What is the right age to take a puppy home?

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.


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.

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.

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


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.

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


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.


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.

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.

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.

I agree with most of the rest of the posts that 10 to 12 weeks is the best tome to go to new homes (of course there may be exceptions). I must say that on the whole UK breeders do let their puppies go earlier.

I have had experience of Basenjis (not my own) that have suffered badly because they hadn't had sufficient chance to learn from parents and siblings.
I know of breeders who forcibly wean their puppies so that they can home them as early as possible (in an instance I Know of - 6 weeks!). The history of such basenjis has been horrendous - some having had to be put down for aggression - no fault of their own but that of the breeder!

So you can see that I feel strongly about this.

I agree with you Patty. We have had people here on the Forum that got puppies at 6/7 weeks and they were fed up with the biting within two weeks. For those of you that have puppies from responsible breeders and still have the "joy" (NOT) of puppy teeth, you have seen nothing, so consider yourself lucky

^ i agree, puppy teeth are evil! i called suki my little alligator when i brought her home, and that was at 12 weeks, but NO socialization.

Patty, some states here thankfully make it illegal to place a puppy before 8 weeks. I suspect not only the young age, but the people who got the pups didn't know enough to deal and the breeds didn't care enough to educate.

Debra, although I'm not in favour of overlegislating I applaud this law. If only it could be brought in here.

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