Thoughts on picking up pup

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Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby bhennessy » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:27 pm

A general question for the learned masses - I recently read somewhere that picking up a puppy later than 8 weeks is not necessarily a bad thing for hunting breeds. I was surprised however because this info conflicts with everything else I've read and been told about 8 weeks being the optimal time. Is there new thinking on this issue, or is this a case of reinventing the wheel?
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:38 pm

It depends on what is going on where the puppy lives. Before 8 weeks is becoming more taboo because pups learn a lot from their siblings about proper manners between 6 and 8 weeks.

If you will be training and socializing pup, take it home. If your breeder would be socializing and exposing to birds and doing more than you, maybe you leave him. One week in the scheme of potty training is nice to avoid too.

If your pup will live in a kennel and not do anything at all, home bonding with family is ideal.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby TobyTx » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:36 am

Its not bad at all. They get to spend more time with their litter mates and learn to be dogs. Of course the breeder will have to get them exposure to everything things like people, new environments, etc. Their bladders will also be larger which will help with house breaking.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby ryanr » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:56 pm

bhennessy wrote:A general question for the learned masses - I recently read somewhere that picking up a puppy later than 8 weeks is not necessarily a bad thing for hunting breeds. I was surprised however because this info conflicts with everything else I've read and been told about 8 weeks being the optimal time. Is there new thinking on this issue, or is this a case of reinventing the wheel?


I don't think it's new thinking so much as it hasn't been the most subscribed-to method. Personally I don't believe there's hard proof that 8 weeks is THE optimum time, other than it's optimumum for getting pups to their new owners and off the hands of the breeders. Time is money, as they say. I've had pups at 8wks and at 10 to12 wks, I prefer the latter.
Last edited by ryanr on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby 3drahthaars » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:00 pm

I think the 7-8 week window is a reasonable one for which to shoot... not too early, not too late.

I would however be very suspicious of pups still available at the 12-14 week age.

First, a responsible, conscientious breeder would probably have a waiting list well covering his expected whelpings.

And, second I've seen the adverse effects of what happens to siblings placed after 12-14 weeks of age...

I made the mistake once before my first DD. I've seen others bad experiences afterward.

I'd not recommend nor personally pick up a pup after 9-weeks, especially if there were several other siblings still available... the latter statement should speak for itself...

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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby orhunter » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:39 pm

Pups being picked up and pups being sold are two different things. I'd be more suspicious of pups/litters not sold before whelping. Good litters don't wait around for buyers.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby TobyTx » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:59 pm

I picked up my DD at about 10 or 11 weeks due to a moving situation. The entire litter was sold but a couple of other owners were in a similar situation so my pup was not alone . The puppy had no biting or nipping issues at all. I prefer staying with litter mates up to about 12 weeks but no more.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby ryanr » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:21 pm

TobyTx wrote:I picked up my DD at about 10 or 11wks. The puppy had no biting or nipping issues at all. I prefer staying with litter mates up to about 12 weeks but no more.


I subscribe to the 12wk theory as well. We had 3 Labrador litters and for one of them we had much of the litter with us until the 11th-12th week. I had actually advocated it to my dad after reading some articles on the reasoning for keeping a litter intact until the 12th week. Made sense to me. Between the 10th and 12th weeks we had them, the pups seemed to really learn some important social cues. I happened to get a pup out of that litter and so did my stepbrother. Two of the most well-adjusted dogs I've ever been around. I do believe pups purposely taken under 8wks is way too soon.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby STait » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:40 pm

I agree RyanR. I can tell a lot more about a 10-12 week old pup than I can about an 8 week old pup. But, the pups usually need to be chosen (picked) by prospective buyers before then (usually 7 weeks) because most people want them early (8 weeks). I prefer the older pups unless they are without siblings to play with, or the breeder is not exposing them to rides in the truck to the field and birds. Also, studies ("Genetics and the Social Behavior of Dogs" by Scott and Fuller) have shown a puppy's socialization period changes between 12-16 weeks, so, like I said, the breeder needs to be getting them out a lot between 8 and 12 weeks.

Having said that, the first pup I got out of the line of pointers I have now was 4 1/2 months old when I got her from the breeder. She had an excellent, and well adjusted personality and I don't regret it at all. However, I've seen a terrible dog from a different breeder that was aggressive and barked all the time, was purchased about the same age. I assume they just left him in the kennel, or he was just an a**hole from birth.

I've often considered telling clients that they can't pick their pup until 10 weeks old, but I think it would be a deal breaker for most of them. Their loss IMO. If I'm keeping first pick I usually know which one it will be by 5-6 weeks;-)

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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby seadog » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:07 am

Ed Bailey wrote an interesting article on this in Gun Dog magazine a number of years ago .
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:37 am

Agree on the 10-12 week pick up.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby CohanseyDD » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:13 am

3ds has it correct. Pups I send home between 7 and 8 weeks are attending training days at 9 weeks and have already been socialized, exposed to birds, rabbits and water before most of you are talking about even picking your pup up. Bad things are a very real possibility when picking a puppy up later than 9 weeks. There are always exceptions, but the odds are against you.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby orhunter » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:48 am

Seadog: Ed should know. Both Joan and Ed had a ten week rule. Personally, I think that's a little long. Eight to nine seems about right to me. Think it depends on the breed and breeder. Some breeders make sure their pups have been in the water, exposed to gunfire, birds, tons of human handling and adult dog socializing and are in turn ready to go no later than 8 weeks. I'd probably be wrong to say they should go then, just that they are ready.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby TarHeel » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:54 am

I am far from an expert but I am a big big fan of 8-10 week pickup and not before. I got my most recent DD at 9 weeks and the transition has been as close to perfect as you can get. I had a buddy pick up a lab recently that was almost 7 weeks and it has been a disaster so far.
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Re: Thoughts on picking up pup

Postby gwp4me2 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:36 pm

Every situation is different as far as the breeder and the new home. There is really nothing you can do as a new owner that the breeder can't do and many things you probably can't do that the breeder can. The bigger question is 'Will they?' and 'Can/will you?'.
Do you have other dogs the puppy can socialize with at home?
Do you have the time/knowledge/place to do all the things that are beneficial like all the introductions?
Do you have the patience for all the extra waking up at night, etc that 2-3 weeks greatly reduces?
Do you trust the breeder to do these things the right way?

For me the ideal situation would be that the puppy is picked at 6-7 weeks. Next is that most of the other pups go away at 8 weeks and mine and 2 or 3 others are left with a great breeder until 10 - 12 weeks. I don't think most breeders have the time for 8 - 10 puppies that are getting that old. The puppies need both time with their siblings and 1-on-1 time at that age. I've taken pups as young as 7 weeks because of circumstances and got them at 16 weeks(ignored leftovers from barnyard litter). The later never was very personable or cooperative.

Bottom line is to get a really good feel for your situation and the breeder's situation then do the best you can with what you have. There are great litters that come from inexperienced breeders and breeders who put out a lot of puppies that shouldn't.
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