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taking a puppy away too soon?

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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Squib

too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 7:36pm PST 
ok... so i have several reasons for why i want to do this... so please dont scream or yell at me. i want honest answers, but please dont be hurtful. Im trying to figure out what's best in this situation. Its long... so please read carefully.

Ok, squib here is in a litter of 9 pups. I am going away to NY for nearly 3 months. When I return from NY he will be 13 weeks old. Socialization window closed. He will be staying with my friend Kim... who is good with dogs. But my fears are that the pup will pick up some bad habbits or possibly be scared for life (her husband is a HUGE redneck who is NOT good with dogs... very rough, mean and just scary to even adult dogs). She has 2 young kids... im afraid the pup could be hurt. Im just really concerned about alot of things. I know that taking him away from his mom and litter mates too young can also have effects on his behavior down the road (not learning body signals of other dogs/socialization issues w/dogs, bite inhibition problems etc).... so im very stuck here between a rock and a hard place. I leave for NY on Monday... he will be 3 weeks old on this sunday. Ive had him at my home for 2 days already. He's started eating some mush, and is still on the bottle some. He seems to be doing well overall... I dont want to scar him for life... or anything like that. But im just so freakin torn. I honestly dont know what to do. Opinions please? Anyone have a dog that was taken away from mom very young? Any problems? Any benefits? I mean Im sooo afraid of him having fear of men, or coming back from NY and him already have learned some very bad habits etc... What would you do and why? shrug
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Winnie

Anything you can- do I can do- cuter!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 8:01pm PST 
Hmm. Is there any way you can leave the pups with someone else that you trust?
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Squib

too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 8:06pm PST 
nope. she has the momma dog, & the puppies (except Squib right now). its so hard!! I really dont know what to do at this point. One option is I come back from NY a month earlier than I planned. Though it would really suck alot... for many reasons. And Im sure my parents would love that I am passing up spending time with them (i never see them living in FL now) to get a puppy. Ugh. But Squib would be around Mihkoa Spirit and Viper... its not as though he would have no interaction at all with other dogs... I know its not the same as learning from with his siblings I know, but what do I do? I feel so stuck. I mean its so important (because of his brees-rott mix) to be well socialized with people. Ahhhh! shrug
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Sedona

The Wise Cracker
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 8:15pm PST 
Dogs can also have health problems from being taken away from their mama too early too. They really need their mother’s milk. Both of your options could have very bad outcomes. Learning a bad habit isn’t as bad as having a medical issue. Also leaving him with his litter mates in a place where his life is in danger isn’t that awesome either. In my opinion, three weeks old is too young to be eating puppy food only. Is there anyway you can postpone your trip?
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Squib

too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 8:23pm PST 
nope. there is no way i can postpone my trip. My mom flew down from NY, and needs to be back up before next weekend. So even if it was postponed a couple days, that would be all... and wouldnt make much difference. What sort of health problems could occur? He's had nothing but his moms milk until 2 days ago. All the pups seem interested in the mush food... but my neighbor hasnt started letting them eat it yet (not sure she can afford it actually). Nor has she dewormed them yet... and they have fleas on them. Momma dog got frontline a few days ago... but the puppies still have fleas crawling on them. Not a ton, but atleast a few each. So what sort of health problems can occur?

oh and also he is not just on puppy food. he is on milk replacer and canned puppy (lamb and rice) mixed together to form a sort of mash he can lap up. He still takes just the bottle from time to time as well.

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '07 8:26pm PST

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Riley

Too smart for my- own good!

moderator
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 8:33pm PST 
I've never even heard of pups getting solids at 3 weeks... the soonest I've heard of starting is 4-5 weeks. The momma's milk contains a lot of natural protection against diseases that I don't think you can substitute with vaccines. Plus, how do you travel from FL to NY with a 3 week old puppy?

Maybe Squib's social window will be closed, but maybe not. While that period is critical, so is everything after that. I don't think there will be any major damage to his socialization skills if left until he is 13 weeks old. Plus with the kids, at least he will be exposed to them.

