Home Behavior & Training Early removal of puppy from mother

Early removal of puppy from mother

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One of the most common questions we are asked is; “I am about to bring home my first Husky puppy. What do I need to know?” Actually, there is something that you need to know even before your puppy leaves the breeder’s facility.

What you need to know that early removal of a puppy from the mother can cause major problems. Your puppy should never leave its mother and littermates before they are at least 8 weeks of age.

Huskies being removed from their mother early result in a large percentage of the behaviour related questions we receive. Releasing a husky puppy too early has no benefits for the puppy. It can cause a host of sometimes irreversible emotional and behaviour problems in dogs.

This practice only serves to harm your dog and make your job as the owner of this dog difficult.

The only benefit for removing a puppy from its mother early is for the breeder. The practice reduces costs associated with keeping the puppy for additional two or three weeks.

Why Do Breeders Allow Early Removal of Puppy

Unless it is a true emergency (death of the mother or extreme illness of the puppy), any breeder that releases a puppy too early is doing so from either extreme ignorance, irresponsibility, or greed.

Sadly, I am noticing a growing trend among people taking ownership of their puppy at the age of only 5 or 6 weeks of age because the breeder insists on it, the owners don’t know enough not to do this, or sometimes it is the new owners themselves who refuse to wait for the full 8 or 9 weeks before taking possession of their puppy.

Uninformed and unscrupulous breeders adhere to the practice of early removal of the puppy from its mother, so they won’t have to put effort into dealing with the now more mobile puppies, and so they can save on food costs related to these growing puppies.

They do this without ever giving a second thought about what is in the best interest of the puppy and how their decision will go on to impact you, the owner of this puppy.

Impatient or uninformed owners do this due to not taking the time to become knowledgeable about this issue. This is true for all dogs, not just snow dogs.

Buyer Beware

Arm yourself ahead of time with information regarding this issue. Ask your breeder what his policy is on early removal of the husky puppy before you enter into a binding contract with them and then make sure the release date appears in writing in the contract. If a breeder doesn’t agree to keep a puppy until he is 8 or 9 weeks of age, then walk away.

Walk away if the mother of the puppies is no longer on-site to interact with the puppies. I will explain why later in this article.

Getting a puppy that has been removed early is predisposed to psychological and behavioural problems. No matter how badly you want the dog, you must be aware of this potential.

Emotionally Immature Puppies Are A Lot Like Three Year Old Children

Nearly every time I am asked for behavioural help for a puppy who is showing difficulty adapting to his new environment, the most prevalent reason for the dog’s difficulty, even when the new owners are doing everything correctly, is due to the early removal of the puppy from his mother and his litter mates too early.

To help you to understand the gravity of this situation, relate it as if we were speaking about a 3-year-old child. Removing a puppy too soon from their family unit is the doggy equivalent of taking a 3-year-old child and sending him off to boarding school and expecting him to be able to cope emotionally and socially with the experience.

Sure, the now somewhat autonomous 3-year-old child can now walk unaided, he can talk well enough to make his needs known, he can feed himself if you give him food. He may even be able to tell you that he needs to go to the toilet but is this young child emotionally equipped to be on his own and away from the protection, support, and emotional nurturing of his mother and family unit all day long?

The answer is no. And while a husky puppy is not a human child, a 5 or 6-week old puppy is not ready to leave the emotional support of his extended dog family either.

Emotional And Psychological Abandonment Has A Cost

Very young children who are denied the emotional support and guidance of the family unit go on to have all kinds of emotional and adaptational issues.

These children tend to be timid, fearful, less outgoing, have more than the usual number of fears and phobias, have fear relate sleep disorders, are irritable, anxious, are unable to self soothe. They become easily frustrated and have trouble coping with normal frustrations, display inappropriate and unreasonable outbursts of angry behaviour, and are more likely to display dissociative and attachment disorders.

They also seem to have an above-average likelihood of displaying and struggling with, socially unacceptable behaviours when it comes to their peer interactions. Puppies that are removed too early from their litters eerily mimic these very same behavioural and emotional issues displayed by these young children.

