It is quite difficult to resist holding your cute little puppy, especially if you have just brought her home. As a new puppy owner, it’s natural to want to hold the pup not only because it feels good but also helps you to bond and provide a sense of security. The more you cradle the less you want to let go. But then you ask yourself “can you hold your puppy too much?”

In this complete guide will answer this common question and also discuss, how the mother may respond to you holding the pup, and other pertinent questions.

Let us dive in…

Can You Hold A Puppy Too Much

Is It Okay To Hold Puppies?

Simply put, yes, it is okay to hold puppies. Keep in mind, however, experts recommend that you should limit holding, carrying around, or playing with newborn puppies until their eyes open (about three weeks).

When the puppy’s eyes are open, you should be as gentle as possible when holding or carrying them around. If you have children who want to hold the puppies, this should be done under your careful, adult supervision.

Puppies are sensitive, and a simple mistake can be simply put catastrophic. For instance, you can end up injuring the puppy if you cuddle too tight or the puppy wiggles out of your hands.

You should, therefore, hold them with a lot of care intended.

Can My Dog Bite Or Snap At Me If I Touch her Puppies?

In general, a mother dog doesn’t have any problem letting their owner hold their puppies.

What you need to keep in mind is timing is critical!

Let me be clear…

Mother dogs are very protective of their puppies and will do whatever it takes to guarantee their safety.

Consequently, it is important to read the dog’s mood and body language before you touch her puppies. For instance, you should not handle the puppies when the mother is bathing, nursing, or cuddling her puppies.

Stay away from the puppies if the mother is snapping, growling, or lunging at you when you come close. Any attention that might make the mother dog feel anxious might prompt her to act defensively.


Additional Reading:

How to Raise Two Puppies Successfully (What You Should Know)
When Can I Take My Puppy To The Dog Park? (Ultimate Guide)


How Much Attention Is Too Much?

We all want to give our puppies a lot of attention because we love and care about them. But too much attention can cause unnecessary harm to you in return and you may inadvertently spoil the pup. As much as you would want to pick her up and snuggle all the time, you need to be careful not to cross the line.

If the puppy cries out for her mother then you have gone too far. This is a clear indication that the puppy feels insecure and needs mom back.

Also, the puppy could be tired because puppies sleep a lot and naturally want to be near mom If the puppy starts to doze off then the new pup needs some rest.

On average, you can expect your puppy to sleep for at least 16 hours a day.

If you give them an abundance of attention, then you will deprive the puppy of the much-needed rest. The final sign is if your puppy shows interest in feeding then they are clearly hungry and need to be fed.

Typically, you should not spend more than an hour continuously playing with your puppies. Spend as little time as possible with them and let them spend quality time with their mother.

At a young age, puppies need their mother’s attention more than yours.

How To Hold A Puppy Correctly (6 KeyTips)

Puppies are fragile and sensitive and thus how you hold them makes a huge difference. You need to be as gentle as possible when picking them up from the ground to avoid hurting them. Below is a simple guide on how to hold your puppy correctly:

  • Gently place your hand around the puppy’s chest where the rib cage is located.
  • Support her back end with your other hand.
  • Gently life the puppy off the ground and hold on to that position.
  • Hold the puppy close to your body because the puppy can easily wriggle out of your hand if you place it away from your body. Also, avoid cuddling her so tight because you can injure her.
  • When moving the puppy back to the floor, ensure that you hold her the same way you supported her when lifting her.
  • Never grab your puppy by its head, tail, or leg. You might cause severe injuries or possibly kill her.

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Should I Carry A Puppy Out To Pee?

Like babies, puppies have no control over where or when they will unleash their “goodies”. Potty training your puppy is vital as it eliminates the hustle of cleaning their pee and poop in the house all the time.

But please keep in mind, the timing of the training is crucial, and taking a newborn out to pee within three weeks is not a smart idea. In fact, you will be putting them in danger of getting deadly infections or injuries.

I recommend you should start potty training your puppy when they are 12 weeks old. At this stage, they will have good control of her bowel movement and bladder and can learn how to control them.

