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When Can a Dachshund Leave Its Mother? (Puppy Guidelines)

You may have spotted the perfect dachshund puppy, but when can it leave its mother and go home with you? This article explains just that, and why it’s crucial to stick to the guidelines.


When Can a Dachshund Leave Its Mother?

Dachshund puppies should stay with their mother and siblings until they are at least 8 weeks old. This is the minimum age that a puppy can be removed from its mother.

*Important note: In some countries and certain states of America, this is actually a law.

However, in some states, it is not a law, and there are still breeders who allow puppies to be removed from their mother before 8 weeks old. This is such a shame considering that this rule is very well known and should be adhered to.

If you speak to veterinarians or any reputable breeder, they will be quick to tell you to run away from anyone trying to sell you a puppy under 8 weeks old. Let’s find out why…

Interesting read: When do dachshunds go into heat? Full guide

Why Dachshunds Should Not Be Removed From Their Mother Prematurely

So what’s the big deal with removing puppies prematurely from their mother?

1. Puppies Need Their Mother’s Milk

The mother’s milk is specially designed to have exactly what your puppy needs to grow strong, gain a basic level of immunity, and quite frankly, survive. It’s packed full of essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and calories.

The mother’s milk is what your Dachshund puppy needs for the first two months of his life.

Removing him prematurely, even by 1 week, could negatively affect his immune system and growth. And despite there being alternatives to mother’s milk available, nothing beats the real thing!

By the time you pick up your puppy at 8 weeks old (or older), he should have weaned off his mother’s milk and now consume a store-bought puppy formula (kibble or wet food).

2. Puppies learn A LOT about their bite power and threshold

Your Dachshund pup will be learning some extremely important lessons while he spends the first two months with his mother and siblings.

The mother will be subjected to biting, nipping, and chewing on a daily basis, but don’t worry, she has none of it. And whenever your pup bites a little too hard, she will give him a nasty telling-off. And this is when he learns valuable lessons.

Knowing when his bite hurts is a lesson that YOU would rather avoid. But if your pup has been removed from his mother too early, guess who he’ll be practicing on…

Apart from teaching him his bite threshold, it’s also teaching him basic manners and good behavior.

Your puppy will learn that he can’t just go around biting his siblings and mother with his full power, otherwise, it will evoke a negative response. This is a subtle lesson to learn, but a super crucial one that sets the foundation for him to have basic manners and good behavior.

Dachshunds are known for being on the mouthy side, so trust me, you want his canine mother to give him as many lessons as possible before coming home!

3. Puppies Gain Valuable Social Skills With Their Siblings

Proper socialization will have a big effect on your Dachshund’s overall character and behavior, and it starts right from day one.

Playing with siblings is the first step any puppy takes in learning how to interact with other dogs and, eventually, us humans.

Every single day your puppy gets to play, eat, sniff, argue, bite, and sleep close to his siblings builds upon his experience of general interaction. This skill ends up playing a very important role in his ability to meet new dogs and strangers.

Although we as responsible owners can facilitate puppy meetups and social play dates right from a young age, the more he gets out of his siblings, the better off his foundations will be.

4. Behavioral Issues Growing Up

Perhaps one of the most noticeable negative side effects that come from early removal, is behavioral problems as your puppy grows up.

Although it hasn’t been proven, its extremely common for puppies that were removed too early, to develop behavior issues such as destructiveness, disobedience, barking and biting, and even increased anxiety.

Dachshunds, as I mentioned previously, can be a mouthy breed at the best of times, so naturally, you want to do everything you can in the early stages to avoid this. Ensuring he spends adequate time with his mother is one of them.

Due to not having those early lessons from his mother, he may also lack an understanding of hierarchy. This will make training a lot harder for you. If he doesn’t quite understand who’s the boss, he’ll be less inclined to listen.

Disclaimer: Is all of the above guaranteed to happen if my puppy gets removed early?
No, not necessarily, and despite everything I’ve said, it’s not guaranteed to be a disaster if a puppy gets removed before 8 weeks. It’s the advised guidelines (It could even be a law, depending on what state you are in). These are just commonly seen side effects in many puppies (not all) that do get removed a little too early.

Health Problems May Not Show In Puppies Under 8 Weeks Old

Ensuring good health of both parents and all offspring is a crucial part of breeding dogs responsibly. All puppies should have a full veterinary health check-up before you buy them and documented proof should be available.

If the puppy has not yet had his health check-up, please wait before proceeding with the sale as many health conditions take a little while before showing symptoms. The earlier you bring him home, the higher the risk for you.

Important consideration: If a breeder is readily trying to sell you a puppy prematurely, it may have underlying health issues that the breeder knows will make the pup less valuable as it develops. On the contrary, if you view an offspring and there remains one puppy at 16-18 weeks old, this could signify other people have left this pup due to having health concerns.

Just remember, be cautious with discounts and pushy breeders, this could suggest there are underlying health issues with that particular pup.

If you want to take on a pup knowingly with health concerns, that is of course entirely down to you. Although this will entail difficult housing, daily requirements, and many expensive vet appointments.

Recommended: Do dachshunds need a constant companion?

Bringing Home a Dachshund Puppy: What To Ask The Breeder

Being a breeder is a tough job, there is so much that goes into breeding behind the scenes that isn’t valued enough. I take my hat off to all the reputable breeders out there!

When you spot the perfect pup, there are some important checks and questions to ask first before bringing him home.

Good topics to cover with the breeder:
1. How old is the litter?
2. Has their full health check been completed? (documentation?)
3. Are you able to see the parents? (Observe their behavior and health)
4. Confirm the health of both parents and puppies
5. Have vaccinations been given already? (can start 6-8 weeks of age)
6. Has worming treatment begun (should start around 2 weeks of age)
7. How does your puppy socialize in the litter (confident or timid)
8. Feeding times and sleeping times
9. Confirm puppies are fully weaned and learn about the formula they are using
10. Are you able to take away a diet sheet? (meal times and portion sizes)
11. Are you able to return the puppy should any early health conditions arise (many reputable breeders allow this)

Don’t be alarmed by the number of questions! They are, in essence, ensuring the health of the puppy and parents, and simply getting up to speed with all the knowledge you need while there with the breeder.

If you can view the puppy with his siblings, this is a great way to observe how he interacts with them.

This gives you an inkling into his character, is he the boisterous one? does he nip the most? or is he the timid one? While not set in stone, it can give you an idea of his personality early on.

What the ideal scenario would look like:
Puppies are at least 8 weeks old with their full health checks up complete with documented proof (including the parents).
Puppies have received multiple lots of worming treatments, and have started their first round of vaccines (usually on the 6-8 week mark).
Puppies are all fit, healthy, happy and this goes for the mother too (typically difficult to see the father)
Your breeder is able to provide you all information on their current routine including their diet and sleep.
Your breeder allows you to return the puppy if an underlying health issue arises shortly after bringing your pup home.

Try to get as much information as you can, and ask your breeder if you can contact them with further questions should you have any once you arrive home.

Always take your time, and remember that a reputable breeder will never be pushy to make the sale, and they will clearly prioritize the health of the puppy before anything else.

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Final Thoughts

Dachshund puppies should remain with their mother until at least 8 weeks old. This is the minimum time they can be safely removed from their mother and siblings without negative effects.

Before 8 weeks, your Dachshund puppy will still rely on his mother’s milk and will be learning valuable life lessons that are best taught by his canine mother.

Socializing also plays a crucial role and early removal can lead to future aloofness and anxiety around new dogs or strangers.

If you ever come across a breeder trying to push the sale before 8 weeks old, then stay well clear of that breeder, and try somewhere else.


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.