Too early?

by Vinnie and Beth
(Franklin, TN)

Picking up our new girl January 1, 2016. Her birthdate was November 30th. We are very excited. House is "puppy-proofed" and we are very experienced dog and cat owners as well as former Rottie owners.

We have a reputable breeder. She is experienced and has the grand mom, dad and mom on premises. Pups have been seen regularly by their vet and they have had the appropriate puppy shots and worming. Our breeder says that our Dame has had several litters. No health issues at all. Pure German with papers and a DNA bloodline. The pups were starting on solid food at 3 weeks and beginning the social part of their journey. Our breeder says that she has never kept a litter much past 5 weeks. Her Vet seems to be okay with this. No earlier though.

I'm concerned that we will be missing out on some important socialization with her litter mates and mother. Specifically the "biting and mouthing" part?

Should we be concerned?

Vinnie and Beth

Hi Vinnie and Beth. Sorry I didn't see this post earlier, but by now you will have your Rottie pup and hopefully will have an idea of her personality and any problems which may arise.

You are right to be concerned about the probability of increased nipping and biting in a pup removed from her momma and littermates before 8 weeks of age. Weeks 5 to 7 are a critical time in the social development of puppies and is when they learn bite-inhibition. You sometimes also see increased nervousness and anxiety in pups who leave their first family too early.

However, although this is far from ideal, both problems can generally be handled with extra patience, consistent correction and lots of love. As you're experienced owners I doubt that you'll be too flummoxed by these issues and hopefully are already on your way to handling them.

But, although your breeder sounds to have had many of the 'reputable breeder' items in place, no good and responsible breeder I know would ever allow puppies to leave their momma and littermates at 5 weeks of age. It's just not the right (or best) thing to do. Hopefully your pup is happy, healthy and all that you hoped for. But in the future you may want to avoid breeders who have this policy.

Hope this helps and I wish you all the very best of luck.

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Aug 04, 2016
Respose to Too Early NEW
by: Anonymous

My family got our Rottie from a first time breeder when he was 5 weeks old. We were concerned that the early separation from his parents and 11 siblings would cause emotional and social issues, however the breeder was overwhelmed and was unwilling to keep him any longer. We knew that becuase of his young age we had to have extra patience, maintain consistency and give him tons of love. Our Vet gave us great advice on how to correct and train him. He has 4 human siblings and 3 animal siblings (a Cat, a Bunny and a Chihuahua mix) that he interacts with on a daily basis. We have exposed him to different people, environments, situations and sounds. We take him to doggie classes at our local pet store. He was also neutered as soon as as he was old enough. Now he is 6 months old and is a great dog! He listens very well, doesn't act out, doesn't bark when he's not supposed to, plays well with all his siblings, respects our visitors, and above all is very loving and has become a great companion!!! Now we're glad we got him at an early age because he didn't have any predispositions, we have been able to mold him and we gave him a healthy start.

Jul 04, 2016
Good Post NEW
by: ShirleyFWilliams

Interesting and informative post about the dog. This blog has got many information which was unaware for me. You have written everything clearly. Thank You

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Jun 03, 2016
Too early YES!! NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm in complete shock that a breeder would even consider letting a puppy leave the litter at 5 weeks! What also concerns me is that you said she (mom) has had numerous litters! I was always taught rule of thumb only breed once a year after the dog turns 2! And not breed past 6 or 7 depending on health of mom!!! The breeder sounds more like she is running a puppy mill!! Next time please find a different breeder even if you have to travel!!! I like to get my puppies at 6 weeks cuz 25 years ago when I started that's what they did ! It was years later when I went to buy a lab in Colorado that there was a law not allowing breeders to sell before 8 weeks!!!! Did my research on why and learned a lot! I lost my last Rottie 11 years ago and swore I'd never do it again .. But I knew my 13 year old lab was getting near the end of her life and wanted to get a puppy before she passed.. Was thinking about a GS but ran into a lady at the vet with a 6 month old Rottie .. And my heart dropped ! Got the name of the breeder from the vet and asked a lot of questions!! I did talk her into letting me have Aspen at 6 weeks because by this point my Bella was going down hill on me fast! With the help of Bella and my Pom I never had an issue with biting. It's not something I recommend but I was in panic mode cuz I knew if I didn't get before Bella died I wouldn't have gotten her at all! I hope your pup is doing well!!

May 19, 2016
My Rottie is weak and is developing a hunch back NEW
by: Emmanuel

My name is Emmanuel i love dogs and am opportuned to get my ist Rottie i brought him into my home at 16weeks,he is my ist dog so i was being careful by leaving it with the parents till that time. He is my companion and we are good friends. He is growing at a very good pace bossy and friendly too. I noticed lately yesterday he is weak and developing a kind of hunched back,i dont know if he was hit at the back am so concerned and scared. Am thinking 8ve missed a vaccination. The reason i left him with the breeder was for him to.complete his vaccines. He is so weak . What do i do and what may be the cause?

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