While we should avoid trying to humanize dogs, the truth remains, that the basic primal social and emotional needs of the pack oriented canid are not that different from the basic primal physical and emotional requirements of human beings.

A Hierarchy Of Needs

As Abraham Maslow pointed out in his theory of the Hierarchy of Needs, complex living organisms have an inherent basic hierarchy of needs (physical and emotional) that must be met if the being is to survive and then go on to thrive physically. The most basic physical primal needs are physiological (air, food, water etc.) and then there is a need for physical safety (shelter from the elements and someone to administer care to those unable to care for themselves physically.)

The more advanced higher needs for Love and Belonging, while not so much of a primal physical need, are emotional needs. Animals (human included) that live in societal communities, to feel emotionally secure, must have these two emotional needs also met, or it causes the being to be insecure, emotionally unbalanced, and unstable.

Just as a young child needs the comfort and security of being with, and belonging to his family unit, so does a very young puppy need the security of being with, and belonging to, his extended family unit.

The Rules Of Society

Learning the rules as they pertain to our societies, constitutes part of our evolutionary transformation as we move from childhood to adolescence, and then to adulthood.

The other members of society teach the rules for knowing how to orient ourselves in our social circles. No human or puppy comes into the world, knowing the rules that apply to his social group. These rules are mutable and reflect the unique circumstances of each particular group. The rules must be taught to the group members.

How Humans Differ

In humans, the first 5 or 6 years of life is spent not only physically looking after a child, but teaching the rules of being human how to live (and survive) in human society. The next 10 years of human life is spent developing social skills, social associations, and further understanding the complex social rules of human society. These are the necessary skills to learn to be able to transition to a well balanced and well-functioning adult.

This human development is similar to the developmental stages in dogs. Except in dogs, this process is accomplished in weeks, not months and years. Therefore, a week of development in a husky puppy’s life is the equivalent of several years in a human’s life.

Still, think that releasing a puppy one to three weeks early is no big deal? Clearly, for the development and functioning of the puppy, these few weeks are a huge deal.

The Five Stages And Transitions For Dog Development

Behavioural scientists and researchers, for the most part, agree that the five standard stages of dog development are as follows:

  1. The Neonatal Stage (birth – 2 weeks) – The puppies eat, sleep, pee and poop. There is no other social interaction at this stage.
  2. The Transitional Stage (2-3 weeks). The puppies move from just eating and sleeping to become more aware of their surroundings as their eyes and ears open.
  3. The Socialisation Stage (3-13 weeks). The puppies move from just eating and physical survival to interacting with the other dogs and learning the social rules of their society. 
  4. The Critical Period (6-13 weeks) This is not a separate stage of development but a component of the Socialization Stage. This period of development is so crucial to the development of social skills; it merits its own mention. It is within this developmental stage that a dog’s potential as a companion animal is either fostered or impeded. It is also within this stage that at least 50% (nurture vs nature) of the dog’s eventual temperament is developed.
  5. Adolescence (13 weeks – 6 months). The puppies are now autonomous but are still learning about the social complexities of their society. At this stage, varying amounts of latitude are given for socially immature dogs displaying inappropriate social behaviours—the members of the society correct behaviour.
  6. Adulthood (begins at approximately 6 to 8 months old). These are fully autonomous dogs that are required to know the rules of society. To operate within the parameters of these rules. Dogs that challenge the rules or don’t conform to the rules may be physically forced out of the group.

It is important to understand that transition from one stage to the next is gradual and not abrupt. The progressions are smooth, and there is considerable overlapping of behaviours from stage to stage.

Crucial Puppy Social Development In Weeks 6 Through 8

During these two weeks, mother dogs with good instincts interact with their pups very differently than before. The puppies are no longer nursing as they are now eating solid food. Mom’s job at this point has changed from physically nurturing the puppies to giving the puppies their first lessons in submission, compliance, social order, and social ranking.

Puppies that once climbed all over Mom, nibbled and chewed on her, and hung and swung from her ear by their teeth, are now physically shown that this behaviour is less tolerated. For the very first time in their lives, the puppies have behavioural expectations placed onto them by a dog that outranks them socially.

