Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Since the pandemic began there has been an increasing number of people adopting new pets.
This has also resulted in a couple of other issues, the price of buying a new puppy has gone up considerably and there are many people that have decided to breed their pets to make a quick dollar. This is without realizing many important factors, like appropriate socialization, age for breeding and the correct age for rehoming.
Over the last few weeks I have had clients contact me, and spoken to other people that have adopted new puppies at 6 weeks old. This is far too young! A good breeder would not be rehoming puppies at this age. There are many reasons for this. The first is that while with their litter mates and mum, they learn appropriate species specific social behaviour. Things like how to read body posture, bite inhibition, and generally how to relate to the other members of their doggie family. If they are removed from their family too early they may not have the right social skills to set them up for the life you wish to enjoy with them. These puppies may not have learnt what appropriate behaviour is when socializing with other dogs, this can result in many other problems as they grow. Other issues you may encounter with these puppies may be things like food aggression, reactivity to sounds, attention seeking behaviours and destructiveness. Puppies can be hard work at the best of times! You are much better off purchasing from a breeder that as aware of these factors, and is not considering rehoming unil at least 8 weeks.
The other common issue is the age these dogs are being bred. Again this comes back down to money. Inexperienced breeders or those just in it to make money will not give a thought about the age of the bitch. In most cases they should be bred from ages 3-5 depending on the breed. If the mum of your puppy is aged just 1 year or she is 7 (or older)! That should sound some alarm bells to you.
A good breeder should also have an appropriate socialization program in place. This helps set the puppy up for life in the real world. They should have introduced the puppies to different kinds of people (ages, races, male/female, wearing different items etc), different animals, different sounds and surfaces. All of these things help puppies adjust to their lives outside of their home.
There is much to consider when searching for your new family member, as well as what I have already mentioned it is important you ask to see the parents, visit the puppies when they are a few weeks old so you can see for yourself the environment that they have been brought up in. Ask questions! You have every right to know how old the parents are, how old the puppies will be when they are ready for their new homes and what socialization the breeder has already started them on. There are plenty of warning signs if you are aware of what to look out for, and you can look past the cute photos the breeder presents you.
Picking your perfect puppy is an exciting time!
BUT your puppy may be far from perfect if you have not completed your research.
ASK questions, and no matter how cute those puppy dog eyes are make sure you chose wisely, so you are not adding to the problem. And if you can, consider adopting from a rescue instead.
If you are searching for your new perfect puppy, one that will fit in with your daily routine and lifestyle. Get in touch! I am happy to have a chat with you and help you find your perfect match.