Mother dog biting puppies

Can the bitch bite her own puppies postpartum? When does the bite become an aggression? This post will talk about the dog’s behavior in postpartum and what should be done if the animal gets a little aggressive.

Mother dog biting puppies

Some female dogs can put puppies in their mouths without wanting to bite the puppies, or older puppies can be bitten when they get close to their mother’s food. Would these behaviors be normal?

Yes, these behaviors are normal and are part of the mother dog’s dynamics with the puppies, whether for protection or teaching the pack. In general, many bitches are misunderstood by their owners, who end up unduly separating the puppies to prevent them from being injured.

On the other hand, there are female dogs that are really aggressive with their puppies, normally, these animals don’t even like to be close to the puppies. And when the female dogs get close to them they end up being aggressive, biting and even killing their own puppy.

When does biting become aggression?

A female dog cannot bite to injure her puppies. If this happens, it’s because she is being aggressive. In this case, the animals should be taken to the veterinarian for an evaluation.

What can the mother dog’s aggression mean?

The postpartum female dog goes through a series of hormonal variations which can interfere with the mood of some female dog, which makes the animal become aggressive with her puppies.

In these cases, the female dog should be separated from the puppies to prevent her from killing them. And it is recommended to go with the animal to a veterinary consultation for evaluation of the dog’s clinical condition and guidance on food supplementation for the puppies.

Some breeds are already described as the most frequent for not having maternal ability, thus being aggressive with their puppies. These breeds are:

  • American bully
  • English bulldog
  • French bulldog
  • Shih-tzu

In general, these are breeds that usually present difficulties in parturition, these female dogs are taken to the veterinary clinic where the parturient bitches undergo anesthesia and cesarean section.

Anesthesia can influence the hormonal variation suffered by female dogs at the end of gestation, so they do not create affective bonds with their puppies, becoming aggressive.

Another important point is that the cesarean section must be performed at the appropriate time. If this does not happen, the puppies can be born prematurely and the bitches do not go through the great hormonal variation at the end of pregnancy, making them not want to be close to their puppies, not produce milk, and often the animal can become aggressive.

What does it mean when the female dog bites without aggression?

A female dog can often carry puppies by mouth as a way of protecting them, and there is no aggression. Usually the female dog transfers the puppies from the nest when she feels in danger, or threatened. A female dog must give birth and remain in a quiet and safe environment.

When the puppies are older the female dog can bite them to establish dominance, and as a tactic to teach them subordination. But, there can be no aggression or hurting the puppies. 


In this blog post, we were able to find out that not always when a female dog is biting her puppy she is being aggressive with him. Sometimes she’s just carrying him somewhere else. Or demonstrating pack behavior teaching then some lessons. If a dog shows aggression, a veterinarian should be sought in addition to separate the puppies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Mother dog biting puppies


What to do when the mother rejects the puppy?

First, separate the puppy from the mother. Put it in a warm place, it is also possible to try manually placing the puppy on the mother’s teats for breastfeeding. If this is not possible, consult a veterinarian.

Why does the female dog carry her puppies?

It is normal for a mother female to carry her puppies in her mouth; this behavior is not aggressive. A mother may move her young if she feels threatened. She may bite the puppies’ cubs as a tactic to teach them subordination.

How do female dogs take care of their puppies?

In dogs, females dedicate themselves to their puppies when they are newborns, suckling them and licking their belly, triggering the urination and defecation reflex in them. The female cleans her puppies and spends more time nestling with them, thus maintaining the temperature.


de Souza Teixeira, E. (2001). Princípios básicos para a criação de cães. NBL Editora.

Picture from