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Thread: Is 8 1/2 weeks a suitable time to bring a new Cavalier puppy home?

  1. #1

    Default Is 8 1/2 weeks a suitable time to bring a new Cavalier puppy home?

    After extensive research, we have found a reputable breeder and will be bringing home a Blenheim female next month. This breeder is responsible and I have confirmed that the parents have been health tested and everything looks good. My only question is, whether 8 1/2 weeks old appropriate to bring her home? I have read so many conflicting ideas as to when it is best to bring a new puppy home. Like I mentioned, this is a good breeder who is responsible so my gut says to trust her but I thought I would poll some experts on here We are truly ecstatic about owning our first Cavalier! I just want to make sure we are starting off on the right foot. Thanks so much in advance for your help.

  2. #2

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    I think that is too young. Usually small dogs go home around 10-12 weeks. My first cavalier I took home at 14 weeks, my second at 13 weeks and my third I brought home at 10 weeks. I had less biting issues with my 14, and 13 weeks old pups. They seemed to work it out with their siblings before coming home. My youngest pup we had to redirect more often for trying to bite fingers.

  3. #3
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    I brought Nell my B&T home at 8 wks but I had other older Cavaliers at home already, if she had of been the only dog in the house I would have liked her to stay with her family until about 12-14 wks as they can learn so much from their other siblings and mum at this age, something that an already resident dog in your home would try and teach her.

    Remember that if she is going to be an only dog you will not be able to take her out for a while at least until after her 2nd vacination so being left with her mum and family for a few more weeks will also give her much valued dog company and playtime.

    Don't forget that we must have some pictures of your new addition when you have her!

    Alison.

  4. #4
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    No puppy leaves my premises until 3 days after it's final vaccination so depending on when I can get them to a cardiologist/opthalmologist its usually 12 to 14 weeks.
    Bridgette Evans
    Svena CKCS

  5. #5
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    I brought mine home at 10 weeks. I would never take a puppy home younger than 8 weeks, so 8.5 is not the end of the world... but I highly recommend seeing if the puppy can stay with the litter mates until at least 10 weeks of age for the reasons already mentioned.
    Alisha
    &
    Coco

  6. #6

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    There is no hard and fast rule on when a puppy should leave his mum to start the rest of his life. (thought anything before 8wk old should not be the norm!) The Kennel Club stipulates that a puppy shouldn't go their new home before the age of 8 weeks old.

    There are so many variables, but if the breeder has given the very best possible start to the puppies; and they are all already very well socialised, strong and healthy, and the breeder has ensured that the new owner has done their homework on how to look after a new puppy, then there should be no problem.

    I am happy to let an 8 wk old puppy go to a home that already has a Cavalier because puppy will have a doggy companion there to help them settle in and the puppy will be able to continue to learn how to behave with other dogs. Otherwise, depending on the potential new owners, I prefer to keep my puppies until about 10 wks old or more, simply because I enjoy having them around and am unashamedly selfish about it.

    Sue
    Last edited by Sue Sutcliffe; 06-05-2012 at 10:52 PM. Reason: needed to clarify earliest leaving age.

  7. #7

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    Thanks so much for all of your responses! I will talk with our breeder and see what her response is. I will be sure to post photos once she is home. I am so excited and have found this forum invaluable when doing research in finding a good breeder (I am in the US though). Luckily I am a stay-at-home mom, so I will be able to give her lots of attention each day (and night ). Thanks again and I am sure I will be back with more questions once we bring her home. Now, on to choosing the "perfect" name for her.... decisions, decisions!

    --Nicole
    St. Louis, MO, USA

  8. #8
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    Sue soooo totally agree with you

    "I prefer to keep my puppies until about 10 wks old or more, simply because I enjoy having them around and am unashamedly selfish about it."

    I take the attitude they are lucky I let any go at all !!!!!
    Bridgette Evans
    Svena CKCS

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
    After extensive research, we have found a reputable breeder and will be bringing home a Blenheim female next month
    Firstly, congratulations on finding a good breeder to work with…. You have done your homework Nicole and deserve to be rewarded with a lovely Cavalier puppy.

