Age to sell puppies

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Cassie Abbott, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Cassie Abbott

    Cassie Abbott New Member

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    I'm not a breeder--I don't even have a dog atm--but I'm curious. Lately I've been seeing comments that puppies should be held onto until 10-12 weeks of age and that 8 weeks is too young to let a pup go. I'm not disagreeing that 10 weeks may be better than 8 weeks (more social learning with littermates), but when did 8 weeks become too young? Last I heard/read/saw anything under 8 weeks was too young.
     
  2. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I know a few breeders who start training their puppies in basic obedience, so that the new owner has a good start. It helps, and they keep the puppies just a few weeks longer, no harm done, just help for the new family.

    Some breeders probably do it by choice, for other reasons of their own, I'm sure. As far as the puppy learning anything from it's littermates or mother in that extra time, I couldn't be too sure about that. I've seen dogs sold both at 8 weeks and at 12 weeks, and there was no difference between them regarding that.
    I still say 8 weeks at the very least and wouldn't completely trust a breeder sending them off any sooner.
     
  3. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    the breeder i work for doesnt normally sell puppies until 16 weeks old, but i know of a hand full of BYB that let their puppies go at JUST 6 weeks
     
  4. Cassie Abbott

    Cassie Abbott New Member

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    From what I've read (nothing in front of me atm, so going from memory) puppies begin learning social skills from the mother and littermates at 6 weeks and the "window" for optimal learning of these skills is between 6 and 12 weeks. A lot of problems get blamed on pups being taken too early and missing out on this learning. In theory I could understand this, but I haven't read any studies or had personal experience that backed that theory up.

    No kidding! Anything under 8 weeks is just plain too young and selling them that young can only mean there's a profit motive (IMO at least).
     
  5. otch1

    otch1 New Member

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    I like to see large breeds going to new homes at 8 to 9 weeks and toys at 12 weeks. As much for health reasons, as for socialization. Toys can be so fragile and I rarely like to see them placed, especially in a home with kids, before that age. On the other hand, 8 weeks is an ideal age for pups to be removed from littermates and mom and start acclamating to a new home. Their little brains are almost mature, at that point and they're ready to learn from their humans, verses continueing to bond with their dog family. The larger breeds generally do just fine, in most cases, once they're 8 weeks of age.
     
  6. IliamnasQuest

    IliamnasQuest Loves off-leash training!

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    The development of puppies shows that the majority of their personality/ability to handle situations is developed between the ages of three and 12 weeks.

    Many people believe there's a fear period that runs from 8-11 weeks old or so. This is why a lot of breeders opt to send their pups out right about the eight week mark so that it hits (hopefully) right before the fear period. Younger than that is not ideal as the pups truly need the interaction with their littermates for proper social development.

    A breeder determines the personality of their pups nearly 100%. Not only are they genetically responsible, they have control of those pups for the early part of the social development (and usually for the majority of it). I went to a seminar with John Rogerson (an English behaviorist who does puppy training) and he straight out said that breeders are completely responsible for the temperament of the puppies they produce. In the period from three weeks to eight weeks, puppies should be introduced to numerous surfaces, sounds, interactions, etc. The breeder is responsible for this, and for making sure that the new owners continue this. A breeder who just lets the puppies live out in a kennel - or even in their home - and makes no effort to daily change the environment and expand the experiences the puppies have is a poor breeder.

    By the time the pups are eight weeks old, they should have myriad experiences to fall back on. They should be comfortable with a collar and leash and a crate. They should be comfortable riding in a vehicle. They should have heard and learned to feel safe through dozens of sounds. Breeders are molding these little personalities into the dogs they will be.

    I don't have a problem with a puppy leaving the litter at eight weeks as long as the breeder has done things properly and the new owner has been well-informed as to their further responsibilities (and agreed to follow through). It doesn't do a puppy much good to stay longer with a breeder who isn't doing the right things. I prefer to have a new pup come to me at eight weeks old because there are LOTS of things I'd like to continue to imprint the puppy with - things that may be more unique to my situation that the breeder can't simulate.

    Done right, an eight week old pup should be confident and outgoing. I don't accept breeder's excuses that "this breed is just shy and scared at this age" (said by a prolific chow breeder not long ago). If you're breeding good temperaments and you're doing the socialization and handling that SHOULD be done prior to eight weeks, by that age the puppy should be able to tackle the world! (so to speak .. *L*).

    I have to say that Rogerson's idea of a puppy kindergarten class was fascinating to me (and I'd implement it if we had enough puppies in this area). He accepted six puppies/familes at a time. The first night they met at his home .. everyone brought their puppies and treats, and all the treats were put together on a table so everyone shared. They met seven nights in a row - and each night met at another person's house. So by the time the week was up, the puppies had been to six new places, met dozens of people (families with kids and all that), met other dogs, heard lots of new noises, etc. - and they were highly socialized and ready to deal with most things! And this had to be done before the pup was 12 weeks old. I just found this to be such a neat way of doing things - and thought it made much more sense than a weekly puppy class that always met in the same place and that couldn't truly take good advantage of that small range of time before 12 weeks old.

    I know, people will think "what about the vaccinations??" .. well, from a trainer's standpoint, the risk of having a vaccinated eight week old puppy catch parvo in a group of vaccinated puppies is much lower than the risk of having a dog with aggressive or fearful behaviors for the rest of its life because it didn't get the proper socialization and early training it needed. We all have to balance our risks ..

    Melanie and the gang in Alaska
     
  7. Sugardog

    Sugardog New Member

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    8 weeks is the minimum. Actually, here in California (not sure if it's a national law or just a state law) it is illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks of age.

    For small breed dogs and sighthounds, many breeders will wait until 12 weeks which I personally think is a good idea.

    True, very true. Early socialization is so important. Although it may not be the end of the world if the breeder neglects this all important aspect of puppy raising, it certainly has a huge impact.

    My GSD rosie was not socialized hardly at all. I got her at 9 weeks and she was completely anti social with people. Normally with just about any puppy who was given attention, you can squat down and pat your knees and call it in a high pitch voice and it will come bounding over to you with lots of kisses to give. But Rosie just sat and stared at you and eventually turned around. Training was hard because she wasn't food motivated, but she wasn't praise motivated either.

    I literally had to teach this dog to love praise and human affection. It wasn't until she was 5 months old when she finally started coming around and bonding to me.
     
  8. Spirit2010

    Spirit2010 Yum...

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    ya, 8 weeks, is old enough, but, if I were a breeder, I would keep the pups until they are 12 weeks.
     
  9. planet molosser

    planet molosser CASSA

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    Most laws state 8 weeks, ive seen breeders sell at 6 weeks, I wont let them go until 10 weeks or earlier if a working lgd home.
     
  10. Cassie Abbott

    Cassie Abbott New Member

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    If/when I eventually do breed (need a worthy dog first!), I would aim for 9 or 10 weeks as I'll have a large breed. I agree that the breeder has a major influence in the social development of the pups, and that many fall short in this area.

    As for vaccinations, I personally would never wait for the full round of boosters to take my pup out. When I got Stella she'd had her first set and got her second within a few days of her arrival (she never got more than the second set). I had her out and about that first week with no problems. Course, I took precautions. :) She wasn't sick a day in her life!
     
  11. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    I really think it depends on the breed and how mature each individual puppy is. My pug puppies wont leave my home until 12 weeks. I want a chance to get them used to collars, many car rides, being crated by themselves for short periods and eating solids with ease and past the fear period etc. I think a good breeder knows when their pups are ready for that next step and it may be different for each litter and each puppy.
     
  12. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I totally, agreee with you.

    When/if I breed I want to do the same with my pups before they leave my house ;)
     
  13. Cassie Abbott

    Cassie Abbott New Member

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    Showpug and Lizmo, I agree with you both. Like Lizmo said, if/when I do breed I plan to socialize and desensitize the snot out of my pups! :D
     
  14. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    AT the kennels we let them go starting at 8 weeks and the female was always allowed to keep one pup as a trainer that would latter be sold as a starter dog...field work. I thought it was very kind of my boss to allow the mom to keep one for quite a long time. By 8 weeks a large litter sometimes up to 14 are taking a toll and Mom needs to be able to have her own space for a break.
     
  15. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Eight weeks was fine for my Goldens ..... think they are easier to house break at this age too .
     
  16. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    I think 8 weeks is fine, though I agree it depends on the breed and the individual. If I bred very small dogs, I'd keep the puppies until 12-16 weeks just so they could be a bit bigger and less fragile, as well as have a bit more training and socialization on them.

    By 8 weeks, I think Border Collie pups are ready to go. At 7 weeks they start wanting a lot more attention and interaction from humans, and clearly are ready to bond with others outside their litter.
     
  17. moe

    moe New Member

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    I kept my litter til they were 12 weeks old and my next litter I will do the same, I make sure the pups are well socialised, eating solids, had their vacinations, that way when the pups go out into the world they dont have a two week break from leaving me to having their last vaccination and can go straight out, my pups are introduced to all sorts during their time with me, different noises, places, people etc they are also nearly house trained too and have been introduced to a lead. all the pups without exception from my litter are confident, happy, socialised and the owners are over the moon with them, not one is frightened of firework noises, traffic, people, other animals etc.

    Mo
     
  18. wolfsoul

    wolfsoul I Love My Belgian

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    8 weeks is the ideal age for me, but I would keep the pup forever until I found the perfect home!
     
  19. Spirit2010

    Spirit2010 Yum...

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    When my grandma's Golden Retriever, Isis had pups, I think they were 12 weeks, when they left her house, it was an accidental breeding. She got over to Spike. (the unneutered male dog) :rolleyes: Those pups were a bundle of joy though, but not needed. But, they got socialized very well. I know everything about spaying/neutering. but these dogs are no longer living. so no point in it now.
     
  20. tinies12

    tinies12 New Member

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    We brought Sasha home at 8 weeks of age. She had her 1st shots 3 deworming at that time. We were instructed to take her directly to our vet which we did. The vet said that she was healthy and happy. So my question is why not 8 weeks. To be honest with you I would not have wanted her any older. My personal prefrance
     

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