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Old 06-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

I know each state has their own dog laws as related to the selling of puppies/dogs. Im my state--OHIO, the law specifically states that no puppies shall be sold,transferred,exchanged, ect. under the age of 8 weeks.
Would a breeder be considered reputable if they let puppies leave for their new homes under 8 weeks of age, in the state of Ohio, which is essentially breaking the law?
Should a breeder be expected to know the law as regards to selling puppies in their state and abide by that law?
Would it be a red flag if the breeder isnt aware of said law?
Im just curious if it is common practice for breeders to know the laws of the state they are in as related to the sale of puppies.
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

I feel if a person is breeding and selling dogs that they should know the basic laws of their State regarding such a "business". Yes, business is in quotes because I mean business in the legal sense that if you sell something and money changes hands for a product it is technically a business. Now PA not too long ago the law was 7 weeks but it is now 8 weeks. I honestly missed that change. I do not think it would be an immediate red flag as long as other things were legit. Now if they were informed of the law and continued to sell them illegally- I would run away scattering red flags behind me.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

I think it would really depend on the individual situation.

No ethical breeder sells pups at 4, 5, 6 weeks old regardless of what the law is.

But we also have to remember that most legislation is not written by people who have any clue about what they are legislating and the many different, legitimate factors, that may influence such decisions.

Many competitive performance people believe the best age to obtain a new pup is 7 weeks, not 8. While many don't agree with this, there have been studies done, and a whole lot of anectdotal evidence based on experience, that indicates there may be some truth to that. So if a reputable breeder is selling a pup to an experienced handler and both happen to prescribe to those beliefs, should they go to jail if they send pups home at 7 weeks?

Or say, a breeder typically sends them home at 8 weeks, and the state law requires such, but the litter's 8 week birthday falls on a Sunday. Is it unethical, or should it be illegal, if the breeder allows people to pick up their puppies on Friday or Saturday, so as to have the whole weekend to spend settling the pup in, but in doing so breaks the law by sending them home at 7 weeks 5-6 days?

I think the bottom line is a good breeder is going to send the pups home when they feel it is best, and "best" depends on a variety of factors: the maturity of the litter, the dynamic within the litter (if one soft pup is constantly being beaten up by it's littermates, sending that pup home early may be a good thing so as to prevent it from learning the *wrong* lessons during that last few days of litter socialization), when is best for the new owners in terms of making the smoothest possible transition, and a whole host of other things. Good breeders will do that regardless of what the law says. Bad breeders won't, and many will send the pups home as early as they can so as to save themselves a lot of trouble, and will probably do so regardless of what the law says.
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

Hmmmmm I didn't think about the situations that Chris mentioned.....
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

Ruq and Chris, thanks for your replies.
Ruq, I was having the same thoughts you were before Chris's post.
Chris, I have a better understanding about this now, that is why I wanted some other opinions/thoughts about this, especially from breeders. I understand about certain circumstances regarding the age of puppies being let go to their new homes. Im glad you chimed in here , Chris!
Now, on another note, I have read that it has been proven, that puppies taken away from the dam and littermates prior to 8 weeks of age alot of times develop severe behavioral issues as older pups or young adults. As per what Chris is referring to in her above post about some breeders being against getting a puppy at 7 weeks old. Atleast that is what I think Chris is meaning.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

Actually, the primary research done on this was by Scott and Fuller and their research showed that it was in pups younger than 6 weeks that serious behavioral problems could result due to a lack of understanding canine social behavior. Not 8 weeks. But their research also showed that waiting until 7 weeks was even better. Waiting past that could be detrimental in terms of the pup becoming too "doggy" and not bonding properly with people. This is the root of the idea held by many that 7 weeks is the optimum age.

