At What Age Should I Bring My Puppy Home from the Breeder?

Have you been thinking about adding a new member to your household? Getting purebred dogs from a reputable breeder is one way to get exactly the kind of breed you’d like. Unfortunately, waiting for those puppies to be ready to come home with you can seem like torture. However, experts and veterinarians alike have put a lot of thought into deciding how old puppies should be before they can leave their mom in West Des Moines, IA.

When can I expect to bring puppies home?

Generally, vets and breeders agree that seven to eight weeks old is the right time to separate puppies from their mothers. After all, separation from their mother is pretty traumatic for a small dog, even if they’re gaining new caretakers in your household. The idea is to strike the perfect balance between getting comfort and learning dog behaviors from their mothers, while making sure their new family has plenty of opportunity to socialize.

What factors do breeders and vets consider?

  • Socialization period: Puppies go through their major socialization period between six and 12 weeks of age. In that time, they start learning more about their role in the world around them. They might learn from their siblings that biting and play fighting can hurt, or get other instinctual cues from their mother. However, there’s a balance to be had. When separated from their mother too soon, they can regress or suffer trauma. On the other hand, if they’re kept away from their new family for too long, the puppy and the humans might lose out on valuable, formative “getting to know you” time.
  • Breeder training: Your breeder might also want to train the puppies. Many breeders try to get them used to crates, leashes and basic obedience commands, so that their new owner’s job will be easier. Puppies—as you probably know—can be quite boisterous and rambunctious. Although you might prefer to train dogs yourself, having the early care from their breeder can make a world of difference.
  • Individual accommodations: Finally, it’s important to think about what each individual dog needs. Your new puppy’s personality is considered (what if they’re not as active as the other puppies in their litter?) as well as your own home circumstances. If a puppy is rehomed in West Des Moines, IA between six to eight weeks, it might benefit them to have an older “mentor” dog at home. A more introverted dog could do better away from their more excitable siblings, too. On the other hand, some dogs—depending on their breed and personality—might need to stay with their breeder and mother until the full 12 weeks.

Ultimately, there’s no hard and fast rule, but you can expect to bring your puppy home when they’re about six to eight weeks of age. If you’re concerned about how long it might take, talk to their breeder about individual circumstances.

Canine Country Club is West Des Moines, IA’s premier doggy daycare and boarding center. Call today for an appointment or to learn more about us.

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