The puppy will also be mature enough to understand the training at this time in the growing process.

However, if your puppy is under 12 weeks old, it is pointless to carry them outside to pee. Pups have a weak immune system and are vulnerable to deadly diseases such as Canine Distemper and Canine Parvovirus.

These diseases are very contagious and a scenario you need to avoid.

Only carry your puppy outside after they reach 12 weeks old and have been vaccinated to protect them from contracting any disease.

Will The Mother Dog Reject Her Newborn Puppy If Touched?

We have all heard the myth that a mother dog of a litter can reject her newborn puppies if you touch them. However, that is simply not the case. But keep in mind, you need to use good judgment during this decision.

The only instance when a mother can reject her newborn pups is if she is sick and cannot take care of her litters or lack maternal instinct  (which is rare).

So just because the mother adult cannot reject her pup does not negate you should touch them all the time. Give the mother dog and her pups as much space and time as possible.

Additionally, limiting contact with the newborn will help reduce the chance of infection or injuries. You will also give the mother the much-needed space and peace of mind to raise her newborns.

When Is The Ideal Time To Hold Your Puppy?

When the newborn is on it’s a full belly posture, relaxed, and thus playful would be a safe time to handle the new pup. During this period, your puppy is less likely to offer resistance when you feel it.

As noted above, avoid touching the puppy when it is feeding, sleeping, or when it is not in a playing mood. It may offer resistance, and if you are not careful, it may slip off your hand and cause severe injury or death.

Only hold your puppy when it is in good spirits.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

How Can I Assist When She Gives Birth? (3 Tips)

When a mother dog gives birth, most people usually shift their attention to the puppies and forget about the mother’s health and well-being.

The mother dog will only take good care of her litters if she is okay physically, mentally, and emotionally. Here are 3 tips to assist:

Feed Her Well

The first important thing to do is to ensure that the mother is well fed by giving her nutrient-dense food. Her newborn litters will require a large amount from her and will need to keep up with her puppies’ demands.

Experts recommend that you feed the mother dog with at least three nutrient-dense meals daily. Consult your vet to find the best diet for your dog. Also, ensure a clean and freshwater dish is available and filled to keep mom well hydrated.

Keep Her Physically Fit

The mother dog will spend most of her time taking care of her young. Getting her out of the nursery for a few minutes for a quick walk will benefit her physically and mentally. Take her outside at least once a day to stretch and exercise her body to stay in good shape.

Keep An Eye On Her And The Pups

You need to keep an eye on the surroundings of both the mother and pups to make sure all is well. This will help you quickly detect any problem and solve it fast before things get out of control. Nursing dogs are known to be vulnerable to mastitis which can be passed on over to their puppies.

Additionally, you should continuously watch over them to see if they are any signs of infections. Also, inspect her nipples to see if they are swollen, red, and hard.

If you find yourself in this kind of situation, contact your vet immediately.


Additional Reading:

How To Stop A Dog From Being Aggressive Towards Cats (Complete Guide)

When Can I Take My Puppy To The Dog Park? (Ultimate Guide)


Why Do Newborn Puppies Sleep Close To Their Mother?

Puppies need much-needed warmth and a sense of security so they naturally and instinctively sleep close to their mother. Having no thick coat or fur to speak of puppies cannot generate their own body heat until they shiver, which on average takes around three weeks.

Second, is a natural lack of dependence.  When puppies are born they understand clinging to mother is the best chance of survival. Again, nature takes over and they feel safe and secure with their mother.

Finally, a strong bond creates a special connection with the mom that no harm will come them.

Take Away

We hope that in this guide Can You Hold A Puppy Too Much we have answered several common questions and concerns that you may be dealing with.

Remember newborn puppies are delicate creatures and deserve and need a lot of love and attention.

With some common sense, you can find a common ground of when to touch and hold versus let go and let mother nature take over.


Wesley Buck
Wesley Buck

Hello, my name is Wesley, and I grew up in Colorado. I went to school at St. Mary's University of Minnesota and have a B.S degree in Criminal Justice. I currently reside in Georgia and have been married for over 17 years.

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