Mom As Disciplinarian And As Boss

At this stage, very attentive Moms can be seen flipping puppies over onto their backs and asking them to submit to her. The puppy is asked to submit and lie there in submission for no other reason than, “Mom said so, and Mom is the Boss.” This is the very first situation where puppies learn to deal with being asked to comply and submit. Up until now, puppies did pretty much whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to it.

Social Ranking As Established By Natural Temperament

It is also during these two weeks that the puppies’ natural temperament really begins to emerge.

Some puppies are more naturally confident and pushy. These are the puppies shoving other more timid dogs away from the food and taking the lion’s share for themselves. These dogs are found sleeping in the best and most choice sleeping spots. These dogs are the ones that will come up and physically wrestle a toy away from a less dominant puppy.

Some puppies are less confident, less pushy, and soon learn that other more dominant puppies will socially outrank them and at times, dominate them. These dogs have to learn how to deal with the frustration of being challenged by a more dominant force.

These kinds of social hierarchy interactions with littermates are crucial building blocks for a dog to be able to understand the complexities of social hierarchy, rank, and order. Without these experiential social opportunities to learn appropriate social behaviour, a dog enters adolescence and adulthood devoid of necessary and crucial social skills training.

Long Term Social Problems

And sadly, dogs that have been removed from their family unit before they are 8 weeks old, these socially immature dogs go on to be the dogs that are involved in most of the social skirmishes at the dog park, at doggy daycare, and in one-on-one chance dog encounters. These poor dogs don’t stand a chance in social situations because they are clueless about what appropriate and polite social dog behaviour should look like. They never had a chance to see it modelled by their mother or their siblings, and they never had a chance to practice modelling these behaviours themselves.

These dogs know nothing about calming signals. They don’t know how to read calming signals given by other others, so these dogs are constantly under-reacting or overreacting to other dogs. They also cannot give calming signals, so other dogs find them their behaviour and reactions both baffling and irritating.

As you can easily see, most of the social rules are taught and reinforced by mother dogs on weeks 6 through 8, so the consequences of removing puppies from their littermates and mothers too early are both far-reaching and impactful.

And since companion dogs will be constantly required to submit, comply, and interact with humans and other dogs for the rest of their natural lives, intentionally or inadvertently (through ignorance) creating a puppy that is likely to be socially and emotionally crippled does not make sense nor does it benefit anyone.

Common Dog Behaviours And Problems Attributed To Early Removal

Here is a shortlist of common problems (physical, emotional, and social) exhibited by puppies and then later by mature dogs, who have been removed from their family units before the age of 8 weeks.

These puppies seem to have an inability to self soothe

They are anxious and never seem to be content. They whine, cry, and bark a lot. Many times they seem inconsolable even when given human attention. These puppies are the dogs that will continue to cry through the night long after the normal adaptation period has passed.

These dogs are quite likely to develop severe separation anxiety or minimally; they will hate being left alone. It is because they are unable to self soothe and because they become easily frustrated that they often resort to the physical destruction of their environment as an outlet for their anxiety and frustration. These dogs are also at an increased risk of becoming self mutilators.

Housebreaking these puppies is challenging

As their bladders and bowels are still immature, trying to insist on regulating them is often frustrating and unsuccessful for both humans and dog. Once they get in the habit of eliminating in the house, it becomes much harder to get through the message of only pee and poop outside.

Owners place newspapers and pee pads down to help contain the mess but are only helping to teach and reinforce the message that elimination indoors is permissible. Remember, dogs cannot generalize. Rules for them fall into one of two categories: ALWAYS or NEVER. If they are allowed to pee and poop, sometimes, they interpret that to mean ALWAYS. Bringing your puppy home after they are 8 weeks old makes effective housebreaking not only easier, it makes it possible.

These puppies will often exhibit a myriad of psychological issues

They lack the confidence to handle new situations, people and often are not able to have proper social interactions with other dogs because of crippling fears and phobias. Even when you take these dogs to obedience classes and give them socialization opportunities, these are the dogs that will become fear aggressive and be at an increased chance of becoming a fear biter. Often through constant management, these issues can be lessened but rarely are the issues eliminated.

