3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Even though Molly does not encourage others to purchase puppies from breeders, there are still people out there that will do it. It’s usually much better than buying a puppy from a pet store, but why breed a puppy when you can adopt?
However, for those that do decide to purchase a puppy, there are some important things to look out for. One of those things is the age of the puppy. Sure, young puppies are adorable, but they need time with their mother and siblings before they can go home with their forever family. So, how long should a puppy stay with their mother after birth?
What is the Ideal Age for a Puppy to Leave Their Mother?
A puppy should not leave their mother until they’re at least 8 weeks old. Many responsible breeders will keep puppies with their mothers longer though, closer to 10 or 12 weeks old.
While many people are eager to bring home their puppy as soon as possible, there are actually a lot of health and behavior problems that arise when a puppy is taken too soon. When puppies are with their mother and their siblings, this gives them time to develop and learn new things. Removing a puppy from this environment too soon can get in the way of these developmental stages.
What are the Negative Effects of Taking a Puppy Too Soon?
Oftentimes, when dog trainers come across a difficult dog, they find out that it’s because the dog was taken from their mother too soon as a puppy. The first 8 weeks for a puppy are crucial to their development and they can have a lot of long-term effects on the dog.
Between the ages of 3 months and 6 months, puppies start to learn normal behaviors for dogs. They learn how to play with their litter mates which might not seem like an important skill, but dogs that don’t get this time to socialize can often bite too hard as adults because they never learned the proper way to play.
The mother will also be able to teach the puppies basic manners. She will growl or snap lightly at the puppies to help teach them, so if they don’t receive that discipline as a puppy, they could become rambunctious adults.
The younger your puppy is when you bring them home, the more issues you could face. Not only could there be issues with their behavior and training, but they could suffer from increased stress and they could even be more susceptible to diseases because of it.
Of course, if your puppy was taken too soon, they can still be trained, but it might be a much longer and more tedious process. All these issues can be avoided simply by not taking a puppy home before 8 weeks of age. Or, of course, the better decision could be to adopt a dog instead.
Why Do Some Breeders Sell Puppies Too Young?
For many breeders, money is the most important thing. So, they will try to sell their puppies at a younger age simply to make money sooner. However, this is not healthy for the puppy, so if a breeder tries to do this, do not take the puppy early! A trustworthy breeder will take the puppy’s health into consideration before letting them come home with you, so be careful!
Remember, you don’t have to buy a puppy from a breeder though. There are plenty of great dogs and puppies at rescues and shelters just waiting to find their forever home. Open your heart to one of them before you bring more dogs into this world.
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