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Eight weeks or twelve weeks?

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There are two common points on the timeline when puppies are commonly removed from

their mother - eight weeks and twelve weeks respectively.

 

Most professional breeders will not allow their pups to go to their new homes until they are ten weeks or older. With that said some

breeders think that rehoming a puppy at eight weeks is good enough. This is NOT our belief.


While puppies can be fully weaned at the
age of seven weeks old, and are able to eat
solid foods and no longer need to nurse from

their mom, there is a lot of merit in allowing the puppies to stay with their mother until they are 10 to 12 weeks of age.

The additional two to four weeks between

weeks are very formative for the young puppy, and their socialization, learned behaviors and personalities really come develop in leaps and bounds during this time. 

 

All this provides the puppy with a firm foundation for the rest of their lives.

We believe in allowing mom to handle the weaning 

We do not get involved in our pup’s weaning process. This means that our puppies normally continue to nurse (at least part of the time) past 8 weeks. It becomes obvious that mom does not have much milk and the nursing sessions are more for emotional support than physical.

 

The pup’s attempts to nurse are often met with mom initiating a play session but if the pup insists, mom decides whether to correct or tolerate a sip or two. After 10-12 weeks, the puppies and mom

tend to seamlessly transition to full weaning with only the occasional correction.

8-weeks old

Puppies can begin to be separated from their mother  at 6-weeks, but need to stay with their litter mates until they are 8 weeks or older,  before they can go to new homes.

 

The canine socialization period takes place between week 6 and 12 and is one of the most important stages of development of the dog. What they learn from their mother and litter mates during this period greatly influences

the rest of their lives. 

During this stage the puppies learn bite inhibition and canine socialization skills that

are critical skills for a dog, and dogs that miss this stage often have behavioral problems

which land them in shelters later in life.

 

They may have serious problems getting along with other dogs, and can have problems with biting, because they never learn to adjust the
pressure of their bite, and that teeth hurt.

While it is technically acceptable to remove a puppy from the mother once they are eight weeks old, it is infinitely preferable to wait that additional month and keep them with the mother and litter-mates until they are twelve weeks old.

 

We do not sell puppies until they are 
between 10 - 12 weeks in age and given

their eating progression and maturity.

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Socialization 

A good dog breeder starts socializing their puppies long before they leave for their new homes, providing different smells and textures before the puppies have even opened their eyes.

 

Once the puppies can see and hear (3-5 weeks), good breeders take the puppies to safe

locations to meet new people and expose

their puppies to new sights and sounds.

Between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks is known

as the "critical period" for socialization. That

is because anything that happens to your

puppy during this time will be forever

imprinted on his brain. 

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So, if your puppy gets frightened by a man in a cowboy hat at 9-weeks old and he doesn't have a positive
experience with other men in cowboy hats, he will
grow into a dog that is fearful of, or even
aggressive towards, men in cowboy hats.

This is why it is inadvisable to take a new puppy to a

dog park (aside from the health risk) which is often full

of dogs with poor social skills and bully play styles.

Socialization means making sure that your puppy
has positive experiences to as many people, places 
and things for the first 4-6 weeks they are with you -
but don't stop there! Your puppy will enter several fear 
periods during their adolescence, so positive socialization needs to continue through 18-months of age.

Failure to do so is one of the leading causes of behavior problems in dogs, from separation ​anxiety to aggression.

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