What is the right age to take a puppy home?

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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