What is the right age to take a puppy home?
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  • Hi!

    Everybody knows that 8 weeks is the minimum age puppies should leave for new homes.

    But I read in a French website that it is not only the minimum age but also the best age because it is between 8 and 12 or 16 weeks (depending of the breed) after this period (12 or 16) their socializing's capacities go down….I hope you understand what I mean because english is not my native language.

    I would like to know your opinion in general and of course specifically for the basenji.

    Thanks

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  • My Basenji puppies go to their new homes between 10 and 12 wks, depending on the home. If the home is an experienced home (prior Basenji owner) or a current Basenji owner, then 9 wks is when I let them go. This is after their Eye Exams which happens between 8 and 9 weeks. If an inexperienced home, not till at least 10wks. I do not feel Basenji puppies are ready (socially or mentally) for new homes at 8 weeks. They learn so much between 8 and 10 weeks with their litter mates and other adults in the house.

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  • I agree with Pat. 10 weeks is usually when I let mine go.

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  • LOL I hate basenji breeders. (JK) I am not going to get into fight, but I truly believe an experienced home should have option to take a puppy by 8 to 9 wks of age. I could quote studies but here is the bottom line.

    You breed them, they are your babies. You not only get to do what you think is best, any prospective home that doesn't respect that is a bad omen for future relations.

    Many tiny breed breeders don't let go til 14 to 16 wks. It varies. Most Rottie folks I know let go at 8 wks. But then, most rottie folks I KNOW personally are only placing in experienced homes.

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  • I found a great post I thought I would share:

    when can pup be taken from it's mother?

    Date:
    8/2/1998
    From:
    KARENKATO

    I have done lots of research on this subject <g>.

    As some of the long time breeders have pointed out, the old adage of "let them go young" has been around a long time. This belief stemmed from a written paper from when the dogs for the blind were being produced (forgive me for not remembering the name of this study, nor the correct group name who produced this study).

    I do believe that part of this misconception stems also from studies done in wolves where at 12 weeks of age, if a wolf pup is not socialized with humans, it becomes difficult to get them to become "humanized". While I don't wish to type out this full study done in wolves, suffice to say that comparing this study to dogs is not a good idea as wolves are WILD creatures. Comparisons can be used only in generalizations and not as a gospel truth for
    dogs.

    I also believe that part of the reasons why people wish to see puppies pushed out of the "nest" (so to speak) at an early age is that for breeders it would be cheaper to do so (less time, less money). However, in my studies of vaccinations, I contend that pushing them out young causes many breeders to give shots way to young to puppies. It has been shown that puppies under 3 weeks of age receiving shots causes heart problems, my contention is that I
    do not believe we should be giving shots under 6 weeks of age. (perhaps this is a discussion for a different thread).

    In studying not only wolf behavior, but dog behavior, I have found that by pushing our dogs out of the "nest" early, we loose vital teaching that only other dogs can give our young puppies. Because of the 'human" factor in dogs, fear of "bonding" issues is void because we as breeders are there from day one and dogs already have the foundation for bonding to humans.

    I do not believe there is a "set" age for all dog breeds, but I do believe that there is a "set time" which puppies should stay with siblings, relatives and parents. I do not believe in weaning puppies and believe this should be left to the mother to decide. (There are exceptions of course).

    My experience has led me to believe that leaving them with parents until 12 weeks of age is best. However, 10-12 weeks seems to be the optimum time and 8-9 weeks for larger breeds is acceptable.

    While arguments can be made that dogs sold under 8 weeks of age "bond" with families, I do not believe the issue is "bonding", but of learning good behavior. I also believe under 8 weeks of age is not good because of health reasons (i.e. shots, diseases, etc.).

    Best wishes,

    KK
    Izat Italian Greyhounds
    website: Izat Italian Greyhounds
    Member of the IGC A
    Breed Rescue Contact Person
    Home of Ch. Blackacre Little Hanky Panky CERF IG-479/98-67
    For information on Italian Greyhounds please contact me.</g>

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  • Due to it being around the Christmas/holiday season, we got Kipawa when he was I believe 14 weeks old. He came to us extremely well socialized, with both dogs and humans. Now when we are on off leash walks, I'm confident that he can meet babies and humans of any age with no problems. As for dogs, he greets politely and behaves, and I have yet to see him get anxious or frightened about another dog. If a dog is not his cup of tea, he doesn't push it. He just prances off. He has bonded with us extremely well, so overall in our circumstance us getting him at this age made no difference in the bonding process. But I applaud Therese and Kevin Leimback at FoPaws Basenjis. They do phenomenal work in their breeding program and in socializing their litters.

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  • Debra,
    If you read my post, I noted that if "experience" Basenji or they currently have a Basenji, then 9 weeks.

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  • S

    Fran, you did your homework and it paid off. You really did find a great breeder.

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  • My personal experience is that if you have a great breeder, 10 months is the best age to bring a basenji home. I got Digital the brindlewonderkid at 10 months and he was housebroken, leash trained, show trained AND a perfect house dog. I could literally leave him in the house all day while I was at work UNcrated and NOTHING was disturbed.^ Yep, I have yet to have that repeated with any of my other dogs. Otherwise, I agree with what Pat has outlined especially if there is a good resident dog to show a younger puppy the ropes and socializations.

    (^ He was left in the house uncrated shortly after I got him b/c he was bitten by something (spider??) and had to wear a cone for a few days.)

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  • @tanza:

    Debra,
    If you read my post, I noted that if "experience" Basenji or they currently have a Basenji, then 9 weeks.

    LOL did you think my post was to or about you? It was in general.

