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Many times we see people join the board to say they have a 5 or 6 week old puppy. The usual reason why people want to get rid of puppies that young:


  • The mom has stopped feeding them so now the person has to buy food for the puppies and with a large litter that can be expensive
  • Mom stops cleaning up after the puppies and now the person has to - can be lots of extra work
  • In general - the puppies become alot more work between 5 and 8 weeks of age and the person doesn't want to be bothered
None of those are GOOD reasons to remove a puppy from it's mother and littermates. Here's a list of reasons why the puppy should STAY with the mom and littermates until at LEAST 7 weeks of age:



  • Bite inhibition - this is a VERY important lesson that the puppy will learn from both the mom and littermates. Puppies who don't learn bite inhibition at a young age can develop biting problems as they mature.
  • Socialization - a puppy learns socialization from it's mom and littermates. Mom teaches the puppies what's allowed as far as behavior goes and what's not allowed. Their littermates start teaching them correct dog-to-dog social skills.
 

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Well, this made me feel alot better about having had my puppy shipped . The airline requirement is must be 8 weeks old. And also I always wondered why the breeder did allow them to be picked up at 6 weeks - now I know.
 

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My golden was a little bit over 7 weeks and he was tiny. I didn't get my GSD until she was 12 weeks. I like the 8-10 week age to come home. I almost think 10 weeks is perfect.
 

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I got both Sage and Carly at 9 weeks, and they were really easy puppies to deal with.

My new GSD puppy will turn 8 weeks old when I'm gone to a dog show, then 9 weeks old when I'm in Mississippi visiting my father, so I guess I can't get him till he's 10 weeks old! He's 6 weeks old today, and absolutely adorable, but I can't imagine taking him home this young.
 

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8-10 weeks is perfect only because they get to learn how to socialize with their litter mates and mother teaches them stuff humans cant
 

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8-10 weeks is perfect only because they get to learn how to socialize with their litter mates and mother teaches them stuff humans cant
And your breeder can start crate training them. :D I like that part, lol.
 

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Anywhere between 8 - 12 weeks is perfect, obviously the longer the better but I got Diesel at 10 weeks, had the option to take her home at 8 weeks old but the breeder had no problem waiting till the 10 week mark for me, and I NEVER had any biting or socialization issues with her... Penny on the other hand was a gift, the "breeder" my parents bought her from forced us to take her at 6 weeks as they had already paid for her and they told us that we either take her that day (Christmas) or they would not get their money back and the pup would be sold to someone else... stupid backyard hick breeder... anyway, have had a heck of a time with bite inhibition with her, my next pup will come home around 8 - 12 weeks old
 

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I won't get anal about a few days. I mean if the pups will be 8 weeks on Tuesday and they want to take the pup home on Friday so they will have the weekend with it, I am ok with that. They used to say that 7 weeks was the ideal time.

I prefer to wait for the eight week mark though. I do agree that 5 and 6 week old puppies are better off with their dam and litter -- if there is a litter. My girls are really good with their puppies, even up beyond eight weeks. Yes, the work increases, and most of the time that is why I think people sell them early.
 

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Great write up!

I got my little guy when he was 7 weeks , 3 days old. Only reason because the other two littermates left a day earlier and I would rather have him bond with us and also since it was the start of spring break and the entire family was home the whole week.

It would be ideal if the entire litter could be together until week 9 or 10, but at the 7 week mark there is very high anxiousness to get your puppy. :)
 

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8 weeks is perfect for me. Like Sue said, a few days give or take because of a weekend or travel is no biggy. Both Nikon and Pan actually came home at 7 weeks and some days, no issues there. I personally don't like to wait but there's a LOT of training I do in the first week and my last three puppies have made HUGE strides between 8-9 weeks so I'd hate to miss out on that, but I think erring on the older rather than younger side is definitely best. It also depends on what, if anything, the breeder is doing with the puppies.
 
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