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Growing a great dog

Is it better for a puppy to be longer with its litter mates or better to get it into its home where it will get lots of individual attention? I guess the question is -is there essential stuff a pup needs to learn from its siblings before it moves on and by what age does it get that ?



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
I'm so not an expert, but I do know that there's a current theory on the ideal age for a puppy to leave it's mum and go to it's family. I'm sure there are a lot of opinions, too ;-)

I'm of the opinion that as long as it's not *too* early, it doesn't matter too much. Just make sure to start socialization right away (not necessarily with puppies, for all the popularity of puppy classes these days, I'm of the opinion that older dogs teach a good deal better than other puppies do).
Dec. 13th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
I really don't think there's a right or a wrong answer to when to bring puppy home. I think it is very individual, kind of like when is the right time to send your kid to pre-school. So many factors will come into play, including when puppy is starting to develop their own independence, and when it is a good time for puppy to enter your home. The breeder probably has their preferences, and should be able to tell when the pup is ready to go.

I got Kraft at 11 weeks. I think HE was ready a bit earlier than that, or at least could have benefited from coming earlier. He was already starting to resource guard when he got here, which put a bit of stress on the household as he got acclimated. I think most of it was his insecurity about new dogs, but it became a habit after a while that was difficult to break. That aspect might have been avoided if he had come home closer to 8 weeks, before his social anxiety manifested as guarding, but if I had done that, he probably would have had to come to the Cluster with me, and anything less than 12 weeks is just too young for that kind of atmosphere, so I decided to wait until after it. 11 weeks turned out to be the right time for us, despite some of the pressure that came with it. He was probably always going to have insecurities about acclimating. Had he come earlier, maybe he would have turned into a fear biter instead? Who knows.
Dec. 13th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
Conventional wisdom and MOST breeders would say NOT before 8 weeks, and not after 11-12 if you can help it.

I do think pups learn a lot more about NOT biting hard the longer they stay with mom and sibs.
But, a lot of breeders are not taking puppies ANYWHERE (and you can see why) so a lot of key socialization gets missed. Rumble's litter were traveling fools! They visited grandma, Chicago, Aunties... all over the place. And I think it shows, these dogs are all great with people, kids, etc.

So, somewhere between 8 and 12? I got Rumble at 8 (and he was harder to teach "no bite" and Razor at 11 who was BETTER at "no bite" but not as well socialized as the Rums.
Dec. 13th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
depends on the breed and the quality of breeder, the skills and abilities of the puppy buyer...
Breeds that have more tendencies that require they be heavily people socialized (shepherds, etc) then you want them closer to 8 weeks than 12, as that is your prime human bonding period so these breeds you want to get them as much exposure to people as possible during this time. But if you have a breeder who does this than it wouldn't be as crucial. But let's face it a breeder is not going to have as easy of a time taking 8 puppies to go out in the world to meet people as a "dog" person like you. Breeds that can have more issues with other dogs it is good for the puppy to spend more time with it's litter to have more time to develop interplay dog social skills. Basically in most situations the earlier you get them, the better their people social development, the later the better their canine social development. But again much depends on the specifics- a great breeder will get those puppies around what they need and I wouldn't worry about a little later, a great puppy buyer will find those safe dogs to socialize their puppy with and closer to 8 weeks is fine too. Personally I usually go with anywhere from 7-9 weeks, mostly because those first few weeks you can imprint SO much and I want my hands on them so I can have that time.
Dec. 13th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
^^^^^ What Dawn said. :-) Although two of my biggest momma's boys, Merc and Kirby, I didn't get them until they were "older", I think Kirby was close to 12 weeks and Merc was 13 or 14 weeks, so getting them older did not effect their ability to bond very closely with me. Genetics is a big factor as well.
Dec. 13th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
getting them older doesn't mean they are less likely to bond with you, it's just that it's more important that the breeder is getting them enough human contact and the more people the have contact with the better well adjusted they are to people, so breeds that can have "fear issues" with people you want to make sure whoever has them during this crucial time is getting them around as many people as they can. So like I said a good breeder (or a genetically bomb proof dog) it really doesn't matter and comes down to whose got the better socializing ability during that time...

Emily was an older pup and we are practically joined at the hip:) But raising all my GSD's who can be total freaks with people if that gets mucked up, no way I would be leaving that to anyone else if i had a say...and genetics, absolutely you get the right material and it's nearly impossible to get wrong. Ricky was raised in a social vacuum...
Dec. 14th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)
I've had several we've adopted(6 months to 1.5 years old) who who knows what their socialization was and are rock solid. Beep I socialized up the wazoo from 8 weeks and he's by far the weirdest! Maybe he would have been cujo if I hadn't, but I still find it ironic.
Dec. 14th, 2013 05:03 am (UTC)
I say get home asap. The dogs I have waited on have been less productive then the dogs I have brought home right away.

The more they learn in their home the better, if you can.
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