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Well, you know I'm an 8 week fan (beginning of the week). Here is a good explanation of puppy development by week:

http://www.ccc.govt.nz/Animals/CriticalPuppyDevelopment.asp

I've simply found that the puppies understand their place in your pack better when they've had that extra time with their mom & siblings. They are just about ready to enter thier "fear" period, and take to bonding well with your family too.

My 2 cents. But why don't you ask your vet?

xoxo

Hi Tertia, My hubby and I recently bought a pug puppy. When we saw her (at the breeders house) we were told she is 6 weeks. We paid for her and actually paid extra for an additional 2 weeks because we felt it would be better for her. When I was younger we also bred fawn pugs and only after 7 weeks did we advertise because we believed it was better for the puppy to be with the mum a little longer for nutritional and bonding purposes.
I agree with Boulder - 8 weeks is best.

8 weeks. By then they've had proper development with their litter and will be less prone to hangups and insecurities. They'll be more laid back as adults and have better temperaments. Btw, it's a good idea to take them to puppy training where they'll get firework and loud noise desensitisation training. It makes it MUCH easier if you have dogs that aren't spooked by any loud noise.

8 weeks is much better.. that is the start of getting more independant from mum!

8 weeks is good, 10 even better. We took my pup home when he was supposedly 10 weeks, but it hurt him to eat solid food, he was only 8 weeks old. They should be able to eat solid food before you take them.

We've always done 8 weeks - seems to be standard practice in the States.

Much better after 8 weeks, the mother still is able to teach him/her things, its all for better development in the future.
10 sounds the best thought, if you can wait that long...

The 8 week thing is also because retrievers mature slowly, so extra time with the mother allows them to be a little more ready. We used to breed goldens and the difference in behavior and reliance on the mom in those few weeks is big.

I actually believe it is better to keep the puppies till they're 8 weeks old. Small breeds preferrably up to 10 weeks. They're still so small at 6 weeks and they learn a lot of socialising from the mommy from 6 - 10 weeks.

Definitely 8 weeks T - it's better for puppies and for you!

I always read that anywhere from 8-12 was perfect... just enough time to get well established in the whole pack instinct thing, still young enough to bond with your family as a pack.

Goldens are gorgeous, wonderful dogs! I hope you love to obedience train because they are wonderful at it and it's so beneficial to dogs of that size and intelligence!

Definitely 8 weeks. It's even a law here that you can't take puppies earlier than that!

Hi T! Definately between 8 and 10 weeks. We brought our Jack Russell pup home at 6 weeks and we were at the vet 3 days and many rands later because he was too young to leave mom!

Don't take them home before 8 weeks. Puppies learn bite inhibition from their mother and siblings. It's an important skill. Puppies do best with mom till 12 weeks old. Seriously the longer you wait the better. You want confident happy little pups, not helpless little babies that cry for their mother all night.

8 - 10 weeks,

Apparently, amongst other things it curbs their biting or nipping as the other puppies and mommy will nip them back.

*gulp* I guess I'm in the minority here, because my very first dog was a rescue (so he was ~2 yrs old), and my second dog - first PUPPY - came home just shy of 6 weeks old! I had visited her regularly at my friend's house, so it wasn't as if Sadie was coming home with a "stranger" but perhaps it would have been better for her to stay with her "mom" for a bit longer. Ultimately, she was a very WHINEY, CLINGY dog - though incredibly affectionate and sweet. Perhaps because she was "too" young, is why she developed the habit of whining/squeaking whenever I left the room and she couldn't come with me?? Sadie will be turning 15 in a few months, and STILL squeaks/whines, but now only when she's separated from her DAUGHTER.

Which brings me to my Dog #3... one of Sadie's puppies. Loosie will turn 8 in March, and has NEVER EVER been separated from her mom. Great for bonding, but I'm really fearful what will happen with Sadie dies. As it is now, Loosie howls herself totally hoarse if we take Sadie out of her sight (i.e. inside for a bath, while Loosie is outside, or to the vet on a solo trip).

I think waiting until the pups are 8 weeks old sounds smart. Perhaps you won't have the irritation of whining/squeaking (from the dog!) if you wait a few extra weeks.

One thing, though... do you suppose that - by getting two puppies/littermates at once - you might be setting yourself up for the dogs bonding more strongly with each other, rather than as independent/individual dogs bonding with you?? I never thought of it before, but that concern just jumped to my mind.