These dogs often default to fear biting

They do not necessarily see this behaviour as being an offensive attack. In their minds, they are defensively attacking other dogs. Their fear is so great that they preemptively launch an attack of one bite and then they retreat, hoping to drive off the other dog (or person). They melt down and are easily overwhelmed by anything new in their environment. These dogs are uncomfortable and want to be left alone.

Because these dogs have gaps in their understanding of being able to read and model appropriate dog body language, they often are the cause of dog fights. They lack the knowledge behind giving and receiving the normal calming signals used by other more scholarly dogs. Interestingly, Mother dogs who did not get the benefit of being taught about calming signals by their mothers will not be able to pass this knowledge on to their own puppies creating yet another generation of dogs who have poor communications skills.

Not knowing what to expect from other the dogs causes these dogs to be constantly on guard and tense. Then other dogs react to the tense or fearful energy and body language displayed by these dogs. The owners of these unfortunate socially inept dogs are often at their wits end trying to teach their dogs how to become well socialized and how to be less stressed or terrified in social settings. Very often, no amount of socialization training helps to make these dogs fully at ease in dog on dog encounters.

How You Can Prevent This From Happening To You

  • Education and correct information are always crucial to preventing a disaster from becoming your fate. Arm yourself with as much information as you can from a variety of up to date sources of information. Sadly, your Vet may not be the best source of information when it comes to issues of understanding the social learning and needs of dogs.
  • Do not allow yourself to become complacent and naively expect that all breeders will act in the best interest of you or your puppy. Sadly, there are breeders out there who are very low on ethics and whose bigger concern is the profit to be gained by selling their dogs to you.
  • Minimally, there are some breeders out there who lack the experience and information to be well knowledgeable breeders. Ignorance really is a weak excuse for producing a poor genetic product. If they are responsible for creating a living creature, then they should also take the personal responsibility to make sure that they are up to date on current and accurate information regarding the practice of creating healthy and well-adjusted puppies. Breeding dogs needs to about more than that just tossing two dogs together so they can pro-create and then selling puppies as a product of procreation.
  • By taking the responsibility to arm yourself with information, you can recognize sound breeding practices and know what questions to ask thereby increasing your chances of being able to spot a bad breeder. Not all breeders are bad. There are ethical well informed dog breeders out there too. You have to know enough information to be able to spot the difference.
  • And finally, don’t buy puppies, sight unseen, from breeders that advertise over the internet or from newspaper or magazine ads. From behind the anonymity of a computer screen or telephone, people can represent themselves in any way that they want. The only way to be sure that a breeder has good breeding practices is to be able to see the facility and the dogs for yourself.

Visiting The Breeder

With an appointment, you should be able to visit a good quality breeder’s facility. If a breeder makes constant excuses as to why you cannot visit them, walk away from the deal. If you insist on doing business with a person like this, you, and your poorly bred puppy will surely be paying the price for this choice for a long time to come.

When visiting a breeder’s facility, the puppies should be on the premises, ideally living in the house with the people. The parent dogs should be there too, but especially the mother of the pups. If the mother is no longer with the pups after they have been weaned, you are at an increased risk of ending up with a puppy who is missing crucial social development.

When a facility has many breeding dogs with litters on the ground, walk away. Don’t move forward if a breeding facility has many different breeds of dogs, all with litters on the ground. If dogs are kept in dirty and overcrowded conditions, walk away.

Puppy Mills

These situations all have the tell-tale signs of it being a puppy mill. Puppies that come from this kind of breeding situation will not only be poor genetic examples of the breed, but they will arrive sick and infested with parasites from living in dirty and unhealthy conditions. If you buy from a dog from a breeder after seeing these conditions you had better be prepared to spend a lot more money on Vet bills because trying to bring these dogs back to a state of good health, if at all possible, is a costly affair. Save yourself the anguish and the money. Just don’t buy puppies from questionable sources.

