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There's a chance I might be able to bring little Rogan home before he turns 8 weeks old... like maybe a week or so early... is this a bad idea? I know they learn a lot from mom and littermates... but how big of a deal is it really?
 

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I know it's difficult. I'm waiting 9 weeks because of family obligations. That extra week is just excruciating. He will be a much better dog for having that extra week with his litter mates though.

He's sooo cute!
 

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I know it's difficult. I'm waiting 9 weeks because of family obligations. That extra week is just excruciating. He will be a much better dog for having that extra week with his litter mates though.

He's sooo cute!
It's so true. After having a litter of 9 and not letting them go until they were 12 weeks old, I can tell you that the socialization in the "family" is just getting started for reals at 8 weeks. They learn an enormous amount once they are fully weaned and on their own. It's hard for a breeder to keep them for that long because they are crazy noisy pooping machines but it's just invaluable to the new owners that they have some extra time. Plus, from what I understood from *my* breeder, the 8-12 week time ensures that they have used up mom's immunity somewhat, and the shots they are given at 12 weeks have a better chance of actually innoculating them instead of being cancelled out because mom's immunity is still in effect. So when you bring a puppy home at 8 weeks, you have to be very, very careful that it's not exposed to other dogs, or be careful about the dogs it IS exposed to, until you are sure the innoculations have "taken".
 

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Sisko came to us at 7 weeks and a few days due to impending snow storms and the prospect of not being able to get up the mountain road to get him. If we had left him we wouldn't have been able to get him for a few more weeks and my holiday couldn't be changed. In retrospect, if it hadn't been for the weather, he would have benefitted from longer with mom and the sibs. He was miserable at night and never did get over wanting to gnaw on people.
 

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I take a pup at 6 weeks IF I have an adult neutral dog so puppy learns non-interaction socialization. A puppy learns faster at 6 - 12 weeks than any other time in it's lifetime. I hate to waste it in a breeder environment.

I won't take an older pup unless the breeder is also a trainer and I know what has been done and how often. I have to have really good trust in someone.

But raising puppies to be WORKING dogs is one of my strongest skills. If you've read a lot of the research on stages of puppy development and know what the pup needs, you could do well.

If the dog is going to just 'be' in a litter in a kennel environment, I think they're better off getting socialized in a home. With the exception that puppies taken early tend to have behavior problems as adults. NOT because of the separation from the little, but because the human coddles and babies the younger puppy. The effect is most pronounced in bottle raised puppies.

The age of taking a puppy has changed over the years. Part of the logic for 8 weeks is because it's when puppies begin to get social rank and start squabbling. Mom is pushing them away and weaning. Because the littermates and mom are pushing the puppy away, it's assumed the puppy will need affection and a new pack and will bond better.

The youngest I've taken a pup was 5-1/2 weeks. The mother was dog-aggressive and we didn't want the puppy to learn from her. Plus they were in a kennel environment with no training or stimulation. I had 3 neutral dogs at home. We had no problems with separation, bite inhibition, or anything. But even with so much work, she did become dog-aggressive. There definitely is a genetic component to it. I spent 6 - 12 weeks training everything, I was a stay-at-home momma of an infant and had a lot of time to kill. :) She learned everything she needed to learn in her life in those weeks.

But I don't think that taking a puppy young is always a good idea. If you aren't really experienced, it's probably not wise. It can be done purposefuly for positive effect. It sadly is done by BYB who want to dump a litter ASAP and those stories don't always have happy endings.
 

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Good Decision. A good breeder never lets pups go before 8 weeks. :)
I just had to comment on this, because I feel that's a very unfair statement. I don't have a dog yet, so my experience is only with cats....but I can tell you: just because a breeder might sell an animal a few weeks young doesn't necessarily make him bad.

I bought my first cat in 2003. I'd been looking for ages, had decided on a breed, and was just biding my time until school was over (I was a sophomore in college). Then my mom died suddenly, and I had to go bury her, 1400 miles away. It was complicated, heartbreaking, and an all around terrible experience.

On my way home, (about 1000 miles from home) I stopped at a breeder to look at her kittens. She had two litters - 12 kittens total - and only two were girls. One was her keeper, and the other was from a litter that was just 7 weeks old. In the cat world, it is much more common to let kittens go at 12 weeks, so 7 was WAY early. My boyfriend knew I was coming back with a kitten (his parents, who were giving me a home for the summer, did not....but that's another story...). His only request was that the kitten was female. All things considered, it didn't seem like a terrible request. After all, he and his family were giving me a home when I had no where else to go.

So this breeder, who'd never let a kitten go before 10 weeks, decided to let me take this tiny 7 week old kitten home with me (since coming back in a few weeks was not an option). I will ALWAYS be grateful for the exception she made. I have four cats now, but Athena...my first...will always be our favorite. She went everywhere with me, and has always known exactly what I need (even when I don't). She reads my moods, heck, she reads my mind. I feel that part of our connection stems from the fact that she was SO young when she came to me, that the bond was instant, and has only strengthened over time. Yet, she still knows she's a cat and behaved appropriately with other cats (and even dogs). So, I feel that no harm came from sending her at 7 weeks.