As for the name Peter, why not name her "Peta" instead? Like Peta Wilson (the actress)? Same basic name/sound, but definitely the feminine form. ;-)

My Dad is a Veterinarian here in the states and he definately recommends 8 weeks. It's possible for them to be weaned and in a home by 6 weeks, but those last couple of weeks can make a difference with all kinds of things (including house training, seperation anxiety, etc.) If you think about puppies who's mothers have been killed and have been raised by people since they were younger than 6 weeks, they're usually very skittish. Better to be safe than sorry! In the long run, missing out on having them those extra 2 weeks will not make a difference.

I'm with the crowd.
at least 8 weeks up to 10 weeks.

Later is better, usually. Breeders who let the litter stay with their mom until 8 weeks will be giving you a pup who is much better socialized to other dogs. 6-8 weeks is a learning time where they figure out how to use their mouths gently, how to play, how to be a tiny bit independent, etc. I actually think 9 weeks old is better, because 7-9 weeks is the classic "sensitive" period where scary events seem to have a disproportionate effect on the dog's personality.

But, if you have a breeder who forceably weans the pups at 6 weeks, and then the litter is on it's own doing the whole Lord of the Flies thing, that's bad. It would be better to take the pup at 6 weeks. Or, if the rest of the litter is going home at 6 weeks, you might as well take yours as well.

Woody's Girl -- yes, there is a risk raising two pups from the same litter, that they will over-bond to each other. In fact, I believe Tertia was advised of this earlier, but has gone for two anyhow :). The main thing to do is make a point of taking them out ALONE on a regular basis, so they learn how to be on their own as well as together. You can do the same thing with your mother-daughter pair, so that when the mother passes, it's not so hard on the daughter. Make sure the separations are paired with something wonderful, like great treats or a favorite toy/game. etc etc.

Yup, longer is better, if puppies are anything like kittens, and I have reason to believe that they are. We kept our kittens with their mother for 8 weeks, and were told by our vet that 12 would have been better. I think that a little bit more time improves their confidence with things like their bodily function, they are less inclined to be reckless, etc.

They are adorable, by the way.

Crumble our Golden Retriever puppy (now 10 months) came to ours at 7 weeks. We were going to wait til 8 weeks but the breeder said he was advanced!

8 weeks. They learn social skills from littermates and parents between 6 and 8 weeks (maybe up to 9?). With young kids at home, this is probably even more important. We actually didn't bring home our ridgeback until 9 weeks just because of when we could travel to pick him up, and he was sleeping through the night within 3 days, and housetrained within a week, so there is that bonus with older pups as well. You should see if your breeder with allow you and the kids to go over and play with the pups between 6 and 8 weeks to give everyone time for the adjustment and the dogs and kids used to playing with each other. I've found that the really good breeders who are sincere in raising good dogs, and not just quick cash, will be very accomodating when it is in the best interest of the pups.

Eight weeks.

Their names are too cute!

I work in a vet hospital and I agree with everyone here. Longer = better. I usually do closer to 12+ weeks actually. Lets them nurse longer, makes sure their eyes are fully open, makes sure their motor skills and social development are up to living in a house with toddlers. The extended nursing is the big one though, puppies are like human babies like that. If possible longer is better.

I agree with the 'at least 8 weeks' crowd. I've brought two home even later, at 10 and 14 weeks. There was a lot that was easier with the 14 weeker than the 10 even. She certainly made it through the night from day 1! By 8 weeks, they've just matured more and gotten more feedback on bite inhibition from their littermates making much less work for you to do on that front.

No time to read PPs, so sorry if this is a repeat. Its about socialization with their littermates. HTH!

As a dog and puppy rescuer, I advise 10-11 wks. 10 at an absolute minimum. I hope this breeder is one of ethics.

We got our golden puppy at six weeks, and I wish we'd waited until 8. She never really learned how to be a dog from her mama and siblings. We brought our second home around 12 weeks (she could have gone earlier, but we were out of town so her breeder kept her for us) and she's a very different animal.

Those puppies are SO CUTE.

Remember being up all night with the babes, crying and needing comfort? (Well, maybe you still are.) This will be two weeks less of that with the pups, and better for the whole family. They are adorable. Enjoy!

We got our Old English Sheepdog at 6 weeks. He's now 4 years old and we have "issues" that I've been told would not exist if he'd stayed with his Mom for longer - even 12 weeks. The idea is that the mother puts the puppy in his place and he learns a lot before he comes to your house and you spoil them rotten because they're so cute! Our sheepie thinks he's the boss because we never showed him otherwise like his Mom would have...