It is my most fond wish that we educate all Snow Dog owners and all potential Snow Dog owners so that no person finds themselves in the awful position of becoming the unwitting owner of one of these unfortunate dogs. Please, do your homework first before agreeing to purchase a dog from a breeder. Know what constitutes good breeding practices. And know not to accept ownership of a puppy before it at least 8 weeks old.

As always we welcome your questions and comment regarding this issue. Please share your stories with us because when we share our wisdom, we may well be helping someone who is struggling with their Snow Dog.

Helping All Snow Dogs …. one owner at a time.

94 COMMENTS

  1. The puppy does, in stunted development, psychological deprivation, emotional duress and even physically, by being deprived of the very important next six weeks of rearing with its mother and litter. Those weeks teach the pup important social skills, confidence, and behaviors no human master can replicate in the pup s rearing.

  2. Likewise, it s the quickest way for an honest, ethical breeder to sort out an irresponsible potential owner one who willingly buys and takes home a puppy that has been weaned from its mother and littermates prematurely.

  3. Thank you for another magnificent article. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  4. Hey there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a honest price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

  5. I NEED HELP. Ive had my husky wolf for 3 days now and she hasnt ate at all. To my guessing is she probably misses her mom and litter mates beings she is only 6 weeks old and walks around sometimes crying. What can i do to help her feel better and get her to eat?

  6. I put a deposit down on a puppy that is about 2 weeks old from a reputable breeder. Unfortunately, the mother of the litter passed away shortly after giving birth. I am being assured that the breeder and his family are doing everything they can to get the puppies to thrive (taking shifts to feed, etc). Should I be worried that the pups won’t get the “normal” socialization that they would get if their mother was alive? Should I back out of the deal to purchase the puppy?

  7. I am supposed to pick up my Siberian husky puppy in 2 weeks, that makes her 7 weeks old.
    I didn’t think anything of it until I saw this article.
    The breeder is AKC registered and supposed champion blood lines. The breeder was welcoming for us to come to their home, I was shocked to learn that there was about 25ish dogs in the property between adults and pups. There was at least 3-4 kennels with breeding pairs. The breeder didn’t seem like they wanted me to go to the back yard where the dogs were but they did allow me to see the parents from a back door. I was able to see dad from a distance & mom came up to the door to visit & for pets. The breeder claimed to have been breeding for nearly 30 years. The dogs seemed healthy and their kennels cleaned. What should my concerns be besides the puppy being taken too early.

  8. I believe we made a mistake we took her puppies away probably too soon or something but she basically ignored them she wouldn’t nurse them every time they try to feed from her they were 5 weeks old mind you and she kept growling at them when they try to nurse so for their safety we got them out of the house at least I think that’s the right thing to do or did we over Act thinking the situation was worse so what it really was we still have one staying at a friend’s house but I’m scared to bring them back for safety of pup

    • The mother dog growling at the babies at 5 weeks of age is part of the normal weaning process. She is setting boundaries and discouraging them from nursing. She should still have access to the babies and spend some time with them. A mother dog stopping nursing at 5 weeks is not unusual, the puppies still need to stay with her and their litter mates until at least 8 weeks of age.

  9. What will happen to a mother who now just noticed her puppies are gone but really ignored them and now she’s just crying like crazy what should I do there’s only one top left and the organization won’t take that one due to not having enough space?

    • In your eyes she was ignoring her litter when she wasn’t. Dogs give signals such as a growl, placement of ears and tail. I read your first comment when you said you removed her from her puppies at 5 weeks. She would have still nursed her pups 2 or 3 times a day at that age. You’re humanizing your dog and not letting her be what she is and that is a dog. I have said that first time dog owners should have to take and pass a test if they want to add a dog to their family. I bred Golden Retrievers and I never removed my mama from her puppies. I let her do her job as a mother and even her mate was very involved with his pups to. My puppies stayed with their parents for 12 weeks they weren’t allowed to go to their new homes until they received their rabies vaccination and had 1 final vet check. Not one of my pups were ever rehomed by their new human families and every puppy grew into a very happy confident stable family pet. It was my dogs job to educate their babies to have good manners and to be respectful dogs. My job was to make sure they were healthy and to start training them to take commands from humans such as how to walk properly on a leash, get their nails done to be obedient while being bathed and groomed. Their mother house trained them. I’m not saying this to be mean but sadly it’s people like yourself that kepted me in business for many years having to rehabilitate unstable dogs. Give me a fighting 90 lb American Pitbull Terrier any day of the week then a dog with having to deal with the problem of early separation. Please no more breeding your dog get her fixed there are way to many backyard breeders.

