What Age is Best to Take a Puppy HomeSunday, March 27th, 2016, 1:55 am
Puppy breath, puppy bellies, and adorable puppy antics. Everybody loves puppies! Teeny, tiny puppies are so cute and, if you’re thinking about getting a new puppy, you probably want to bring it home as soon as you can so you won’t miss out on a single moment of cuteness. People often think that getting a new puppy as young as possible will help the puppy bond more strongly to its new family. We often hear from people who took their puppies home as soon as they were weaned, at seven, six, or even five week of age. Unfortunately, taking puppies away from their mother and littermates before they are eight weeks old actually causes a wide range of developmental and behavioral problems.
Puppies learn so many important things from their mother and siblings between five and eight weeks. Basically, this is when they learn how to be a dog and how to have mutt-manners. They learn how to read and respond to the body language and vocalizations of other dogs, where they fit within the hierarchy of the group, and how to play appropriately with other dogs. They also learn how to accept discipline and that their actions have consequences when their mother or siblings correct them for pushy behavior. They also learn two things that are really important for any family dog. The first is bite inhibition.
When those razor sharp little puppy teeth first come in, mom will move away from or correct the puppy for biting while suckling and its siblings will react badly if it uses those teeth too aggressively during play. This is how a puppy learns to control its bite. The second is learning to be tolerant to touch. Have you ever watched a group of young puppies? They crawl all over each other. Bumping, nudging, pawing, climbing, getting knocked over… Puppy pile! All these things help a puppy become tolerant to physical touch.
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