Puppies cannot see or hear when they are born, so they need support from their mother to thrive.
Sometimes a mother dog wants privacy with her pups. Your dog may need to move her pups frequently to ensure that she can keep them safe from outsiders whom she may believe are threats. However, some dogs allow their pet parents to be the only ones to have access to them and their babies when they are born.
Mother Dog Keeps Moving Her Puppies
A mother dog will move her puppies to a new location if she feels that they are threatened or that they are not in a safe space. She may keep moving them around the house until she finds a comfortable spot.
Your dog may put her puppy in her mouth to move, discipline, or protect them from a perceived threat. Your dog may also bring her pup to you because she is proud. If you see your dog demonstrating this behavior, know that it may be normal, but it could also be a sign of stress.