  10. Damn that part about the human babies really got me. I have at least half of those negative personality traits, and at the age of 46 I can still vividly remember the day my mom dropped me off at a private school at the age of 2. She had to go back to work because my dad was gambling in Vegas every weekend. Oh well, life ain’t fair and you can’t go back and get a childhood/adolescent do-over.

  11. So my fiance and I recently got a puppy from a friend of a friend. We have never owned a dog before and were not quite educated on these things. We received the puppy at 5 weeks. What are some steps that we can take in order to help her mature psychologically and to prevent social immaturity. She tends to be very shy around people at first but after a few minutes she is always very playful and energetic. We are good friends with the couple that adopted her brother (also 5 weeks). Would it be beneficial to let the two of them spend time together even without the mother? I was unaware of the negative effects of taking them at such an early age and now I am just trying to do what I can to ensure that she is well taken care of in every way possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Being they are littermates it would be good to do that. Puppies start getting vaccinated at 6 weeks and you don’t want to expose them to other dogs until they have recieved all 3. If there would be away to get your puppy and the sibling of you pup together for the next 5 weeks full time would be best. Having the puppies submit to you just by making them show their tummies to you helps also, just flip them over and make them stay there until you walk away from them. When they are playing with you and they bite to hard make a loud yip and stop play. Talk with your friends and see what they would like to do, if they want to be the one to keep their puppy with them and willing to take your pup for this time let them, it will benefit your pup and you also and save you a lot of money, behavior rehabilitation therapist are not cheap and your obedience trainers don’t rehabilitate, they train.

  12. My dumb Mexican parents let my two dogs mate. And know they have 6 puppies. I want to keep them till their 2 months but my parents don’t. I would tell them about these things but they don’t care. It’s useless. I’m gonna have to sell them at 6 weeks. The worst thing about this Is that they are left outside. My mom doesn’t want them inside. So they sleep on the floor not on the dirt though. I try to take care of them and keep them clean but it’s hard. It’s so stressful I’m never gonna let my dog mate.

    • You could put a unreleaseable high price on the puppies and that could give you 2 weeks the puppies need.

  13. My boyfriends mom irresponsibly bred puppies and is now giving them away at 4 weeks because she doesn’t feel like caring for them anymore. I am so upset but there isn’t much I can do.

  14. I have just rescued a 7 week old Mastiff female with a broken leg, my first action with this pup was to take her to the vet get her leg looked at and get her vaccinated. The leg has a hairline fracture below the left rear knee and has already started to heal, the vet bandaged her leg and I am to take her back every 5 days for redressing. Well as the bandage was 3 times longer than her leg she could not move without being in pain she couldn’t toilet properly and she couldn’t interact with me, her distress at this bandage distressed me greatly and so I removed it. She is now very happy to seen me come home from work (is baby sat by my mother during the day) she spins round in circles and bounces around like Peppy LA Pew, she is walking and running on her leg now with no difficulty even standing up wanting a pat.. Yes she was removed from her mother to early but she does not display the “symptoms” described here she is very interactive does not cry endlessly and will submit to me when I new to control her… My opinion is …. Not all pups are the same some can handle being removed too early where others cannot… Its a bit like the human world where some children are born whingers they cry over anything and nothing while some are born mentally tough and do not feel the need to cry endlessly…. I guess I was lucky to rescue this pup she has a strong mind which I intend to nurture and love….

