The news that you're getting a puppy is exciting, and you can't wait to bring that precious bundle of fur home. During your new baby's puppyhood, you don't want to miss a single second of it.
But hold on a sec. If you bring home a puppy too young, it will likely have an impact on the habits your dog will exhibit throughout his life — and not always in a positive way.
As a result, what is the optimal age for such a pup to be if you first bring him into the home? When it comes to the solution to this issue, there are a range of things to consider, as well as differing points of view. Most doctors and breeders, on the other hand, believe that the best time to bring home the puppy is between 8 and 10 weeks old. The reason behind this is as follows.
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Socialization is a period of adjustment.
Whether deciding when to place a puppy in a new home, the socialization stage is an important consideration. According to Dr. Sally Foote, a veterinarian and behaviorist, the socialization stage in pups normally lasts between the ages of 6 and 12-to-14 weeks.
Puppies are learning the rules of the world around them at this time, and they are developing attitudes and behaviors that they will carry into adulthood. In accordance with the American Veterinary Association of Animal Behavior, this is the time period during which pups should be introduced to as many new members, animals, stimuli, and surroundings as is possible while being safe and free of overstimulation.
A puppy's socialization during this phase has a significant impact on the habits, self-confidence, and attachments that the dog will develop throughout his life. It is also at this period that the puppy will build a close bond with humans who will be caring for him.
Taking Advice From Your Littermates
Puppies also go through what some dog behaviorists refer to as a primary socialization stage, which begins when they are three to five weeks old and when they become increasingly aware of their surroundings. It is through the mother and littermates that pups learn proper play habits as well as how to interact with and connect to other dogs in the first few months of their lives.
They also pick up on basic impulse control and biting inhibition from their siblings and mother, who provide constant feedback.
The results of research have shown that puppies who are eliminated from their litters at a young age are more likely to develop behavioral and temperament problems as they grow older. These problems include being afraid, aggressive, as well as anxious; protecting their food and treats; being extremely reactive and difficult to train.
Alternatively, puppies that remain with the littermates for an excessive amount of time may begin to exhibit dominant or submissive habits, which can lead to a variety of issues.
Puppy Care Provided by the Breeder
Before purchasing a dog, it is critical to ensure that you will be comfortable with decisions made by the breeder regarding your puppy. Inquire about how the breeder intends to treat your puppy in term of weaning, socializing, and when the puppy will be ready to accompany you home from the breeder.
Breeder of professional Shetland Sheepdogs based in the United Kingdom. For the first few weeks of their lives, Claire Apple loves to keep the puppies in her house for socialization. Her puppies are placed in working or sporting homes when they are 12 weeks old. She does this so that she may have complete control over the experiences the puppies get during their fear & socialization periods, and so that she can begin the targeted training they will require for the future homes.
Puppy socialization should begin as soon as possible and be done with care. The puppies of good breeders are introduced to children as well as other people, car rides, kennel time, noise, different surfaces, grooming equipment, solid food, and outdoors, and they are given individual attention as they develop their social skills. They allow puppies to have new experiences, recuperate from upsetting circumstances, and learn to appreciate being handled, all while beginning to form relationships with their human caregivers and caregivers' children.
As soon as the puppies are placed in their new housing, breeders can provide guidance to their puppy parents as to how to socialize them in a safe and appropriate manner without overwhelming and traumatizing them.
Another aspect in determining whenever a pup can be removed from the litter is when he or she is weaned. "Most puppies begin the gradual transition from their mother's milk to solid food between three and five weeks of age," says Dr. Jerry Klein, the American Kennel Club's chief veterinary officer.
As a result, the pups may have been a little stressed during this process, which could take several weeks to complete. Until puppies are able to happily eat on their own, they should not be placed in the care of their owners. Puppies who are denied the opportunity to suckle for food and comfort may develop insecure tendencies later in life."
Restriction on the basis of the law
Some states have rules stating that pups must be at least 8 weeks old before they're even sold to the general public, with the average age being 8 weeks. In approximately 15 of 28 states, it is illegal for anyone to sell a puppy who is under the age of majority.
Nonprofit animal shelters and humane societies are frequently exempt from these restrictions under the law. In many states, pet dealerships, retail pet stores, and pet breeders are the only businesses that are subject to the regulations.
Different Dogs, Different Circumstances
Because toy breed puppies are so little and delicate, some breeders of poodle mixes may decide to retain them longer than the standard 8-week period.
It is possible that the breeder will hold off on placing a puppy if it has to travel a long way, especially on to an airplane, until it has gotten the majority of its immunizations and is better equipped to cope with the stress of traveling.
According to an experienced dog trainer or expert on canine development, the optimal age for a puppy to be introduced to its new owner is approximately 8-to-9 weeks, when the puppy is ready to form a strong attachment with the new owner. However, the very same trainer stated that if the breeder is devoting a significant amount of time and effort to socializing and teaching the puppy, the puppy may benefit from living with its littermates for a longer period of time as well.
Bottom line: Consult with your breeder, the veterinarian, or your dog trainer before making any decisions. Whether or not they advise you to hold off in a week or longer to ensure the proper growth of your new friend, you'll be even more prepared whenever the big day finally arrives.
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