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Bringing puppy home at 6 weeks... too early?!?! HELP!

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Athena

50% dane, 50%- lab, 100%- trouble!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 10:40am PST 
Hello everyone...

I have recently fallen in love with a wee little 3 week old great dane/black lab cross. The breeder seems very knowledgeable and caring, but one thing concerns me. She tells me my girl will be "ready to go" at the 6 week mark, instead of 8. Her reason being that the lab is the mom, and the pups are getting too big to nurse, etc. Should I be wary of this? Will the pup be improperly socialized if she comes home too early? HELP PLEASE!
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Madisyn

Its all about- me....Madie!!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 10:48am PST 
As long as the pup is weened (sp sorry) and eating on its own (kibble,wet food,raw or home cooked) then I dont see why it should be a problem. Usually breeders let them go between 6-8wks.
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Zelda - Adopt Me- Now!

554995
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 11:18am PST 
Hi there... I'm a puppy foster mom, so I get puppies all the time that are way too young to be away from Mom, and not at all weaned. So we do bottle feeding, and everything we can that Mom either decided not to do, or owners decided not to let Mom do. Yes, there is a cut off when it's okay to take pups away from Mom, but the problem is - it seems to different with each breed and sometimes each litter.

I've seen lab puppies that really can't nurse anymore after 4 weeks. They're making Mom's nipples bleed, and Mom isn't willing to let them nurse anymore. So what I've done is rescued Mom from the pen, so they can't hurt her anymore, and then started making gruel for the pups. Just take some canned goat's milk, and some wet puppy food, or softened with water/milk dry puppy chow, and put it through your food processor. It's nasty stuff, and they will make the BIGGEST mess you've ever seen with it, but they love it - and it's a step in between milk and food. At first keep it really soupy, then as time goes on use less milk, more kibble, and at the end even throw in some puppy chow after food processing that they can chew on and start trying to eat.

I've never seen this method fail, unless they are just too young for it still and need bottle fed. But six weeks is not too early technically for a big breed's puppies. There may be a runt of the litter that needs longer to nurse, but for the most part I see that they're done nursing between 4 and 5 weeks usually.... but that's not the rule! There are a million exceptions to that, so I don't want people thinking that you should take the pups from Mom that early. Honestly, Mom knows best - let her decide. If she stops nursing them, or they are hurting her nipples - then it's time - but Mom knows.
If you have any trouble, or need any help with this little one, please feel free to email me anytime - awintrode@gmail.com. I'd be more than happy to talk and help wherever I can. Good luck!

Angel
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Athena

50% dane, 50%- lab, 100%- trouble!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 11:43am PST 
Thanks for the responses! The breeder has assured me she will be fully weaned and started on puppy kibble before she is ready to go, and feels that 6 weeks is OK. I'll trust her instinct on this one wink
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Riley

Too smart for my- own good!

moderator
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 12:01pm PST 
Why is the breeder breeding mixes? Just wondering.

While most puppies are just fine on kibble, etc. at 6 weeks it is the socialization that matters most between 6 and 8 weeks. Puppies learn a lot from their mother and siblings during this time. Take for example a friend of mine at the dog park- great dog but no clue how to act around other dogs. He's very physical and rough with them. He was brought home at 6 weeks... it could just be a coincidence but I think that socialization and lesson learning with mom and siblings between 6 and 8 weeks is very important!
Kip

I'm a Maniac!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 12:04pm PST 
I was wondering the same thing Riley, why this "breeder" is breeding mixes. shock

Anyways I have heard of some breeders letting their pups go at 6 weeks. Kip's breeder did, but I told her if it was not too much trouble to let him stay until he was 8 weeks. She didn't have a problem with that. I wanted to have Kip and mom be together during that learning period!
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Riley

Too smart for my- own good!

moderator
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 12:07pm PST 
And to add to that- they just passed a law here in NE. It's illegal to sell puppies before 8 weeks of age! Well, I guess you can sell them before that, but they are not allowed to go home until 8 weeks.
Iggy

Where mom goes,- I follow
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 12:25pm PST 
Mom says she's heard trainers say that without a doubt, they can tell which pups were taken away at 6 weeks, because they almost always have some sort of socialization problem. Even if mom isn't nursing them at 6 weeks, the pups are learning a lot from each other like bite inhibition, dominance/submission moves, body language, etc. REALLY important things that make a dog hard for humans to live with if not learned.

Me and my two sisters were rescued at 5 weeks and our human mom kept us in a big big pen with each other and sometimes visits from the other dogs and lots of visits from Maddie the alpha girl who is VERY good with pups and how to teach them manners. We were lucky we learned from other well behaved dogs. Mom kept us in there until we were 9 weeks old and then we moved to our own kennels. While we still have a few issues, mom says I'm a very agressive boy with my two little sisters, and Ellie will always be extra shy, we avoided a lot of HUGE problems that could have come with going away from home too early.
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Rosalita Lola "Rosie"

Love is never- being told you'- naughty!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 12:41pm PST 
I wondered about the mixing breeds too. I can't believe that any reputable breeder would let a great dane breed with a labrador and the lab be the mother. Having said that, Rosie was weened around the 6 week mark and was on solid kibble until we got her at a couple of days shy of 8 weeks. I would wonder at the real reason she wants the pup to leave too early.
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Gabe

Pizza?? I LOVE- PIZZA!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 11, '07 1:02pm PST 
I've heard that 6-7 weeks is the age where puppies learn crucial social behaviors. I know with labs it is common to begin weaning about 4 weeks, so to be on kibble at 6 weeks is common. But the breeders that I've met still want to keep the puppies with the litter for socialization. Many trainers I know can tell with an adult dog if it was removed from it's litter before 7 weeks. I don't know much about your specific situation, but from what you've said I would be apprehensive about the whole thing.

Why does a breeder have mixed puppies? Most breeders especially keep their puppys til 8-9 weeks, so it is interesting that she is encouraging you to seperate the pup from its' litter so soon.
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