What age should you bring a puppy home?
This only needs to be a short post as my answer is fairly simple. I believe a puppy should be picked up by their new family at 8wks old. This is especially important if you are looking to bring your puppy home to live in a city like London.
Most breeders don’t live in London, so the dogs do not grow up in the urban environment they will need to become accustomed to.
The reason I believe your puppy should be picked up at 8wks is for the following reasons:
so your puppy can start to understand what their new life will be like as unless your lifestyle, home and family and working situation is exactly the same as the breeder this is highly relevant.
at this point of bringing your dog home they are entering their secondary socialisation period, where they can learn about their new life and adjust to the things that will be part of their new set up e.g. going to work with you, living with kids, living with a cat, walking along Shoreditch High St every day, going on the school run each day etc.
you will also want your puppy to be bonding with you and its new family. At 8wks your puppy still finds life quite tiring, so you do want to make the most of this sleepy phase before the teething, independence, boundary testing starts to kick in!
if you are living in a city (or an area that is different to where they were born) then the socialisation period is really important - if you think about what you would see from say getting a train into Liverpool St station and then walking up to Brick Lane. The list is gigantic, too long for on here but perhaps run yourself through it and make that list - from building work, hi viz jackets, buses, bus brakes, motorbikes, newspaper stalls, cranes, tall people, short people, different ethnicities, male, female, baby in a buggy, toddler on a scooter, you get the gist!
you have the opportunity to set your dog up to succeed, so why would you pass on this? I often hear that people have booked a holiday or have a prior commitment. Honestly, I can’t express strongly enough how much importance I would place on this period of introduction to their new life, do not underestimate it and the impact it can have on your puppy’s future. Do take it seriously.
you can start your vaccination process immediately so that it doesn’t hinder the ability to get out on the floor in the big wide world.
if you are taking on a puppy from a rescue, you should be finding out as much as you can about what has taken place in this period. A dog sat in a kennel with incorrect exposure, no exposure or little stimulation will of course be impacted by this but its the being aware of this that is important. And knowing how which areas your puppy may need help with in the future. Someone like myself or the rescue centre behaviourist should be able to discuss this with you in detail. Do not be afraid to ask, you need to be prepared.
If you would like to receive a socialisation list I created do drop me an email and I can send it out to you. If you would like to discuss this in more detail in regards to your dog, a dog you are considering or a breeder you are talking to, do get in touch.