We got our Old English Sheepdog at 6 weeks. He's now 4 years old and we have "issues" that I've been told would not exist if he'd stayed with his Mom for longer - even 12 weeks. The idea is that the mother puts the puppy in his place and he learns a lot before he comes to your house and you spoil them rotten because they're so cute! Our sheepie thinks he's the boss because we never showed him otherwise like his Mom would have...

I agree with Jaine, I hope you have checked these people out thoroughly. Reputable breeders would not release a puppy before 8 weeks and given that you did opt for two (best of luck with that)the older they are, the better. 2 years sounds about right for a home with young children :).

Hi Tertia,
I just sent a rambling e-mail about this stuff. Six weeks is definitely too young, I would be making sure they are vaccinated first, then waiting until 8 weeks to bring them home. In Australia, we vaccinate for distemper, hepatatits and parvovirus at 6 weeks of age. You might want to check with a SA vet what happens over there. Most good breeders here will make sure the pups get that first vaccination before they go to their new homes.
Agree with all the stuff about social skills from Mum too. That extra 2 weeks just helps them in lots of ways. But then it's good to get them into your home and settled. They learn a lot of social skills with you too.

I say 7-8w but no older...at 8weeks + dogs are forming habits already. We got our wirefox at 7w, he was potty trained by 3 months. He's wonderful. He cried the first night in his crate. Never after. He's a stellar dog.

I think a bit of extra milk time from their mum would be great for them!

I am thinking the older the better, at least 8 weeks. Our dog was adopted from the shelter. We aren't exactly sure of her age, but because she was a shelter puppy ( the litter had been brought in at about 4wks old, with no mother), we took her home ASAP. She was, best guess, 6 weeks. I wish she could have had more time with her mother dog. We love her dearly, but she is absolutely neurotic, and when she sees other dogs, she is uncontrollable. She is young yet, 5 months, and we are working with her, but I can't help but wish that she could have had her mommy longer.

The breeder we got our puppy from (in Canada) didn't let them go until at least 10 weeks. We didn't get Quinnie until nearly 12 weeks due to having to travel a day / scheduling. The upside was that she had already started potty training him and he was crate trained. It made his first few weeks with us SO MUCH easier. Also, they shouldn't be around other / older dogs until they get a couple rounds of shots - and they'll be much closer to that milestone if they are older. It is hard to wait for sure. But I was stunned at how much having a puppy was like having a newborn (in terms of getting up at night ... ) - something to consider.

I am a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence in Northern California (cci.org) We are helping to raise 'helper dogs' for people in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities. This program has been around for at least 25 years - and I do know in the past they used to send out the puppies to the raisers at 6 weeks of age - but now we receive new pups at 8 weeks. They have a lot of experience and I agree that 8 or more weeks is best. Enjoy your clean carpet while you can;) And congratulations!

In the US, it's common to never bring home a puppy younger than 8 weeks, and recommended to wait until they're 12 weeks old. They have much more bladder control at 12 weeks, and are more receptive to learning simple commands. If you can wait, do it. Especially if you are going to make these indoor dogs.

Ahh puppies. Like newborns at first. Good luck with this Tertia!

We have two lovely dogs from the same litter who are delightful. They were rescue dogs and were found with their mother at around four months. I'd say the longer they get their mother's care the better (as with people)! And even though they're littermates, they're quite happy with us. I think it's great they have each other.

We waited until 13 weeks, and am I ever glad we did - Buffy came potty-trained, already knew basic commands, she is excellent with other dogs and people, and is a much more chill dog than any of our friends' dogs.

If both puppies are girls why not spell Peter "Peta"? good luck

I am a dog breeder (my dog had another litter just this past Monday) and I always keep the pups for at least 10 weeks. It is better for the Mom. The pups have a better transition without her. And they are usually easier to train if you wait longer to take them from Mom.

Just a personal opinion but I'd say 8 weeks. Seems like a better age to me. What happened to your other dogs? Did I miss something? :(

8. But you already knew that.

8 weeks is better. Some breeders in the US have started keeping them 12-14 weeks. You get a gentler, better-adjusted pup who will always be better socialized (friendlier, and less of that nasty puppy nipping). BUT I brought my furkid home at 3.5 weeks when her mother turned her back on her and while she is happy and healthy at 8 weeks now, she could certainly be better socialized.

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