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Is 8 weeks to young


Ruby

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Eight weeks is the bare minimum and is not uncommon. But ...

Our local club's code of ethics recommends 12 weeks as a minimum. Based on the few litters we raised, I strongly agree with this 12 week recommendation.

During the period of 8-12 weeks we saw *a ton* of puppy socialization going on between mom, littermates, and other adult dogs in the house. This is a period where for instance they learn the finer points of bite inhibition, where they get instantly corrected by mom (or other dogs) when they go too far, where they learn to wrestle and fight without injuring themselves and each other, and so on. 12 weeks is also safely past a fear period that is common around 10 weeks. 

As a practical matter, I would insist that 6 weeks is too young and a strong red flag.  8 weeks is acceptable when going to an experienced home that understands the dynamics of puppy socialization and where occupants are willing to actively take over the minute-to-minute role of "mom" and "littermate" to teach the puppy what it would be learning from it's own mom and littermates during that 8-12 week period. Sixteen weeks is even better for well-rounded well-socialized puppies but even I would have trouble waiting that long :P — although if there was a puppy I wanted from a breeder I respected, I would wait that long if they asked.

 

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Thank you so much.  I do have another dog who is of medium size and extraordinarily kind but does get over exuberant at times.  I dont see him being much help with intense socialization.  I have had 3 cairns in the past all were either 7 or 8 weeks when I got them.  I lost both my last two very recently in less than 6 months.  One to cardiomyopathy at 16 years and the other to liver cancer at 13years on Dec 5th.   I don't mind waiting till the pup is 8 weeks and will wait longer if I really should, but it is difficult.

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I have no expertise on this subject, but it seems as if waiting an extra month or two to allow the pup the extra time with its mother and litter mates may pay some dividends over the course of the next decade and a half that you'll be sharing with him. I'd be as anxious as you to get the little bugger home but I think Brad is offering some sage advice that's worth some consideration.

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Condolences on your recent losses. Cairns really fill a life and their loss hits hard. Considering your experience with Cairns my sense would be that you gain benefit from waiting 12 weeks, but do no harm at 8 weeks, if that makes any sense. You've already experienced mouthy bitey little sharks and clearly all survived for long loved lives. 

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My personal experience has been that 12  weeks is the best option as far as maturity goes  in a pup giving them more confidence and relationship skills with their litter mates. At 12 weeks mum is pretty fed up with the kids and the pups seems the better for this. Also I find the more conscientious breeders won’t let a pup go until they are close to 12 weeks of age.

Edited by Sam I Am
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We've had a Labrador, a Cairn, and most recently an Australian Shepherd.  All pups were picked up at 8 weeks.  

Obedience and fun training began immediately for each and we had no problems. 

 

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Thank you all.  I know I will not pick up the pup before 8 weeks.  I will try to wait longer but we will see.  It also depends on the breeder.  She has not committed yet on timing.  It depends on when they are fully weaned to dry food only.

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  • 7 months later...

We adopted our last Cairn, Shadow at 8 weeks.  We recently lost Shadow and miss her every single day.  We are adopting a new puppy.  The breeder wants us to pick her up at 7 weeks and I was surprised.  She insists this is how she does it.  I did come across two other breeders who said the same.  I do not know if I should tell her I prefer to wait till she is 8 week or pick her up at 7 weeks.  What risk is there at 7 weeks.  It was a small litter and the boy and two girls.   I know the one getting the boy is picking him up at around 7 weeks. Help what should we do?

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  • 4 months later...
Jane2212

Strangely it's the norm in the UK to pick a pup up at 8 weeks.  Some breeders keep them longer if they want to identify a show-worthy dog from the litter.  Olive looked like Dobby the House Elf from Harry Potter for some weeks.  

 

Jane

xxxx

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Otis’s Mom

Otis  will be four years old on January 15. I could not pick him up till he was three months old. It was hard enough training him at that age but as you know Cairns are very smart, And also obstinate at that age, or at any age as a matter of a fact🥺 by taking him out at least eight times a day, there was never a P accident in my house. A couple of small poop accidents but that’s it. He was fully house trained at 5 1/2 months. I agree with Sam I am, find another breeder. I still keep in touch with my breeder now and send her pictures of Otis. 85A2330B-6FAE-4A39-8DAC-1F076AF7D9A8.thumb.jpeg.f44c6c03e82948aa39c31195c42db147.jpegGood luck! And God bless!

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