6 wk. old puppy- NEED advice PLEASE!!!

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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Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 6:27am PST 
Yesterday, we got a 6 wk. old puppy, against my better judgment, but my husband is sure everything will be fine. I am NOT. We have never had a dog this young and I don't know much about what to do for her. We're taking her to the vet this week for shots and worming, but beyond that we are clueless. We have 4 adult dogs who get pretty wild with their play and the puppy seems fragile to me, so we don't want to mix them up too much until we get those shots taken care of. If I'm honest, I don't want them mixing much until she's a couple weeks older. Is it wrong to leave her in her crate most of the time? Obi was our last puppy and he was about 7 weeks when we got him, but he was a big sturdy boy and other than softening his food with water, we didn't have to do a lot of special things for him. Also this little girl is a smaller mixed breed and she can fit into places that Obi never could, so we don't really want her roaming much until she grows some more. PLEASE help me!!!!!!

Serious Face
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 8:27am PST 
Get an exercise pen or baby gate off an area that the bigger dogs can't get to. You're totally right, they could easily hurt her on accident. Introductions will need to be slow, especially if they get rowdy around new dogs. I would wait until the pup is at least 4 months to play, but they're bones are still growing and their still kind of fragile... I won't take Arya to a all inclusive dog park until she's at least 6 months. Don't let your husband talk you into "Oh, she'll be fine with the big dogs." Go with your gut.

I think the biggest downside to getting a pup that young is that they get less time to play with their littermates and learn dog things, and you'll want to wait until she's got her vaccines to take her to something like a puppy playtime. I think socialization is still super important at this age though? So have as many friends over as you can to interact with her (friends with kids, friends with smaller or calmer dogs, etc).
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 9:20am PST 
Also, remember...those vaccines DO NOT protect her until her mother's immunity has worn off, usually around 10 to 12 weeks, which is why there is a series of three given.


Barked: Thu Jul 25, '13 7:45am PST 
We are getting ready to be in a similar situation (the puppy we were planning to take home at eight weeks is coming home this Saturday at 5 weeks old- much too young for me to be comfortable with but due to some complicated situations we are having to take him weeks earlier). When puppies are this young they still need to sleep a large bit of the time and they haven't yet had the chance to learn many puppy things. I would suggest Googling that stage of development of the puppy and check out articles like this one from Cesar's Way (http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/new-dog/puppy-development-stage-3 ). Since it will be so small and not yet have it's shots or had the chance to develop much of an immune system I would suggest limiting interactions to very controlled situations (for example having one dog interact with the puppy at a time or having family come over to meet the puppy- just be sure they wash their hands and take off their shoes as your puppy can pick up all sorts of yucky things it hasn't been exposed to yet). Good luck!

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Fri Jul 26, '13 5:30am PST 
Not only is it almost immoral to take a puppy away from the mother and siblings at 5 weeks but in most if not all states it is illegal. Unless the puppy is orphaned and going to a rescue or other professional facility it is typically illegal to buy, sell, trade, or transfer the ownership of any puppy less than 8 weeks old. Mom and siblings teach each other so much during those critical weeks. If I were dealing with a "so called " breeder who was making it necessary to take a puppy earlier than 8 weeks, I would take my business elsewhere. JMHO.

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Fri Jul 26, '13 7:39am PST 
M&K way to go

Can't believe anyone would find it acceptable to bring a puppy home at 5 weeks old.

Giant Shih Tzu
Barked: Fri Jul 26, '13 12:42pm PST 
Trust me, it's a BIG mistake.

My Husband and I were CLUELESS when we got Gunther three years ago as a very fragile five week old puppy. Of course, he didn't think he was fragile, he thought he could take on any dog of any size! You're right about needing to protect this dog from rowdy, larger dogs. You also need to prepare for behavior problems to show up from being removed from the mother too early. Gunther developed food aggression and aggression towards other dogs, as well as towards my Husband, before he was even three months old. He bit often and would snarl, drawing blood every time as a VERY young puppy. It was highly abnormal, and completely due to being taken away from his mother so young. It took a lot of patience, consistency, and advice from caring people on this website to get him on the right track before things got worse. I do wish you luck, but please stop getting puppies before they are eight weeks of age. I did it ONCE, but never will I do it again.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Fri Jul 26, '13 6:00pm PST 
Gunther and Tyler- That's what's really sad. This person is not clueless.
They are well aware by their response to the original poster that they know bringing a puppy home at 5 weeks isn't good for either them or the puppy but still seem willing to do so. Someone claiming to be an experienced breeder tried to do something like this with my daughter, my daughter was told that the puppy had no siblings and the mother was no longer willing to feed it and was attacking it. My daughter called me, asked my opinion then told the breeder that if she would not keep the puppy until it was at least 8 weeks she did not want it and why. The "breeder decided the puppy could stay until it was 8 weeks. My daughter got a call 2 days later, the puppy suddenly got sick and died. I suspect that the "breeder" simply found someone else who was willing to take the puppy before the "breeder" had to pay for shots or feeding it the extra few weeks.

Edited by author Fri Jul 26, '13 6:03pm PST


Spoiled Little- Girl
Barked: Sun Jul 28, '13 10:54am PST 
Yes I agree, get a little playpen until the puppy is old enough to play with the other dogs. I took hazel home when she was 6 weeks old...NEVER again will I take a puppy so young.

It was way to stressful for me and her!

Barked: Wed Oct 2, '13 5:57pm PST 
I got Diana when she was 5 weeks old, after speaking with the owner for a couple of hours, I thought it was best. It was a bumpy road for Diana and I but we made it. I suppose that I had a little bit of luck since 2 of my friends had Diana's siblings so they were always together for the first few months. My 4 week old pitbull, Autumn, is slowing being introduced to Diana and my step-daughters pitbull mix, Callie. Her siblings are as well to get them use to being with other dogs besides their Mom (who I am also fostering for a few weeks), along with being around cats though the cats don't really pay too much attention to 10 puppies running around.
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