WARNING! Adorable German Shepherd Puppy Pile Ahead!

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We love puppies here at Puppy In Training and even better are puppy piles!  Years ago we fostered this litter of cute, adorable German Shepherd puppies.  We always say that they were German Shepherd mix pups, but 2 of the 7 looked like Labrador Retrievers…at the time we guessed that the litter of puppies had two different fathers.

Either way these little pups were super cute!  One of the things they loved to do was cuddle up together and form a little puppy pile.  It wasn’t because they were cold (at least I don’t think so).  As I recall that was one of the hottest summers we had seen in years (we’re having a similar summer this year).  Nope, they were all just the best of buds I guess…

German Shepherd Puppy Pile!

Going clockwise starting from the little yellow pup on top that’s Blondie, Cocoa, Sally, and Brisby. Missing from the puppy pile are Georgie, Boots, and the little runt: Princess Buttercup!

Puppy Pile
A German Shepherd Puppy Pile!

We rescued these seven puppies from the Riverside Animal Shelter and fostered them until they were old enough for adoption. At the time we were volunteer foster parents for the Cuddly Canines Rescue Organization. If you’re interested in fostering and live near La Habra, CA visit the Cuddly Canines website for more information.

Why Do Puppies Sleep In A Pile?

I’ve read dozens of books about puppy training, puppies, and dogs in general.  So what’s up with these puppy piles?  I’m sure you’ve all heard someone at one time or another say: “…dog’s are pack animals” as a way to explain some kind of behavior.  Well guess what?  The puppy pile is probably a direct result of dogs being pack animals.  Here are a few thoughts on why we see these puppy piles:

  • Dog’s are pack animals and as such want to be near each other thus forming puppy piles.
  • The puppy pile is a part of a dogs need to bond with each other.
  • The puppy pile is to keep the pups warm and help conserve heat.  As I mentioned it was a hot summer and I’m not so sure these little guys needed to pile up and conserve heat.

My black Labrador Retriever, Stetson gets to sleep in the bed and likes to sleep right up against my body at night.  It’s nice during cold winters, but he does the same thing in the middle of the summer.  Stetson’s behavior must be a continuation of his days with his litter mates and their puppy pile.  I guess now I’m a part of Stetson’s new puppy pile.  I must say I do enjoy bonding with Stetson even if it’s the middle of summer and I’m sweating all night in bed.  I guess humans (or at least I) are pack animals too 🙂

So what about you?  If you raise litters of puppies do your pups form puppy piles?  Do you (the human) form a puppy pile with your dog(s) at home?  We’d love to hear what you have to say.  Tell us about it in the comment section below.

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  1. Sam’s litter was one big puppy pile of cuteness too. Now if I’m sitting on the floor or in bed he has to be touching me… even if it’s just a paw on my leg. Even if I’m sitting at my desk he has to get as close to my chair as he can… which terrifies me – always scared I’m going to roll over an ear or tail!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Our guide dog pups always have to be at our feet when we’re working. I worry about the same thing. I’m always afraid that I’m going to roll over a body part.

      Happy WW!

  2. We don’t sleep in a pack per say, although Sampson is more prone to be plastered against or on me during the winter months. Delilah likes to stay curled up at the bottom of the bed and more often than not is lying on my feet.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way, in fact its gotten to the point that if they aren’t touching me somehow I just can’t sleep. 🙂

    1. Hi Jodi,

      I agree. I have trouble sleeping when my dogs aren’t in the bed too. It always feels weird when I’m in a hotel by myself without the dogs.

      Happy WW!

  3. That is a super cute dog pile!! Nice to learn more about this dog pile info.

    You won’t have problem with sweating too much on summer if your pet is reptile 😉 I like puting Kroten on my tummy on hot days because she is so cold.

    Too bad I can’t put my link on the linky because I am using my mobile 🙁

      1. I will ask Kroten first 😉

        She has becoming more mommy’s girl since her sister passed away…I am afraid she’ll hate being separated to have summer with you 😉

  4. Cute cute! Our shep-mix only “piles” up with us in the wee hours of the morning – probably because it’s chillier then. I wonder if she’s not much of a “piler” because she didn’t have the normal puppy experience. She was found by the rescue group on the beach in Mexico. Poor kid!

    1. Hmmm…could be. Linus is a pseudo-piler. He likes to be next to you, but doesn’t usually touch you like my other dogs did.

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