Take home at 7.5 or 8.5 weeks? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 06-18-2014, 05:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Take home at 7.5 or 8.5 weeks?

My new puppy was born on Monday, May 26 , and the breeder is willing to let him go home with us on Friday, July 18. That would make the puppy just over 7.5 weeks. The other option is July 25th, and puppy would be just over 8.5 weeks. I was wondering what age would be a better "take home" age - 7.5 weeks or 8.5 weeks?

I know that some (all?) puppies go through a fear period at around 8 weeks, and I was thinking that if we left the puppy with the breeder until 8.5 weeks, the puppy would have fewer new (maybe scary to the pup?) experiences during that fear period. Am I wrong here?

However, my heart wants the puppy home with us as soon as possible! What to do??

I work Mon-Fri and will be taking 3 weeks off when we bring the puppy home. This means that a Friday or Saturday pick up would be best for us.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think either one would be fine. That week long span is generally when most go home. I usually like to err on the side of later rather than sooner, but do you know how many other puppies are staying longer? If yours would be the only one staying till 8.5, there wouldn't be much purpose of leaving him longer.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll find out - we're going to meet them this weekend. The litter isn't huge (4 males, 2 females) so even two or three going home earlier would be hard on the little guy, wouldn't it?
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Eh, if there's going to be at least two left, I personally might let him stay that little extra bit of time. Ultimately it's up to you. I just get paranoid about early time with the litter because my job is inundated with the results of people who pick up 5 and 6 week old puppies.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, jeez, no! We're definitely not getting him THAT early! No, I was more thinking that the later we pick him up = more time with the litter and mama = good. Also, then he'd be a full week older when I went back to work.

We're also a bit paranoid about the fear period because our current dog was beat up, in the shelter, by one of the other shelter dogs during her fear period. We worked really, really hard on dealing with that, but she still has fear issues (mainly just runs back to us if off leash, but will bark and growl if she's contained ie on a leash). We're starting from a better place with our new guy and we don't want to mess anything up for him!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly, in well-bred temperamentally stable dogs, I don't see too much of a fear period. Normally when I see a traumatizing fear period, it is because the dog is very poorly bred or just unstable. The fear period is very widely talked about in my classes, but when I see an actual extreme fear period, I can be about 98% sure that it was a backyard bred shepherd that didn't have any thought put into its genetics.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I always say wait, the longer the better. Even mom can teach valuable lessons. I haven't fully discussed this with my breeder, but my pup will be 8 weeks old on August 7th, as much as I want her right now!!! I am probably going to ask to pick her up at the 9 week mark, I have two weeks off at the end of August and I just think it will be a better time for all of us if I can spend as much time as possible with her in the beginning.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had to bring my girl home very early. She was nearly 5wks, I didn't have a choice though it was take her or not, and she only had two siblings. I agree with Pax8 it's great for them to stay longer and learn things from their siblings & such. That time frame is also when a lot of pups begin their journeys to their new homes. It's just a matter of your preference here I think. You won't end up in a mess like I did, and if few to any of his siblings are sticking around that long I'd say bring him home! Congrats on the new addition, and it's great you've got so much time to devote in the beginning that really makes a difference in rearing a pup especially GSD's I've found. Post pics for us when you get him!!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren43 View Post
I am probably going to ask to pick her up at the 9 week mark, I have two weeks off at the end of August and I just think it will be a better time for all of us if I can spend as much time as possible with her in the beginning.
Once you get to 7.5 to 8 weeks, the next biggest impact is your interaction with your dog.

So to the OP, 7.5-8.5 weeks is a safe range on either end to pick a puppy up in my opinion. So what I would consider is what would coincide best with your vacation. If you could pick him up at 7.5 weeks but might still have a couple days of work, you might consider picking him up later so his first experiences with you can be very closely monitored.

I think this is more a question of at what point can he be worked in most smoothly rather than exactly what day age.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's kind of what I was thinking too, Lauren. And Pax, you're probably right about our girl - she was definitely an accident (litter almost certainly had 2 dads as none of the other pups looked anything like our girl) and although she's very sweet, loving, great with people & children, intelligent, etc, she is definitely not brave! No, her nerves are not strong, although other than when she feels threatened by another dog or hears loud noises (gunshots, thunder, etc), I would say her thresholds are pretty high. I'm so glad to hear that a well-bred, temperamentally stable dog has less of a fear period!
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