    My only question is, whether 8 1/2 weeks old appropriate to bring her home?
    A puppy from me would be a little older because all mine are microchipped before their health check and visit to the ophthalmologist. This does not happen until the litter is turned 8 weeks of age, so mine leave for their new homes a little later.

    I have read so many conflicting ideas as to when it is best to bring a new puppy home.
    This really does depend on how much work the breeder has put into raising the litter. A ‘kennel-bred’ puppy may benefit from early removal (meaning 8 weeks) from its environment which may well include a gross lack of socialisation, lack of contact with humans and the sounds of everyday life. These kennel reared puppies sometimes have very little stimulation… and the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the fast spin of the washing machine could completely freak-out a 10 week old puppy who has never been exposed to these sounds…. BUT … a puppy who is raised in the home, handled from birth, been part of ‘normal family life’… is fully socialised, and has received some basic training is probably best left in this enriched environment for a little longer. Always remember the development stages a growing puppy passes through en-route to adolescence and eventual adulthood…. and that growth includes both physical and physiological development at crucial stages if this lovely puppy is destined to be an adult dog that any owner will be proud of.

    That is the short answer…. The long answer is the canine psychologists view, and I'll post that in another email ... it’s worth a read when you have a few minutes to spare.

    Kind regards,
    Veronica

  10. #10
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    Puppyhood and Beyond. (Part one)

    Puppies are growing animals, and when they are a matter of weeks old they learn a huge amount that has a life-long impact. Even sexual patterns which emerge as puppies mature can be affected by early experience. All dogs, regardless of breed, pass through various stages as they grow and develop, physically, mentally, and psychologically. Psychologists use the term ‘critical period’ to describe a specific time in a dog's life when certain experiences have a lasting effect upon their entire psychological pattern of development. Understanding these critical periods and a dog's stages of development will better help you to understand your dog's behaviour and how to handle him during these special times. Additionally, puppies benefit greatly when their owners understand their development.

    Puppy Toddlers (3 - 6 Weeks)
    During the Toddler period, puppies emerge on their own from the litter. They venture into the surrounding environment. This emergence from the litter is a gradual and continual learning experience. During this stage of development puppies learn basic behavioural patterns specific to dogs. While playing, they practice different body postures, learning what the postures mean and how they affect their mother and littermates. They learn what it is like to bite and be bitten, what barking and other vocalizations mean and how to make and use them to establish social relationships with other dogs. Such learning and activity tempers their own biting and vocalizing. From the age of five weeks, the mother teaches her puppies basic manners. They learn to be submissive to her leadership and what behaviours are acceptable. If necessary, she growls, or nudges them away as a form of discipline. When weaning the litter for instance, the mother will discipline her puppies so that they will leave her alone. Because the mother disciplines them in a way that they clearly understand, after a few repetitions, the puppies will respond to a mere glare from her. If a pup has not learned to accept leadership (and discipline) in its early interactions with dogs, its training will be more difficult. Puppies that are removed from the nest too early tend to be nervous, more prone to barking and biting, and less responsive to discipline. Often they are aggressive with other dogs. Generally speaking, a puppy taken away from it's mother and litter mates before eight weeks of age, may not realize its full potential as a dog and companion. To maximize the mental and psychological development of puppies, they must remain in the nest with their mother and littermates until at least eight weeks of age.

