How Do Dogs Carry Their Pups? Here’s The Answer

How do dogs carry their pups when they want to move their puppies from one place to another? They can use various methods to keep their babies in the safest condition.

Apart from learning more about the ways mother dogs use to carry their pups, understanding why they do so is necessary.

This article will help you get useful information about this topic. Scroll down for details.

How Do Dogs Carry Their Pups?

Mother dogs can bring their newborn puppies in various ways, such as grabbing the puppy’s scruff or using their mouth to keep and move their babies between places. They can also limp their pups and carry them in the early weeks of age for comfort and safety.

By The Neck’s Scruff

By The Neck's Scruff

The most popular method for supporting mom dog carrying puppy is utilizing the scruff of their neck.

The scruff is the loose, saggy skin around the dog’s  neck. It is easy to find mama dogs gripping this loose skin on the pup’s neck with their front teeth.

The young puppy will hang from the mother dog’s mouth when she brings it from this place to another.

It is neither uncommon nor dangerous for a mom dog to keep a young puppy’s whole head in her mouth for transportation.

Their typical behavior isn’t the only species that carry the little ones on the nape of their necks. This method has also been effective and simple for cats.

The mom dog snaps the excess skin covering the pup’s neck or the scruff without difficulty. Once she takes the pup under control, she carries the pup to a new destination.

Don’t worry if your puppy whimpers a little when he moves. He will rarely get hurt doing so.

Keeping Pups And Carrying in the Mouth

How Do Dogs Carry Their Pups

Apart from using scruff, a mother dog carrying puppy in mouth is quite common. It looks a little scary, but don’t worry. The mother is not aggressive and does not engage in horrific cannibalism.

If you look closely, she is not clenching her teeth more than necessary. She releases the puppies when they reach their new place. You can notice that the puppy is doing well then.

Limp Pups

carry by Limp Pups

Dog carrying puppy like overcooked spaghetti can also occur. This is natural for puppies to go limp when their mother picks them up. In most cases, they use this way for great purposes.

First, a fight can injure or anger the mother dog, so being limp makes it much easier to carry.

Excessive quarreling can also leave puppies endangered and abandoned. So, Psychology Today said that going limp increases a puppy’s survival chances.

Carrying Puppies in the Early Weeks

carry by use their body language

How do dogs carry their puppies? They will use their body language and other communicative means to tell their pups where to move for the first few weeks.

The reason she carries the puppies for the first few weeks is often for the baby’s safety.

The mother dog instinctively decides that the puppies’ location is unsafe, and she will carry them to another place.

She may also return a lone pup to the safety of her litter if she has strayed far from her family’s protection.

Why Do Mother Dogs Carry Their Puppies?

When the dogs carry puppies to another place, it is a great way to show her pride and protection with her babies.

But the first and foremost reason for this mothering behavior is the mother dog wants to give the best protection to her puppy.

If the mom dogs detect the dangers or risks from predators at this place, they will keep their puppies and bring them to another spot.

The second reason why the dogs carry their pups is to get comfortable and clean.

This is an affectionate and maternal behavior after the mother dogs give birth because they want to find a cozy and spotless place for their babies and themselves alike.

Besides, the ambient temperature is one of the common reasons for dogs to bring their pups to a new destination.

Where do dogs carry puppies if they feel the old place is too cold or hot or to keep their pups away from heat sources?

They will move their babies to a new destination with a better rectal temperature in a sheltered and dark place.

How Do Mother Dogs Take Care of Their Puppies?

A dog’s maternal instincts start even before they are born. Thus, the mother dogs often search for the perfect and safe nest for their puppies.

They can step in for a pillow or blanket to build the nesting box as comfortably and safely as possible.

Plus, dog mothers will lick their babies after birth. They do this behavior for two main reasons. The first one is stimulating ordinary bodily functions such as defecation, breathing, or urinating.

The other reason is to always keep their babies clean. This is another property of their ancestors, who sanitized their babies to remove odors that could attract dangerous predators.

Besides, the milk production to care for the puppies is one of the essential natures of normal mother dogs, as puppies can’t eat foods like bacon and eggs yet.

This production is because of the prolactin hormone from the pregnant dog. It gives the puppies the required nutrients instead of normal dog food.

This will help the mom dog protect her puppy early after the delivery process, before her pup opens its ears and eyes, or in the early months of age.

Their breast milk can provide helpful things that a 4-week-old puppy needs, such as intensifying the immune system.

Also, it protects the puppies from severe illnesses, such as parasitic diseases, bacterial diseases, infectious diseases, and others.

How Will Mother Dogs Discipline Their Pups?

Mother dogs often train their puppies to use the basic growl, hind legs, snarl, or walk away.

A sharp bark or low-throated growl are special signals to their puppies for a bad interaction or a pause in their activity level. This growl works as a warning to tell the puppies to stop.

Most puppies learn to follow warnings and quickly cease their actions, such as loud noises or fighting with each other.

Sometimes, the mother dogs lift their lips to show a pearly white to send the messages that they don’t want to be pounced on or be left alone if their puppies are at a certain distance.


How do dogs carry their pups? One of the most common ways the mother dogs use to bring their babies is by keeping their pups in their mouths.

Besides, they will get their scruff to keep their babies safe while carrying them.

One great thing is that mother dogs carry their pups in the early couple of days to move their babies to a better environment and safer place.

Besides, you also understand the reasons the mother dogs bring their pups.

Hopefully, this article gives you useful information to better care for your pet, including a normal diet with the proper puppy foods or pet foods.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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