5-Weeks Old, not 8 Weeks - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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5-Weeks Old, not 8 Weeks

Hi, I'm new here.

We just got our new Sunny on Thursday, and we were told by the owner she was 8 weeks old. Our vet said she was in good shape, but she wan't 8 weeks, but younger. I called the owner back and he revealed that she was actually 5 weeks old.

I'm a little surprised, and a bit worried that I can provide proper care for those 3 extra weeks, weeks that I thought she'd be with her litter. She's eating solid food, things are looking okay, but what is it I don't know?

What is the difference between 5 weeks and 8 weeks?

Last edited by ripley; 06-17-2011 at 05:40 PM. Reason: didn't upload photo
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 05:51 PM
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It is illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks old in the state of California.

Puppy 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 behavioral patterns specific to dogs. While playing, they practice different body postures, learning what the postures mean and how they affect their mother and litter mates. 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 behaviors are acceptable. If necessary, she growls, snarls, or snaps at them 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 seven 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 litter mates until seven weeks of age.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripley View Post
Hi, I'm new here.

We just got our new Sunny on Thursday, and we were told by the owner she was 8 weeks old. Our vet said she was in good shape, but she wan't 8 weeks, but younger. I called the owner back and he revealed that she was actually 5 weeks old.

I'm a little surprised, and a bit worried that I can provide proper care for those 3 extra weeks, weeks that I thought she'd be with her litter. She's eating solid food, things are looking okay, but what is it I don't know?

What is the difference between 5 weeks and 8 weeks?
Oh wow, that is totally illegal...

Your puppy is losing out on vital doggy socialization between her litter mates and mom. It will require a lot of extra work on your part for the puppy to gain proper dog socialization and to learn proper bite inhibition.

So sorry that you were deceived like that.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 06:44 PM
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We accepted Buckskin at 6 weeks (he was a beautiful pup and we were ignorant). It was a huge mistake. He was aloof with other dogs and stubborn with us. Two trainers (including one who worked with military dogs) gave us our money back and told us that he was really not responsive to conventional training methods.

For the first two years of his life Buckskin was exceptionally destructive. Eventually we discovered his talent for tracking and used tracking opportunities to train him in the basics - but it was a huge challenge.

We brought him to dog parks, etc. but despite his large size he did not want to interact with dogs of any size or breed. He would take up a position and growl at any dog that solicited play.

I do admit that eventually he was a nice companion to us at home; but we always felt cheated. I would return this pup immediately for socialization, have him evaluated in 3-4 weeks and then decide whether or not to keep him. Time with his dam and littermates will benefit him and you alike. This breeder wanted a quick buck and is not concerned with the welfare of this litter.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 06:43 AM
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Wow, that is terrible on the seller's part, and I would be livid. Ian Dunbar has some good books dealing with these issues, especially teaching bite inhibition that littermates usually help the pup understand. Mainly, try to get the pup to see that using teeth too hard means fun ends. You shouldnt try to stop all biting at this age, as you want the puppy to get how to gentle the use of his mouth. Try feeding peanut butter on a metal spoon or horse's snaffle bit so the pup has to gentle that mouth to avoid clanging. Yip like a pup and turn away and cease playing if a bite is too hard. Also, if you can find a super gentle, well-vaccinated older dog for playdates, that will be an immense help. There is so much good you can do here, but this window of time is crucial ( until about 12 weeks). Introduce pup to 100 friendly people, 20 dogs, walk on 12 surfaces see funny hats, kids, wheelchairs- anything he might encounter in his life, starting slow but increasing at 8-12 weeks.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 08:17 AM
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My son's pup is a rescue that was dumped on a shelter's door at about 4-5 weeks of age. He came to my son at about 12 weeks of age. He had a bit of interaction with the other dogs at the Rescue who pulled him, but because of his age, not alot. He is a very sweet dog that loves other dogs and is my Ike's best friend. Hunter does not have biting issues, is very intelligent, and learned his commands easily. He does have a strong prey drive (we think from the beagle in his mix) so he must be kept on leash when outdoors or he will take off after a bird or squirrel. I don't think we'll ever trust him to 'stay'. Other wise, he's a great loveable, joyful pupster.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solinvictus View Post
It is illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks old in the state of California.
]
It is illegal in NH, too. I finally found all the right ingredients for my puppy adventure, and asked to pick up my pup when he was 7 1/2 weeks of age because we were driving out that way last weekend. I explained our situation, but the breeder didn't budge.

I'd read up on rescue sites how to raise a solo puppy that is too young to be away from it's mother. If the breeder not only sold you that puppy at only five weeks, but intentionally deceived you, I don't see how the breeder is going to improve that pup's life, especially if the rest of the litter is sold.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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My vet was less concerned about this than I. He said, yes, our pup is missing out on some doggy training, but she'll be getting a little extra human interaction, which isn't a bad thing. He said this early phase of her life is merely one of many in the upcoming weeks and months, and as long as we have an older, gentle dog around (we do!) then the consequences will be minimized.

We've taken some solace in this advice and have spent lots and lots of time with our pup and our other dog, and our older dog has taken on some of the responsibility of training her. It started out slow, but after a week our dogs seem to be responding to each other.

Yes, more work will be required but it's summer and hopefully we can find that time.

This is the greatest forum and I appreciate all the comments on this, my first post. I'll keep coming back and reading what goes on here because I find this is a very informative and helpful group to be involved in. Thanks a lot, everyone!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripley View Post
Hi, I'm new here.

We just got our new Sunny on Thursday, and we were told by the owner she was 8 weeks old. Our vet said she was in good shape, but she wan't 8 weeks, but younger. I called the owner back and he revealed that she was actually 5 weeks old.

I'm a little surprised, and a bit worried that I can provide proper care for those 3 extra weeks, weeks that I thought she'd be with her litter. She's eating solid food, things are looking okay, but what is it I don't know?

What is the difference between 5 weeks and 8 weeks?
See if you can find puppy friendly dogs for her to play with on a regular basis, puppies if you can find healthy ones near her age. She is missing the learning curve of bite inhibition, trading and sharing toys, etc.

"To my mind, I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ripley View Post
and as long as we have an older, gentle dog around (we do!) then the consequences will be minimized.
We lost our precious Jazzy in January. However, she is the reason we added two new Golden pups to our home just recently. She came to us at 5 weeks old.

Back in '99, and a year and half after learning to become true dog people with our wonder Abby girl, we came across Jazzy near my mother in law's place. We didn't know any better, and the breeder was a not a breeder... just someone whose dog had a litter of puppies

We were walking by and and this little 5 week old golden bundle of joy came right up to our Abby and captured our hearts. Abby mothered her so well, even being only 18 months older than her.

My only reason for posting is to say that you've had to absorb alot of information about the pros and cons, and that's good... you're armed with info! I think you're vet is on the right track... what's done is done...and you have a lot of opportunity to shape your pup into a wonderful dog, in spite of being young. Our Jazzy was proof of that and I'm sure there are many others.

Best of luck to you!

--lp (aka luverofpeanuts)

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