Xena, my 1-year old Chihuahua Pinscher, was only a month old when she was separated from her mother and was adopted by us. My daughter has this grand plan of reuniting her with mother and siblings when we make a trip to Xena’s hometown. A reunion party with a separated mom and siblings sounds quite exciting for us humans but what about our canine buddies?
Will they instantly recognise their own blood? If so, will they be genuinely affectionate or turn hostile? To help us understand this, a 2013 study in Animal Cognition suggests that dogs do have a long-term memory and it might be possible that they can recognise their pups. But the recognition depends on a couple of factors like for how long they have been separated.
In humans it is something like meeting an acquaintance on the street and not reckoning the fact that they are your old friend whom you have lost touch with. Once you realise how close they were to you as a friend you will greet them more warmly and affectionately than if they were just a casual acquaintance you have met and are just getting to know.
Animal behaviourists are of the opinion that dogs treat all puppies the same way they would treat their own after being separated. A few female dogs behave like they do not want their puppy anywhere near them. Other female dogs are usually excited to see their pups when they return to visit.
You know how hard it is to recognise people once you meet them after many years. It is the same with our canine pals.
A mom – pup recognition is dependent on various factors like the environmental conditions during the time of separation and the level of bonding that they shared before getting separated. Puppies also undergo a lot of changes as they grow older. The recognition factor depends on how changed they appear or not since they left their mother.
It is not very often that dog moms are pleasantly surprised with a happy reunion with her puppies. It all depends on how well adjusted and social your pet is or not. It’s a chance that you got to take. I do have a strong feeling that Xena will be affectionately welcomed home by her doggy mom. Fingers crossed!