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Old 08-15-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default Ideal age to get a puppy?

Recent talk of nipping and bite inhibition has got me thinking about when is the ideal age to get a puppy. I know 8 weeks is about standard. Too young and the puppy misses out on learning from the litter and too old and you'll likely miss out on socialising at the vital time.

But, if you could leave the pup longer with its breeder and it would still get socialised and get its first injection as soon as possible, what age would you ideally like to take the puppy home at? Or do you think 8 weeks is perfect?

Indy is the only puppy I've raised. She was 12/13 weeks when we collected her from a farm. She was still with mum and dad and one sister. She wasn't well socialised and it was another few weeks before she was vaccinated and could go out so she had issues that took some time to resolve.

However, at home with just my family she was a dream. She could play bite without ever hurting any of us, she was easy to house train even though she was raised outside in a barn, and never pooed in the house, only peed on occasion. She was robust and playful, rather than a 'baby', could cope well with being alone and only whined on the first night. Of course it's possible this was all just chance but I believe that she benefited from staying longer with her parents and littermates and leaned naturally some of the things it would have taken us longer to teach her.

Obviously she lost out in terms of socialisation, but if possible I'd like to have the best of both worlds when I next get a puppy. I'd like a pup of 10/11 weeks that has been vaccinated and socialised (especially If I could participate in this myself by going to take the pup out) but has had the chance to grow up a bit more before being taken home.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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Between birth and 12/14 weeks is the age where puppies are most able to learn. Some say 12 weeks, I've read 14 weeks in my coursebooks. So I reckon 8-10 weeks is ther age I'd get a pup, if I were ever to get one.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:03 PM   #3
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Right now, breeders of performance pups are going to 10 weeks. This gives the pups plenty of time with their litter to learn doggie language and manners and yet they are also primed for being at their new home when the transfer happens.

I got Asher at 10 weeks from a very good breeder. I got Aslan at 12 weeks. His breeder let her pups go at 8 weeks, but nobody wanted Aslan. It was my lucky day!
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:21 PM   #4
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I got Tasha at 9,5 weeks and that was better than any 8 week pup Ive seen that 1,5 weeks did A LOT of difference, I have to say I belive that 10 weeks might be it to go...
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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From my own experiences I had a disreputable breeder lie to me and tell me Calypso was 8 weeks only to find out by her paperwork after I got her home that she was 7 (this was a learning experience on what to look for in 'reputable' breeder!) Well, she had some issues such as an oral fixation she never got over. Ash, on the other paw, was just over 8 weeks when we picked him up and he chose us! He was barn raised but socialized inside her house with her kids, also a dream to train! I am a firm believer in dogs not leaving the litter until 8 weeks minimum.

For me, the determining factor on a dog being ready to leave is when they show more interest in the world around them than their parents/littermates. In Ash's case we knew he was ready because he was far more interested in us than hanging with his folks. He was crawling all over our laps and checking out our shoelaces and hair. He was ready to roll. I'm sure there is a difference between breeds, some may mature slower and need more littertime than others. I have heard some Siberian Husky breeders say they are ready at 5 weeks. I cringed when I heard that! Somehow I doubt it. My rule of thumb is fully weaned and at least 8 weeks, from there gage how the pups demeanor is. Frankly, I have no issues with paying ahead and coming back to pick up the pup when they're ready to go. I would have done that with Calypso had I known and the breeder been honest... of course, now that I am wiser about purchasing a dog I will never buy from a breeder like that again.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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Here in Cali, it is illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks old. I would say that's the idea age for most dogs. For toys and small breeds, I would give it until 12 weeks or so.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:50 AM   #7
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All our dog have been 8 wks old when we have had them and we have never had a problem. I think the longer they stay with Mom the more they will miss her, and you could have trouble getting them to settle at night.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:31 AM   #8
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April & Sooty were both 5 weeks 4 days when they were brought home. By the time Sooty came along, puppies were not to be sold until 8 weeks. She came from a byb that my son worked with. He brought the whole litter to their work in a box & asked who wanted which pup. Even though I'd read all about socialisation before getting April I did a couple of things that made her fearful.We got her from a friend that bred border collies. When I was a child all puppies & kittens went to their new homes at 6 weeks. Even though Sooty had April to play with she would have benefited from being with her siblings a lot longer because of the way April was.
My new pup Tilba was 11 weeks 5 days when we got her. There were 8 in her litter & they had gone to their new homes at different times. When we picked up Tilba there was only one other puppy left. There was a huge difference in all their temperaments. Tilba had been brought up with preschoolers, she loves kids where as April could take them or leave them, & Sooty hates them because they used to tease her going past our house to & from school.
So I would say its better to get a new puppy at 10-11 weeks providing they have been socialised by the breeder.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:49 AM   #9
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Bunnyphone I would say from 8 weeks + but nore more than 12 cause they are at the essential learning period by then. You say she play bites well each to their own but I would seriously stop this. A pupplies mouth is for toys and food/water not for fingers!! As my friend found out the other night. He was playing with a rope toy and after 10 mins stopped play then called her up on the sofa she jumped on ok got close and bit
his side of his body .it hurt and he excluded her from the pack for a while. Mind you it was his fault as he should have calmed her down before he invited her up on the sofa. So don't mean to tell you what to do, it's just a suggestion. Biting of fingers, body etc is a no go area

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Old 08-16-2008, 08:54 AM   #10
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Like you we got Kai a little older than normal (12 weeks) he did have socialisation problems because he was from a farm and so wasn't used to seeing traffic and pavements etc.
I personally think the best age would probably be about ten weeks as then they have learned as much as possible from litter mates and mother .
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