Oh, and 5 years ago, I had a litter of 10 puppies. Joy was one of them, and Woden. Most went home before 3 months. But I kept Joy, and still had Shadow and Woden at the six month mark. I homed the two boys within a week of each other. All three stayed in with their dam during that time.
I did not keep in touch with Shadow's owner, but Woden is the one I often go to with my girls for play dates. They say that I must have worked with him a lot because he was super easy to train, and he is very engaged with them.
It depends on the puppy. Letting dogs interact with older dogs, or keeping them separated -- what matters is what kind of a leader you are. If you are a good leader, if your dog sees you as a good leader, you're better than chopped liver, and better than the litter mate, kennel mate, older dog.
Now, if your dog is constantly kenneled by himself or in the house with you and never sees another dog, when you let him loose with another dog, maybe he will pay more attention to the other dog than you. He has you ALL THE TIME. This other dog is new and interesting and fun, fun, fun.
But when he is tired out, he will come over to where you are sitting, and curl up by you -- that is what you want.
I let Moofy out to run with Woden a few weeks ago. Woden had a young bitch over for a play date too, Cheyene. Any way, with their longer legs, they could easily outdistance my boy. But, he was game and running after them. And then came back to where the people are to crash.
I don't know why we expect so much from dogs. He will be more interested in dogs than me. Well, yes, if he is constantly kept away from other dogs, there is the novelty of it. But if you take him out, and he sees other dogs working alongside other people, he should learn to ignore them. And if there are periods in his life when he gets easily distracted, and we do not freak out about it, he will come out the other side perfectly ok.
Heck, Hepsi was in with her dam for a year, she is totally focused on me, when we are out. Karma was in with her dam for a year. She is totally focused on me. Lassie was in with her dam for a year, well, Lassie likes dogs.
Of all my dogs, one of the ones that went home at 9-10 weeks, and came back to me at 6 months, when her people busted up her elbow, she was the one that wanted nothing to do with me, and only was interested in the other dogs. They had a trainer take her and put her in with a couple of adult dogs to learn doggy-manners for a few days. Whatever. She was with her litter long enough for that. But, I took my cues from her, and left her be, and let her heal. The following summer I took her to classes. And she is fine. When we are out she is focussed on me, not other dogs.
It depends on the dog, and it depends on the person. I think it is really individual. With some dogs it might make a difference. With all dogs, no way.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC