Q: When should I bring a new puppy home?
How soon is too soon to take a new puppy home? How old should my puppy be?
Whether you’re getting a pup from an experienced, established breeder or from a friend who’s “blessed” with an unexpected litter, the dog's mother has a few things to teach before letting go. But there’s no harm in “window shopping” to put a pup on lay-away.
As little as seven or eight weeks is enough for some mother dogs to impart their canine wisdom and nurture. Some breeders insist on keeping puppies for three months. Whichever, the pup of your dreams should have had its first exam by a veterinarian and the first of its “shots” and other treatments. Try to find out what the vet said about Dream Pup. Any medical problems? Why is she smaller than the rest? Or bigger? Or just perfect? Revisit as often as you like (the breeder and the mother shouldn’t mind) to make sure of your decision.
Pups that stay with the breeders until 12 weeks of age will benefit from a comprehensive socialization program —exposure to many different people, to noises and to other stimuli—once they’re lucky enough to come home with you.
“Ready” is relative when you get a new member of the family.
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