- The most common suggested time to allow puppies to go home with their new families is 7-8 weeks. Before the puppies reach this age they should have been properly socialized and possibly even given basic training before they are offered to be taken away from their litter.
- Dr. Sally Foote and long-time sheltie breeder Claire Apple give their opinion on why this time period is so important and what it does to ensure a well-adjusted puppy.
- Dr. Sally Foote suggests the 7-8 weeks. Foote suggests this because the 6-12 week age is the socialization period, which is believed to be a great time for a puppy to become familiar with their new surroundings.
- Claire Apple prefers keeping her dogs in her care until the ‘fear stage’ is over. She wants her puppies to be able to perform basic commands, be leash trained, and accustomed to car rides during this time.
These two professionals share two different opinions, the standard is the 7-8 week period, most breeders follow this timeline. There are those that might like to follow Apple’s example and give the puppies future pet parents a head start on training if that is something that you are interested in you may have to do more research on breeders to see what guidelines they like to follow.
If you wish to do your own training and socialization, it would be beneficial to do your research on the stages of mental and physical growth a puppy goes into so that you are aware of what you need to be prepared for.
Having a puppy to grow with is a wonderful time, especially when it feels as though you have all the time in the world with the way life is going right now. Again, do what you can to minimize in-person interaction with the breeder.
This would require a lot of communication prior and preparation on your part because a lot of this process might have to be over the phone and on video calls.
If you and the breeder do decide it is safe to interact in person, at least for the exchange, take the necessary protocols that health professionals have suggested to stay safe during the current epidemic.
Take these tips and apply them to your search for your new forever friend, you do not have to be ready today for a puppy or even within the next couple months.
Preparation is key and you need to be able to give yourself all the time to be ready to take on the responsibility financially as well as for what goes into raising and keeping them.
These tips will help to get you started on finding the right breeder for whenever you decide that you are ready. Good luck!