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Hello,

I am looking for a working lines puppy. My situation: experienced owner, my Shepherd of 10 years passed away 4 months ago. I have 5 small kids 9 yo and under, and 2 small 10lb dogs - non aggressive, non dominant, very chill. Thus I am looking for a balanced, good nerve dog.

Here is my question: what do you think on getting a 10-12 weeks old pup, versus an 8 weeks old? Generally I prefer an 8 weeks old so he may bond to me and not have spent extra weeks in a kennel, acquiring bad habits, but... Looking for your thoughts and advise, please

Thank you
 

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Hi there, your first few posts won't show up until they get approved by a Moderator. Please do no make multiple identical posts all over the board - that is considered a form of spam, so your other posts have been deleted.

As to answer your questions - It won't make any difference in bonding, whether you get an 8 week old or a 10-12 week old.

A good, responsible, ethical breeder will not let young puppies rot in a kennel and miss out on important socialization window. Puppies, even those that are being kept back past 8 weeks, should be part of the family, exposed to the real world, taken on car rides, going swimming, playing with children, and started off with crate training. If a breeder is not doing these type of things, run away!

I got my last puppy at 6 months old. No bonding issues. Any bad habits he had he got because I allowed him to develop those habits (wasn't pro-active enough to prevent them, or train different habits), and they had nothing to do with the fact that I got him as an older pup.

What is your plan with your pup? Why a working line in particular?
 

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Thank you! The breeder has a kennel and trains/competes with her adult dogs, I seriously doubt that she is doing all those things you mentioned with her left over puppy. ..

Can you please recommend a breeder in SO Cal?

Thank you
 

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Best thing to do would be to start a thread with something like 'asking for WL breeder recommendations in S.California' - or similar.
 

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A good breeder will take the time to do stuff with the pups they keep or have past 8 weeks. Heck, I would want to know that a breeder does more with even their 8 week old pups than have them sitting in a kennel.



Any pups I keep back are taken to the club, started in obedience, tracking and doing puppy circles. They go different places and on a lot of car/truck rides. They are also used to sleeping in crates, being in a kennel or out in the yard, have played with my adults and maybe gone swimming. They will also have been exposed to gun fire and lots of people and strange dogs (being around the dogs, not socializing with them) at club.
 

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Some people who work their dogs in advanced venues like to get their puppies as early as possible.

IMO, I like a breeder to keep a puppy a little longer. I think most puppies have a lot to be gained by staying with their families and being in familiar surroundings until they are a little bit older before an abrupt separation. I believe it reduces trauma.

A lot can depend on the dog as well. My oldest dog was raised in a semi isolated pen with his siblings that had not sold yet until he was 3.5 months old and was none the worse for wear and tear. He is a fantastic dog that needed no special care, socialization, etc. He was stable and rock steady when he stepped out of the crate off the plane.
 

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I wouldn't be too concerned about getting an 11 week old vs an 8 week old, but as others have mentioned, it would depend on what the breeder was doing (or not doing) with the puppy during that time. We've never actually gotten a puppy at 8 weeks old, both Dena and Keefer were 9 weeks when they came home, and Halo was 10 weeks.

We purchased Cava at 8 weeks but were not able to bring her home until she was 4-1/2 months old. The breeder had offered to hold onto her until we were ready, and while she was still there, basically treated Cava as her own. She was keeping two of the puppies from the litter - one was going to be her new working dog and her husband had fallen in love with one of the others. So all three puppies had daily training sessions, went for walks at the river and into town, to the ranch supply store, and were crate trained, etc.

The biggest thing for me was that I was missing out on so much of her puppyhood, which made me sad. Pictures and videos were great, but just weren't the same as being there. And there were a few things that I would have started working on sooner if she'd been here, but there was also a huge plus in getting her later. She was great in her crate from day one, sleeping through the night, and was already housebroken. Her attention span was better since she was older, so training has gone quickly. Bonding was no problem, she went from a 32 acre ranch to a suburban house with a small yard without a hitch, a drive of around 1400 miles over several days, leaving behind her mom, two littermates, and the people she knew since she was born. She seems very happy and loves being with us, and also her brother Keefer.
 

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I've had puppies at 6, 7, 8 weeks. I had a puppy here for 3 weeks who became very attached to me and easily made the transition back to his owner. A dog of any age will bond with the owner if the relationship is built.
 

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I have had pups at 7 and 11 weeks and indeed from birth.

For me the ideal balance is around 10 weeks which is when we are having our pup now (Sunday!) as others have said there are great lessons they can learn from their mother and siblings still. The dog I had at 11 weeks compared to her 7 week pal, is far more normal. Mr 7 weeks is such a strange little fellow. I suppose to be sure it was his age he'd have to be in a controlled environment which of course he wasn't, but I'm sure it was his age! Still love the bones of him though :grin2:
 

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Beau came home at 12 weeks. Housebreaking took like a minute, and he learned to control his bite pretty quickly on bare skin. Still a pup with a lot to learn, but I think I don’t mind missing weeks 9-12.
 
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