    Socialization Period (7 - 12 Weeks)
    It is at this age that rapid learning occurs. At seven weeks puppies can learn almost anything, and what they learn will have a lasting impact. Everything he comes in contact with will make a lasting impression upon him as it never will again. Not only will he learn from careful training and guidance, but, he will learn whether he is taught or not. Though he has a short attention span, what things he learns at this stage are learned permanently. Therefore, owners need to be careful about what their puppies are learning at this time. Your puppy is very anxious to learn how you want him to behave and react, and he needs to be shown what is expected of him in his new role as your pet. There are rules you will expect your puppy to obey. Establish those rules NOW while behaviours are easy to establish. For instance, how your pet interacts with you is determined during puppy hood. What he does now is what he will likely do later. So, don't allow your puppy to do things which will be unacceptable when he becomes an adult dog. During this time, you and your puppy will also begin to know and understand each other. You will get to know about your puppy's particular temperament and personality - whether he is strong-willed or eager to please, gentle or rambunctious, shy or outgoing, and just what else makes him the endearing individual that he is. For the puppy, this is both an exciting and somewhat confusing time. There is a whole new world of things to learn about and all sorts of new experiences to digest. Remember that the environments you put your puppy in are more complex than those he would encounter naturally. Puppies must now learn a new set of rules. He needs to know learn how to interact with humans and other animals who live with them. Puppies must adapt to the patterns and tenor of their new homes. All of these experiences and the behaviours which accompany them, must be learned. Because you will impose such important demands on your puppy, you must help him to make the transition into the human environment. You need to lay a groundwork for a trusting, happy mutually satisfying relationship. Keep in mind that puppies are less likely to broaden their experiences if they are insecure. In natural environments, puppies approach new things cautiously. By giving your puppy brief, repeated experiences in new situations, you give him a chance to become familiar. If you don't expose your puppy to a variety of situations and new environments, inappropriate ways to adapt may be learned. During the ‘Socialization Period’, there is a fear imprint period from 8 - 11 weeks. During this time, any traumatic, painful or frightening experiences will have a more lasting impact on your pup than they would if they occurred at any other time in their lives. An unpleasant trip to the veterinarian for instance at this time could forever make your dog apprehensive about vets. To avoid this, take some treats and a toy with you. While you wait, play with your puppy and offer him treats. Have your vet give your puppy treats along with lots of praise and petting before and after the examination. In general, avoid stressful situations. Remember, dogs are social animals. To become acceptable companions, they need to interact with you, your family, and other people and dogs during the all important ‘Socialization Period’. Dogs that are denied socialization during this critical period often become unpredictable because they are fearful or aggressive. It is during this time, that your dog needs to have positive experiences with people and dogs. Therefore, you need to socialize and teach your puppy how to interact with people and other dogs in a positive, non-punitive manner. You should gradually introduce your puppy to new things, environments, and people. But, care must be taken in socializing your puppy with other dogs or in areas where many "unknown" dogs frequent, prior to the time that your dog has had its booster vaccinations against contagious diseases. Begin by taking your puppy out when there are few distracters. Give him time to get used to new places. Make sure he is secure. If you have children that visit only occasionally, have your puppy meet children as often as you can. If you live alone, make an effort to have friends visit you, especially members of the opposite sex so that your dog will become accustomed to them. If you plan to travel with your dog, get him accustomed to riding in the car. Take him for brief rides, at first. Remember, if new experiences are overwhelming or negative, the results could be traumatic.

    Seniority Classification Period (12-16 Weeks)
    It is during this critical period that your dog will begin to test you to see who the pack leader is going to be. He'll begin to bite you, in play or as a real challenge to your authority. Such behaviour is natural in the pack and not necessarily undesirable. What is undesirable is an inappropriate response on your part. It is important, at this stage, that you establish your position as pack leader, and not just another sibling. Other behaviours, such as grabbing at the lead, will be observed, and all are attempts to dominate you. Biting , in particular though, should always be discouraged. Therefore, you should not wrestle or play tug of war because such play is aggressive-inducing. What you see as a fun game may be perceived by your dog as a situation in which he has been allowed to dominate. Wrestling, of course, communicates to your puppy that he is allowed to bite you. Tug of war sets you up in a dominance confrontation over an object. He learns that he can keep objects away from you. During tug of war games, puppies will often growl. Growling is a dominance vocalization, designed to warn another pack member that they better not confront the growler or he will bite. Puppies see these games as situations in which they have been allowed to dominate. They do not understand that these are games designed by humans to entertain them. Of course you can continue to play with your dog during this period, but, the relationship between you during the play must change. No mouthing of your body should be allowed and when your dog does mouth, you should respond with a quick and sharp “OUCH” "NO!" or "No Bite!" Play that does not get rough is by far the best lesson for your puppy. If you cannot keep the dog from getting overly excited during a game and he persists in biting at you, don't play that way. This will only stimulate additional dominant behaviour in the future. For these reasons, this is the stage when serious training should begin. Training establishes your pack leadership in a manner that your puppy will understand. By training your puppy, you will learn how to get him to respond to commands designed to show that you are in charge.




    shared by Veronica

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