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Old 08-26-2014, 02:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Downsides of taking a pup from the litter too soon?

What are the possible downsides of taking a puppy from the litter too soon? My breeder and I both live in military base housing and you are only allowed to have 2 dogs, but since theyve had these pups they are up to 5 now and have already had the housing office called on them once by a nosey worthless neighbor complaining. If i were to pick my pup up at 6 weeks old, what are possible downsides to that, and with the downsides being stated what can I do to remediate the problem?
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Puppies taken at six weeks miss out on a socialization period meant to be spent with mother and litter mates. This is where they are supposed to learn many of their dog on dog language and interaction. Things like bite inhibition and appropriate play are developed here.

Honestly, I can't say exactly what they learn from this period besides social behavior, but I can tell you as a trainer, I see the other side of this much too often. Puppies get taken at six weeks and come to me some months later for obedience training. They have a tendency to have terrible bite inhibition, lower than average self-control, trouble settling or having an "off-switch", trouble interacting clearly with other dogs which tends to lead to misunderstandings in body language, and just strange behavioral quirks that I usually don't see in ones taken at 8 weeks. I've found that neurotic behaviors are much more common in ones taken younger.

I've had puppies taken at six weeks that came to me later and were compulsive tail-chasers and paw chewers and light chasers. I have had others that had hangups about certain physical interactions no matter how hard we worked on counter conditioning and desensitizing. One that absolutely would not let you hold her feet for more than 10 seconds. We finally got to ten seconds after about four months of work. Mom did all the proper puppy handling protocol, but puppy just never liked having paws handled where others taken at 8 weeks and handled were just fine.

Best thing would be for him to stay with mother and litter the extra two weeks. If that simply is not possible, then make sure you have well-controlled play times with well-adjusted, socialized older dogs (like your own) and if you know the other owners of the pups, getting them together for puppy play times could also be helpful. Be VERY clear about personal and environmental boundaries - start bite inhibition early. Start working on attention and self-control games. Teaching a simple watch me, take it, wait, and leave it will help with that. Work on settling in the house and being quiet and calm with you. Don't reward any crazy over-excitable behavior. It's fine to be excited and maybe barking when running around outside, but literally bouncing off the walls of the house is unacceptable. And make sure you are unyielding about these rules. There CANNOT be moments where the puppy is just too cute and we're going to let him slide just this one time. It'll come back to bite you. Probably literally.

Even if you get him at six weeks, I think he'll be alright as long as you put in the work. A large part of it is accepting that getting hi so young means you need to substitute that part of his socialization and it takes a lot of work and a lot of planning. But you're getting good information on the forum, so I think you're well on your way to handling it!

EDIT: If he is taken earlier, he will also have a much more people-oriented socialization which means people will probably be the source of a lot of excitement and he'll be quicker to practice those bad people behaviors like jumping up, chewing ankles, and barking for attention. I would jump on top of these as well and work on keeping attention and calm around strangers as well.

Last edited by Pax8; 08-26-2014 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Since you are neighbors, is it feasible for you to take pup over there for a little while everyday after work to hang out with momma for the next 2 weeks?
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepgirl View Post
Since you are neighbors, is it feasible for you to take pup over there for a little while everyday after work to hang out with momma for the next 2 weeks?
yep deffinitly!
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
Puppies taken at six weeks miss out on a socialization period meant to be spent with mother and litter mates. This is where they are supposed to learn many of their dog on dog language and interaction. Things like bite inhibition and appropriate play are developed here.

Honestly, I can't say exactly what they learn from this period besides social behavior, but I can tell you as a trainer, I see the other side of this much too often. Puppies get taken at six weeks and come to me some months later for obedience training. They have a tendency to have terrible bite inhibition, lower than average self-control, trouble settling or having an "off-switch", trouble interacting clearly with other dogs which tends to lead to misunderstandings in body language, and just strange behavioral quirks that I usually don't see in ones taken at 8 weeks. I've found that neurotic behaviors are much more common in ones taken younger.

I've had puppies taken at six weeks that came to me later and were compulsive tail-chasers and paw chewers and light chasers. I have had others that had hangups about certain physical interactions no matter how hard we worked on counter conditioning and desensitizing. One that absolutely would not let you hold her feet for more than 10 seconds. We finally got to ten seconds after about four months of work. Mom did all the proper puppy handling protocol, but puppy just never liked having paws handled where others taken at 8 weeks and handled were just fine.

Best thing would be for him to stay with mother and litter the extra two weeks. If that simply is not possible, then make sure you have well-controlled play times with well-adjusted, socialized older dogs (like your own) and if you know the other owners of the pups, getting them together for puppy play times could also be helpful. Be VERY clear about personal and environmental boundaries - start bite inhibition early. Start working on attention and self-control games. Teaching a simple watch me, take it, wait, and leave it will help with that. Work on settling in the house and being quiet and calm with you. Don't reward any crazy over-excitable behavior. It's fine to be excited and maybe barking when running around outside, but literally bouncing off the walls of the house is unacceptable. And make sure you are unyielding about these rules. There CANNOT be moments where the puppy is just too cute and we're going to let him slide just this one time. It'll come back to bite you. Probably literally.

Even if you get him at six weeks, I think he'll be alright as long as you put in the work. A large part of it is accepting that getting hi so young means you need to substitute that part of his socialization and it takes a lot of work and a lot of planning. But you're getting good information on the forum, so I think you're well on your way to handling it!

EDIT: If he is taken earlier, he will also have a much more people-oriented socialization which means people will probably be the source of a lot of excitement and he'll be quicker to practice those bad people behaviors like jumping up, chewing ankles, and barking for attention. I would jump on top of these as well and work on keeping attention and calm around strangers as well.
thanks a lot!! that opened my eyes to many things!!
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Back in the day, a person could get a waiver from base housing to cover a dog having puppies or a cat having kittens. Did the breeder talk to the housing office?
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Because of the things that was written above, they often are very dog aggressive.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They miss out on two weeks of interacting with their littermates. I think it can be mitigated based on the dog's genetics (good temperament overall), the owner's experience, and whether the owner has other, stable dogs around to "help" teach a puppy how to interact with other dogs.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If the owner can handle them for 6 weeks, they can handle them for 8. I'm sorry, but usually limits on the number of pets does not include pups in a litter that are 8 weeks or younger.

Most of the time the excuses to pull a pup from a litter early, or home a pup early are because the buyer can't wait and the seller does not want to lose the sale, or because the seller is sick of taking care of puppies, and both of these are not good reasons to give up on the time in the litter. I will let a pup go a few days early if the owners have a reason, like they will be home this weekend, but next weekend they are having a party or are going to a long seminar, and they want the dog settled before then -- in short, to make it easier on the dog. And sometimes it can. If they have a long weekend, 3-4 days, that is worth letting the pup go home 2-3 days early.

People have homed pups pretty regularly at six weeks. But, 8 weeks is what the current law is in a lot of places. A lot of experts say 7 weeks is the best time. If the rest of the litter is gone, the pup isn't going to gain anything from staying with the breeder. But if there is a litter, then keeping the pup for a week or two more is better than pulling them out too early.
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