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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been browsing the board for a while in anticipation of getting our new puppy. She is a chocolate. They were born on 2/17/07.

My question (first of many), is when we should bring her home. I we get her this weekend, say Sunday, she will be one day shy of 7 weeks old. If we wait until Easter Sunday she will be 8 weeks. The benefit for us will be that we will have much more time to spend with her this upcoming week as compared to the week following Easter. I was wondering if 7 is too soon and if we should wait a week or not. No matter what happens we will find the time to devote to her, we just figure the first week will be very important. Thanks!!
 

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7 wks is just fine, but if she was born on 2/17 she'll only be 6 wks this weekend...which is too early. Your breeder should want to hold on to the puppies until they are at least 7 wks old. Good luck with your baby!
 

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Wow! we have almost the same situation. I am getting my puppy on Monday, 6wks and 5 days old - therefore two days shorter of the 7 week timetable. I asked the same question on this board a while ago, wondering what would be better - and I think you'll find differing opinions. After having a lot of communication with my breeder, as well as dog trainers and owners, i've decided two days will not be detrimental.

No matter what you do - good luck!
 

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I brought Lucy home at 7 weeks, she is now just over 4 years old, and she turned out just fine.

I would talk to your breeder about what the pups are learning in their last week from their mom and their littermates. Try to work on this with your pup. I'm no expert, but I will offer my experience with Lucy. She was very mouthy and didn't have a good understanding of what was too hard/gentle. This type of feedback, playtime mouthing vs. painful bite, may have been something that she would have learned from her littermates as they do give that feedback to each other.
 

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The reason you want the puppy to stay with the dam and its litter for that extra week is because its important for socialization. If the puppy is taken from its litter too soon it may have problems relating to other dogs.
Olie
 

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In many states, such as IL, it is illegal for a puppy to leave the dam before 8 weeks. Be sure to check.
 

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Double check your calendar. Nicole is right, this weekend is only six weeks old, not seven. Which means it might be best to wait until the weekend after Easter if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses. You are right, I was off by a week. The breeder said they would be ready on Easter weekend, which would be 7 weeks old.
 

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It was not widely known -- and may still may not be -- until the work of the ethologists (a branch of zoology) and especially the work of Lorenz, Tinbergen, von Frisch, etc., (& the comparative psychologists, Scott & Fuller, Hess etc.), that there are certain "windows" in the early life of species in which animal must experience certain stimuli or activities or be FOREVER handicapped.

These are called "critical periods" or, more recently, "sensitive periods".

So, within a certain few days, some may need to experience movement to know to which species they belong or, within a few weeks, how to play with others of their species, or how to tolerate certain experiences (riding in a car or boat, etc.).

Familiarity with _____ within those certain defined time frames, equips the dog to accept that as part of life.

When there is not the exposure to those experiences, the dog may be forever deficient in its acceptance of it.

Thus, dogs need to have an experience of play and acceptable/unacceptable rules of play early in their development and, similarly, to have warm experiences with people throughout a slightly later window.

If these are not honored, the dog may be always deficient in this.

My first Lab, Bess, came to us from the breeder too early -- at 5 weeks age. She NEVER recognized she was a dog, and never played with other dogs despite repeated invitations.

My next Lab, Puff, stayed with her littermates until she was 9 weeks old. She plays with other Labs and is most every Lab's favorite as a playmate.

A few weeks or days can make a big difference.
 

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Bob Pr. said:
It was not widely known -- and may still may not be -- until the work of the ethologists (a branch of zoology) and especially the work of Lorenz, Tinbergen, von Frisch, etc., (& the comparative psychologists, Scott & Fuller, Hess etc.), that there are certain "windows" in the early life of species in which animal must experience certain stimuli or activities or be FOREVER handicapped.

These are called "critical periods" or, more recently, "sensitive periods".

So, within a certain few days, some may need to experience movement to know to which species they belong or, within a few weeks, how to play with others of their species, or how to tolerate certain experiences (riding in a car or boat, etc.).

Familiarity with _____ within those certain defined time frames, equips the dog to accept that as part of life.

When there is not the exposure to those experiences, the dog may be forever deficient in its acceptance of it.

Thus, dogs need to have an experience of play and acceptable/unacceptable rules of play early in their development and, similarly, to have warm experiences with people throughout a slightly later window.

If these are not honored, the dog may be always deficient in this.

My first Lab, Bess, came to us from the breeder too early -- at 5 weeks age. She NEVER recognized she was a dog, and never played with other dogs despite repeated invitations.

My next Lab, Puff, stayed with her littermates until she was 9 weeks old. She plays with other Labs and is most every Lab's favorite as a playmate.

A few weeks or days can make a big difference.
My pup is 6 weeks old and I brought her home just a couple days ago. The breeder's vet checked her and said if she was eating solid food OK and her poop was solid, then she is good to leave with a new owner. Now you said she didn't play with dogs. My pup has been around 2 (new to her dogs) and she is very sweet and curious (no problems what-so-ever). There are a lot of dogs living in my neighborhood, so there will plenty of interaction. I noticed your post and am intrigued by your experience.
 

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b4bigdog said:
My pup is 6 weeks old and I brought her home just a couple days ago. The breeder's vet checked her and said if she was eating solid food OK and her poop was solid, then she is good to leave with a new owner. Now you said she didn't play with dogs. My pup has been around 2 (new to her dogs) and she is very sweet and curious (no problems what-so-ever). There are a lot of dogs living in my neighborhood, so there will plenty of interaction. I noticed your post and am intrigued by your experience.
Well, actually the 7-8 week is suggested for your pup to learn dog socialization skills...ie bite ihibition from it's littermates...and now that he doesn't have them, you are going to be the replacement for that learning process. How do I know? I got Rider 2 days shy of 6 weeks. He was relentless. Just because the dog is healthy physically, doesn't mean it's mentally ready to go.

And at this age, you CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT take your dog out on walks or to places where there are other dogs...NOT until it's had at least 3 sets of vaccinations. That means hanging on to him while at the vet's office, keeping him in your yard and only allowing dogs of friends or family that are completely and fully vaccinated interact with your dog in your yard.
 

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b4bigdog --

there are SO many differences between Labs in their development that what pertains to one cannot necessarily pertain to all.

What I said mirrors that which is generally true; if your Lab is an exception -- GREAT!!
 
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