Of course, many different environmental factors come into play here. And it's vitally important what happens with those pups during the period from 6/7 to 8/9 weeks, or beyond. This is the primary socialization period with dogs, and how much of that comes with other dogs and how much with people will drastically affect how the dog turns out long term. Leaving a pup with it's litter past 7, 8, 9 weeks where the *only* significant interaction it has is with it's littermates will result in a dog who has excellent dog social skills but can cause problems with the dog/human relationship later on. Removing the pup from a litter too early will result in a dog who has excellent social skills with people, but may have problems with other dogs. Leaving the pups with the litter past 6-7 weeks but also making sure they get a lot of human socialization during that time, makes for a very balanced, well rounded pup who can get along with both species. Those extra weeks with the litter can give them even better canine social skills, plus socializing them well with people, so it's a win/win and produces the sort of pup most of us want and that is pretty well ideal for most situations.

So it really depends on how the breeder handles things and what they do with the pups. If the breeder just leaves the pups together in a kennel and doesn't allow them to interact a lot with people, pups left longer with the litter may very well become too doggy and not develop the proper relationship with people. So the earlier the better, so the new owner can make sure the pup gets socialized to people, and hopefully also has resources to continue good dog socialization too, and minimize any negative effects. But if the breeder spends a lot of time with the pups and they get a lot of time interacting with people, then it doesn't matter and later is fine.

This is why the optimum age to obtain a pup can vary depending on the goals of the new owner. If the person wants a dog who is very socially adapted to other dogs, or who (like some hunting dogs) will live it's life in a pack of other dogs, waiting longer is better. If the person wants a dog who couldn't care less that other dogs exist, will never be placed in a situation where it needs to get along with other dogs, and should be 100% focused all the time on people and look ONLY to people for any sort of social interaction, earlier (though not before 6 weeks at minimum) is best.


It's definitely not a black/white issue. And of course, law makers don't take any of that into consideration.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

Chris, thanks for taking the time to type all that information. Its much appreciated. I have a better perspective on the situation now.
There was a situation elsewhere that got me thinking about laws in regards to the sale of puppies. I would say that this is where researching breeders and asking questions would be the best thing to do.
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

You're welcome, Donna.

I think it also important to mention that aside from the dog vs human socialization aspect, we also have to look at the evaluation of personality aspect. Puppy temperaments according to research are most apparent around 7 weeks. They are expressing their genetic temperament, before environment can significantly influence it. However my experience and that of many other people I've discussed the issue with is that 8 weeks is actually better for doing that, especially with large breed pups who tend to mature slower (even at such early ages) compared to small breed pups. So from a breeder standpoint, we generally don't let pups go before 8-8.5 weeks because that's typically when we've gotten enough read on each pup's personality to make good matches to owners. Sometimes matches are apparent before then, but rarely, and generally only with a pup or two, not the whole litter. Those extra weeks for temperament evaluation are important too.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

Frankly, in Ohio, you have to dig to find that eight week stipulation. It is there. I found it. But it isn't easy to find and many, many people do not follow it at all. It is NOT enforced.

So I hold pups for eight weeks. I had one buyer that wanted to take a pup on Thursday instead of Friday, when they were eight weeks. They had a reason for having the pup a day early and I complied. I feel that I followed the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law.

I have had people who wanted their puppies at seven weeks. Many people say they give puppies out at six weeks. And I have seen way too many four week old puppies at pet stores with clueless owners.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeders and State Laws Regarding Puppy Sales

http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusohst955.htm

Sue, if you go to this page and scroll down to the service and guide dogs section you will find the heading for the law stating about selling,trading,ect of puppies in the state of Ohio. By doing a web search putting in Ohio dog laws, i found it pretty quickly and easily.

I know there are alot of breeders in Ohio that let pups go at 6 weeks. My male I got at 6 weeks old back in 2000 before I knew any better. He is from a breeder in Ohio. It doesnt surprise me that some let them leave at 4 weeks either.
I was pretty much aware that the law is not really enforced.
While I think people should adhere by the law, Chris made some very reasonable statements regarding placing pups before they are 8 weeks old.
I posted this topic because I had my own thoughts on this law as a puppy buyer. I was hoping to get a breeders perspective on the whole thing. As I stated above, Chris did that extremely well in her replies.
I appreciate you chiming in with your thoughts also. Thanks!!!
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