I think dogs, being pack animals, need the extra time. Even so, to say that a good breeder never makes exceptions to the 8 week rule I think is very unfair. I certainly don't think the breeder who sold me a 7 week old kitten was a bad breeder.

And as I said, I will be forever grateful.
http://fierylittleking.blogspot.com/search/label/Athena
 

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I am surprised the breeder is giving you the option of taking the puppy home at 7 weeks old. What are the circumstances? The longer then puppies stay with mom and the littermates the better in my opinion.
 

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Some say take them home at *exactly* 49 days....

Some say anytime from 7 weeks on. I hold all my puppies until 8 weeks or older. I try to get puppies for my personal pets between 7-8 weeks. Older is fine but NEVER before 7 weeks.

And looking at puppies from litters I've had, the difference between 7 weeks and 8 or 9 weeks is like in human babies going from baby to toddler. The difference is simply amazing!

At 7 weeks until 8 weeks, they are just eating--eliminating--sleeping machines. At 8 weeks or a couple of days after, it's like a lightbulb turns on and they suddenly realize there's a whole new world OUT THERE. At 9 weeks on up, they're really ready to socialize, be part of a family, play and join in activities.
 

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I am surprised the breeder is giving you the option of taking the puppy home at 7 weeks old. What are the circumstances? The longer then puppies stay with mom and the littermates the better in my opinion.
Just to make things clear... in case some missed it... this thread is 2 1/2 years old. A forum member recently commented on it which bumped the thread back into "new" territory- but the OP has already had her puppy for over two years now...

Thanks!

Barb
 

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Just to make things clear... in case some missed it... this thread is 2 1/2 years old. A forum member recently commented on it which bumped the thread back into "new" territory- but the OP has already had her puppy for over two years now...

Thanks!

Barb
thanks Barb, it's funny how old threads get brought out into the light years later and people think it's new information :) Rogan will be 3 years old in June!

I thought I would post this excerpt. It is from Dog Training for Dummies, written by Wendy & Jack Volhard who are the people who developed the Puppy Aptitude Test that so many breeders subscribe to.
 

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Even though this thread is old it helped me out because my SPOO is going to be 7 weeks when I get her and the breeder is letting her go. Am not sure why but it may be for reasons that I read. I believe she is a good breeder but won't know until I get my dog. I am worried about all the things I have to teach my pup because i haven't had a pup this young before so this is all new to me unless I reach back 20 years into my memory to try and remember what I did LOL. Anyways not sure what to expect.
 

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Sulo is a Christmas puppy -- I took him home just a few days before Christmas eve. He was 7 weeks and 4 days. His two sisters had left the previous day and his brother was to go later that day. The dam had an adult access out of the play pen and preferred to spend a lot of time out of the den. Meanwhile, two resident bitches had a lot of fun "looking after" the little ones. I was hesitant to take a puppy home before 8 weeks but the breeder assured me he was practically climbing the playpen gate and ready to take the world.

Turns out she was absolutely right about that. The little guy was cautious but fearless, social, playful, active, clever, curious, and indeed an aspiring climber. I didn't notice any clear switch, he just slowly took shorter naps and played more as weeks went by.
 

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I think that 49 day being the best...that the pup won't bond as well if it's later, won't train up as well is all a bunch of b.s. As long as the puppy has been socialized to humans adequately and continues to be, he will bond just fine and train just fine. I've gotten puppies at various ages and they were all great, trained up beautifully, were very attached to me and those they knew and loved. I prefer to leave a puppy with his mom and litter mates until 8 - 10 weeks just because I think they learn more from their littermates about bite inhibition. But if the pup is strong and healthy, and he's going to get nearly full-time security of his person being there, I don't think it's so bad to get him at 7 weeks.

That idea of getting a baby animal very, very young so it will bond holds true in some species but domestic dogs are designed by evolution to bond with humans very easily.
 

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i believe ian dunbar, who has some serious professional credentials to his name, has said he thinks six weeks is fine. i am assuming he means if you are able to devote the time needed to the pup. taking a pup at six weeks (or any age) and dooming it to 10 hours of isolation while you're at work would be counterproductive. if i recall correctly, dunbar also questions the current "fear stages" construct we use in talking about puppyhood; he has pointed out that the original "study" has serious defects, not the least among them being small sample size. it would probably help all of us if someone would repeat the study on a larger scale.
 

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The best dog I ever had was 6 weeks old when I got him. He slept in a tiny box on the side of my bed. I was a student then and I spent so much time with him. I lived in Montreal and I taught him to walk off leash on busy streets. He knew to stop at the end of the side walk, and waited for my signal to cross the street. He would walk a few steps ahead of me, or besides me. I would go into the boutiques and he would wait for me at the door. Never disturbed by anyone petting him, or any dog passing by. He was just incredible !
 

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dechi, it's my conviction that what you had with your dog is really every dog owner's secret dream. maybe there's an ancient racial memory of a different time behind that. whatever it is, you have had a taste of paradise. not everyone does or will.
 
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