I don't know... I just don't think it's safe to take a 3 week old puppy. I would rather fight a couple of up-hill socialization battles (which, frankly, I think can be quickly overcome since he will still be super young when you get him) rather than the medical/care issues associated with taking care of a pup from weeks 3-8.
Rocco

Don't let things- bother you!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 8:53pm PST 
I have to agree with Riley.

I don't think the socialization window is closed. While it may be a beneficial time for it I definitely don't feel that its a closed door. He will still be young and ready to learn by the time you get back and I don't feel that he will be that greatly affected by it afterwards. Once you get back you can get to socializing him straight away.

I just wouldn't risk taking him away form his mom and siblings. The mother and the litter can teach a lot as well. The mother's milk and care is very important. While we as humans do you best I don't think we can ever replace the role the dam plays.

I think you have become attached to this baby which is also playing a role in why you want to bring him with you.

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '07 8:54pm PST

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Squib

too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 9:02pm PST 
Ive googled pups at 3 weeks and seen photos of it. I plan on driving with the pup and my dogs the entire way. The socialization window closes at like 12-14 weeks. He will be in a crate with his momma and siblings the entire time if i leave him in FL (while im sure some siblings may be leaving even momma dog possibly to the humane society) so then what? How will him just seeing the neighbors (kim/gene/2 kids) be enough socialization? How am I going to sqeeze all that socialization into 1 week when i return?! I want to know what are the medical issues you guys are talking about? I want some hard evidence here, and specifics please. Ive read that pups can start weaning as early as 3 weeks on several different websites. Especially the larger breed dogs. Plus that week when i do return (if I wait like planned till the end of January/beginning of February) he will be starting to get his shots and what not... so it will be a busy busy week! I still just dont know what to do.

Yes- I can leave him with his mother.. but! If I do... i am getting the feeling I wont want him when I return... because I just feel like he wont want me. He will bond with the neighbors instead, and perhaps learn some really bad things... like biting, growling, no starting proper potty training, fear of kids and men, and perhaps even other dogs (she has like 27 dogs over there now), or picking up some thing from a dog she already has there... etc. Ugh, I just feel like correcting the problems will be too much work, and perhaps I should just let her bring the pups that arent spoken for to the humane society instead. Yes... I can feel the judgment coming on for that... but its how I feel. I mean ontop of all the regular puppy things, dealing with behavioral issues is a HUGE deal!! Seriously... and I am no behaviorist. So then what? Really... I would hate to say ok, let him stay, come back and him have problems, and I would completely feel like I am the one to blame... and either way really. If i took him up to NY and he wound up with behavior problems then i would feel the same. I wish I could see the future right now. BUt maybe this isnt the time for me to get such a small puppy. Ive never in my life owned such a small/young pup before. And quite frankly im very afraid of screwing things up. So really... I just dont know what to do, and at this point I just feel like giving up and letting go.... which I will never hear the end of it from the mean redneck old man neighbor, because he insists on 'teasing me' (in the meanest way possible) for the rescue work I do... because I "get rid of all my dogs"... because I take in rescue's and strays and find them loving forever homes. So, I just honestly dont know what to do... and I just cant sleep... because I am so torn about the whole thing.
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Chase CGC

It's Mine I Tell- Ya! Mine! Mine!- Mine!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 9:08pm PST 
To me the fact that the pup will be with your neighbors a while does not mean they pup won't like you anymore. Many dogs don't come to there new home until 2-3 months old and bond just fine.

Don't they have the mother dog and pups? I would think if they had them he wouldn't learn bad habits, but good ones from the mother and other pups?
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Sedona

The Wise Cracker
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '07 9:19pm PST 
honestly it sounds like you've already made up your mind. if you really want the hard evidence then it is out there to look for. here are a few links but I don't have the time to pull up studies, sorry.

http://petcaretips.net/wean-puppy-drjane.html
http://www. tapsshelter.org/tip_sheets/puppies.pdf
http://www.ddfl.org/behavior /pup-dev.pdf
http://www.freewebtown.com/leahcim_kennel/extras/artic le_weaning_puppies.htm
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/hvpup1.html
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