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  • First Basenji's

    Perhaps other breeders here can confirm, but I have also heard that this bottom line can also vary by breed or breed type. Shibas, for example, being a more "primitive" breed, also have a particular play style that causes them to play ROUGH, especially with their own kind. So in such a case, is it better to keep them just a little longer (say, up to 10 weeks) so that they learn from their own siblings just how rough is too rough, or is it better to take them from their litter as soon as possible to teach them that bite inhibition with other humans and dogs means a different thing from other puppies?

    Seems to me also that this is when an experienced breeder is necessary. Every single week is so critical when they're that age!

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  • Exactly Curlytails! Same with Basenjis… they learn social manners much better with their littermates and elders then a human family.... I have found with Basenjis that serious play doesn't really start until they are 8 weeks...

    And trust me, if you work a regular job and have a litter of 4 or more, you are MORE then ready to turn over these wild things to their new families...gggg But what is best for the breed and the puppy is the most important thing

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  • This is not directly related to the original post, but something Tanza said made me wonder if my issue wa related. I got Dexter when he was 8 weeks old, and at first we didn't have a problem with rough playing. However, within the last two weeks (starting around the time he made 12 weeks to the present) he has begun playing much rougher. I stop play when he gets too rough and won't quit (He stops when I say NO and licks me instead, but starts again), but it is very often and he isn't really doing it less. He plays too rough with Lola too (she allows it though, you could probably do anything to Lola and she wouldn't mind), as he bites her skin and shakes his head.

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  • T

    it is likely related to being taken away too young. suki is also like that - she always plays too rough or bites (not hard, but hard enough!) to get my attention. i've tried yelping, turning away and ignoring her, firmly saying no and turning, etc., etc., and it works for the moment, but an hour later she is back at it again. i think it is because she was away from litter mates too young and did not learn proper behavior. she's 10 months now, and i just think that is the way she is. i warn adults and don't take her around kids off leash.

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  • @DexterDex:

    This is not directly related to the original post, but something Tanza said made me wonder if my issue wa related. I got Dexter when he was 8 weeks old, and at first we didn't have a problem with rough playing. However, within the last two weeks (starting around the time he made 12 weeks to the present) he has begun playing much rougher. I stop play when he gets too rough and won't quit (He stops when I say NO and licks me instead, but starts again), but it is very often and he isn't really doing it less. He plays too rough with Lola too (she allows it though, you could probably do anything to Lola and she wouldn't mind), as he bites her skin and shakes his head.

    Possible this is part of the reason. Also, I would have to day that he is testing you now after being in his new home a few weeks. And remember, the older they get the rougher they play. Remember to, correction one time is not going to make much of an impression, it is being consistant that they finally get the message.

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  • T

    Thanks Fran and Sharron for the kind words.
    I have always believed pups shouldn't be placed until 10-12 weeks, if a home has adult basenjis that have good social skills I will let pups go at 10 weeks oterwise they stay with me and my pack untl 12 weeks. My adult dogs teach amazing social skills (dog and people) between 7-11 weeks, we play games, train and have a steady flow of basenji families who volunteer to socialize pups for us.
    I was even scolded by my vet years ago for not placing pups earlier because of the study mentioned that had vets believing a family won't properly bond with a dog unless it arrives by 8 weeks.
    I reminded him of the 5 dogs that live with him. All he obtained as adults, three when people came in and when they found out the dogs would require ongoing meds or treatment for illnesses ranging from severe allergies to arthritis they asked my vet to put these dogs down. He asked each owner to sign the dog over to him. Another was a rescue his son sound on the freeway and the other a shelter dog. All five of these dogs are extremely bonded to him and their house mates, you would swear they all grew up together. So much for bonding can't occur unless early. My vet (who is also my neighbor) has never questioned when I place pups again <vbg>.
    My vet also helps socialize my pups at several visits before they go to their homes, this helps me insure that my pups assume the vet is a fun place even before they go to their homes.
    I agree it would be cheaper and alot less work to let them go early and likely why so many do this, but we won't be changing our approach anytime soon.
    Therese</vbg>

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  • V

    A puppy should be at least eight weeks old and weaned before taking it to its new home

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  • @vanessalane:

    A puppy should be at least eight weeks old and weaned before taking it to its new home

    Hi Vanessa,

    1- In general they are all weaned at 8 weeks

    2- You answer the wrong question. I don't ask how old a puppy can leave the mother but what is the ideal age to do it.

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  • I feel that 10-12 weeks is the best age but there are many advantages to obtaining a puppy when it is older.

    @curlytails:

    So in such a case, is it better to keep them just a little longer (say, up to 10 weeks) so that they learn from their own siblings just how rough is too rough, or is it better to take them from their litter as soon as possible to teach them that bite inhibition with other humans and dogs means a different thing from other puppies?

    A good breeder will already have started bite inhibition as soon as the pups are old enough to understand, usually 4-5 weeks old. Most pups have it figured out by 7-8 weeks, but if the new owner doesn't continue to work with the pup once it is home it will forget.

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  • @Therese:

    I was even scolded by my vet years ago for not placing pups earlier because of the study mentioned that had vets believing a family won't properly bond with a dog unless it arrives by 8 weeks.
    Therese

    Hogwash regarding the 'need' to place at 8 weeks for bonding. Our darling Kipawa bonded to us immediately at 14 weeks, and the bond only grows. I believe you have to put in work to have a dog WANT to bond with you.

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  • Whew… well I wanted Cara as young as possible so Arwen would pretty much raise her as a puppy, not see as a threat. But I have to say any owner who told me they couldn't bond with an older dog wouldn't get one of my pups. GERIATRIC dogs bond with the family, and the family with it.

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