  15. Would appreciate some advice. My 2 puppies are 5 months. I got the 2 puppies at 6 weeks. I know better than to do this normally. They are rescues, the previous owner abandoned them in my friends front yard at 6 weeks. They were alone way too young, but we were not exactly able to relocate mom, and even if we did that person was clearly not fit to have them, so this was the only solution. One of them is pretty good aside from constant barking, but it has gotten to the point of her annoying neighbors. One of them shows most of the behaviors described in this article. Resource guarding, nipping at owners and occasionally other dogs, destructive chewing. Both have been a challenge to house break but are making good progress. Both are pretty demanding of attention but I sort of think its cute and don’t need to break that habit. :)

  16. I am getting a husky/pit bull puppy in a couple of weeks, when she is 7 weeks old. I have an 18 month old puppy with horrible separation anxiety, so I’m hoping that getting another one will help her. She acts very different at my daughter’s house, with her three dogs. This one I got at 9 weeks. I believe that all dogs are different. Some have problems, and some don’t. It depends on the individual dog, and not always when you get them. I’ve had a lot of dogs in my 50 years, and they are all different and unique. Some just need more attention and training than others. I did find this article interesting, as well as the comments to it. To all us dog lovers, good luck to us all for all the puppies and dogs we get. When we provide a good and loving home, that is most important!!

  17. I have two black labs. One we took at 14 weeks who is more responsible trustworthy and sensible than most of the people I know and the other who we were told was 8+ weeks but the very put her at more like 7 :( she turned into a velcro dog, obsessed with me, destructive in my absence, worried when she can’t find me. I haven’t been to the toilet on my own in 10 years. She’s so so much calmer now and she really settled down in her middle age, but I’m sure this could have been avoided had she stayed with her mum longer like my other one. Her saving grace was that our other one was 6 months old when we got her so she did have some older dog assistance. She is my baby and my absolute love, it’s hard not to be devoted back to someone who loves andneeds you this much, but I wish she’d been that little bit older that she might have felt more stable younger.

  18. I purchased a Goldendoodle from a reputable breeder. He was 11 weeks old when we picked him up. Although they had been weaned and were eating solid food, the pups were still in a pen with mum up until they were sold. The breeder said this was the first time she had done this. The puppies certainly seemed well socialized, with no fear of people, no attachment issues, when we picked him up.
    He has no resource guarding problems and will literally let you take food out of his dish while he is eating. I put that down to having to share with his brothers and sisters for a few extra weeks.
    He’s a very loving family dog.

    However, I work from home, so he is seldom alone. As a result, he has become very attached to me and has developed some pretty strong separation anxiety. (I take complete responsibility for this, as I obviously didn’t realize I had to leave him for longer periods in order for him to become accustomed to it.)

    So there is some anectodal evidence that nature does not always win out over nurture. You have to reinforce training, whether they have been removed at 6 weeks, or 11.

  19. I jus bought a frenchie puppy from a well known breeder. She breeds pugs, frenchies and english bulldogs. I visited the site when the pups were 3 days old. Although she has a lot of pugs, she only has 4 frenchies, 2 males and 2 females. At the time she only had the frenchie litter and 1 pug litter. Mom and pups kept in a pen in the house, she has an incubator where the pups are kept and taken to the mom for feeding. She sent regular updates and photos and kept in touch throughout. I was concerned that she took them for their first shots just before 6wks, which is too early. She also said they can leave at 8wks.
    This week she called to say 2of the pups are leaving this week and if I’m ready, I can have mine too. The pups are 7wks today. I got my girl yesterday. I know it’s a bit too early. I do have 2 grown dogs, an english bulldog and a boxer, 3 and 2 years old respectively. The pup immediately started playing with them, showing no signs of any fear. My 2 play quite rough, but seems to be okay. The boxer is a female and although she’s quite rough, she is already very protective, like a mother. The pup immediately settled in, doesn’t mess on the floor and uses the training pad, which I slowly move further and further until it’s outside. We take her out as much as possible to do her thing outside. She slept through, but got up twice to do her thing on the pad, and went straight back to sleep. No wining, nothing. Should I be concerned that she left a week early, or will my older dogs help with teaching her and sorting out all she needs to know?

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