Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North Central Wisconsin
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Eight weeks is the norm for the breeders that I know. As long as the puppies are being socialized, stimulated and the breeder is working with them as individuals, it really doesn't matter when they go home. Different story if they are being kept outside or remain as a litter without socialization to people, other animals, etc.
The 7 week thing is based on some very old studies with beagle colonies I think, so puppies remaining were not socialised properly.
My puppies actively begin "looking" for their own people between 7 and 8 weeks of age. Any puppies that stay beyond 8 weeks are taken out of the litter environment and treated as individual puppies, with their own crates, food bowls, etc. They have mutual play time and individual play time.
Tahnee Golden Retrievers