View Full Version : Breeder wants to let me take home puppy at 6-7 weeks... too early?

24th July 2008, 06:39 AM
I am purchasing a tri baby and I mentioned to the breeder that I heard it was best for cavs to stay til 9 or even 10 weeks, so whatever was best for the puppy is what I wanted. She responded in an email stating:

" He was born 6-28-08, should be ready the first week of Aug IF he is eating properly when we wean him. That will be a day by day deal, so will keep you informed. Usually "parents" are so very anxious to get him, so I let them go home between 6-7 weeks, if, there again, he is eating good."

By my calculations... the first week in August won't be even barely 6 weeks. He'll be 5 weeks and so many days...

Is it just me, or is this way too early? I even told her I'd prefer the puppy stay a little longer... and that was the response I received...

24th July 2008, 11:00 AM
Here's a post from the library section:


The bit you are looking for is:

Code of Ethics
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA, Inc.

E. I will not allow any puppy to leave for its new home before the age of eight weeks. The CKCSC recommends ten to twelve weeks as the appropriate age for transfer.

I would seriously look into the breeder - how did you find her? Was it word of mouth, recommendation or internet search?

Have you visited the breeder and seen the puppies with their mother?

Does the breeder carry out heart testing on the parents by a certified cardiologist? Do they MRI for SM?

If you are unsure of any of these, please, please, please think very carefully before getting your pup.

For a breeder to willingly hand over a pup so early sounds very much like a BYB or puppy mill.

There are others on this board who have more experience and knowledge and I am sure someone will be along soon to advise you better, but in the meantime, please read the library section of the board - there is so much useful information :thmbsup:

24th July 2008, 11:14 AM

This is someone who is totally clueless and has NO idea about breeding dogs or even understanding the basics much less caring about their welfare and health. It is also illegal in many countries and states to home a dog before 7-8 weeks -- 6 weeks is absolutely SHOCKING especially with cavaliers which are very tiny and need that extra time with sibling and mom. If she is registering these puppies with any reputable registry -- eg AKC or CKCSC -- I would report her immediately.

I would also call your local humane society or SPCA to check the legal age for Texas for homing puppies.

Good for you for mentioning you believed the puppies should be older. :)

Puppies homed at 6 weeks end up with behaviour problems as they are so poorly socialised, and they are barely even weaned! They are still too young for the breeder even to be sure they are healthy, happy, sound puppies at that age. It is simply cruel to home at that age and disgusting to do so -- basically it means she wants less expense of caring for the pups, and the money from buyers right away.

Please only work with reputable breeders involved actively with their clubs, who do proper health clearances. In the US no reputable breeder homes before 9 weeks and most not til 10-12 weeks. There's a lot of advice on finding a good breeder in the Library section. :thmbsup: In Texas, you should be contacting the regional ACKCSC or CKCSC for breeders who may have available puppies. This is a breed that can have several very expensive health issues and the risks are astronomically higher from casual breeders. Many here can testify to how paying more at the start for a wellbred puppy from a health focused, dedicated show breeder would have save them thousands in vet bills later (and many really poor breeders charge the same or even more than good breeders too!). A good breeder is also there for you for life with advice, support, and often will board your dog when you are away and will take back your dog during its lifetime for any reason. :)

Bruce H
24th July 2008, 12:17 PM

That "breeder" is just so wrong. Please take a look at the CKCSC web site here http://www.ckcsc.org/ckcsc/newbreeders.nsf/breeders+by+state. Look at the list of breeders in your state and see if your breeder is listed; I will be flabbergasted if she is. But if she is listed, I would encourage you to forward her e-mail to the club. This breeder is in violation of the Code of Ethics as noted by rosiesmum if the puppy is placed that young.

There is just no way that can be a reputable breeder. Sorry to be so blunt, but that kind of person and that early placement just really gets me so wound up. What else is she doing or not doing if she will place a puppy that early?

Please understand that this is not an attack on you at all, but an attack on the questionable breeder. Please stick around here, we are really a good bunch of people from all over the world. We just get kind of excited when we hear of breeders that are potentially harming the breed we love so much.

24th July 2008, 12:28 PM
Hi there
I am in the UK.
My first cav Lucie i got at 6 weeks and 1 day.She had been seperated from mum at 3 weeks.I didnt really know any better so my husband and I collected her.She had been vet checked as we got a document from the vet.I must admit she doesnt have any behaviour problems.....in fact is the model dog!:-p
Although we collected our second cavalier at 8 weeks and there was such a difference.At 6 weeks we had to do everything for Lucie....when we played with her she fell asleep while doing so.Our second dog Sasha who is now 9 weeks is pretty much toilet trained at night.No accidents at night yet and thats 1 week we have had her.:xfngr:
In the UK the kennel club states a minimum of 8 weeks i think that the pup leaves the breeder.

24th July 2008, 12:41 PM
Hi :)

My Faithey is a puppy mill dog who was shipped around the country to a pet store, rejected, and came into rescue at only SEVEN weeks old. They've had puppies from this "operation" come in as early as 5 1/2 weeks :mad:

I've had a few problems with Faith since she first came here, and I 100% attribute those to the fact that she was taught NO manners or socialization when she was so young. She didn't have her mother there to correct her when she was doing something she shouldn't, nor did she have any siblings to teach her how to share or play :(

I would definately recommend you search for a breeder that is more interested in socializing the puppy and making sure they are ready to go before they are released into their new home. Great job on recognizing a red flag :flwr:

Cathy T
24th July 2008, 03:49 PM
You can believe the first words out of my mouth at this posting were "oh no!!!" No way would a reputable breeder place a dog this young. It's just unheard of. I got Jake at 10 weeks and Shelby at 12 weeks (due to vacation timing my breeder kept Shelby the extra 2 weeks) and what a difference just between 10 and 12 weeks. I will never take a Cavalier young than 10 weeks. That extra time with mom and sibling is so incredibly important to their development, manners, potty habits, etc.

I would run as fast and as far as I could from this breeder. I am 100% positive this is NOT a good breeder.

24th July 2008, 04:19 PM
We got Alfs to early as well,i didnt know any better,he had issues,for which we blame the breeder for.Now Archie we got at 10 weeks and he is soooo confident,you can see the difference.

24th July 2008, 04:59 PM
I am purchasing a tri baby and I mentioned to the breeder that I heard it was best for cavs to stay til 9 or even 10 weeks, so whatever was best for the puppy is what I wanted. She responded in an email stating:

" He was born 6-28-08, should be ready the first week of Aug IF he is eating properly when we wean him. That will be a day by day deal, so will keep you informed. Usually "parents" are so very anxious to get him, so I let them go home between 6-7 weeks, if, there again, he is eating good."

By my calculations... the first week in August won't be even barely 6 weeks. He'll be 5 weeks and so many days...

Is it just me, or is this way too early? I even told her I'd prefer the puppy stay a little longer... and that was the response I received...

I think most of what needs to be said has been said. I would just add that you need to walk away........ no, RUN from this breeder!


24th July 2008, 05:09 PM
One thing that I believe is very strange is how many trainers still recommend getting puppies at only 7-8 weeks because they 'bond better'. I wonder what they can possibly mean -- I have never seen any dog having problems bonding to owners and anyone in rescue will have sent many adult and senior dogs to new homes where they quickly bond with their new family!

If you have seen puppies come from good breeders at 10-12 weeks you see just an *enormous* difference and I truly believe under 10 weeks is just too young -- I believe a lot of training and behaviour and temperament issues would be avoided if people got their puppies at minimum 10 weeks. They are more confident and capable, are well socialised with other dogs instead of isolated during the crucial vaccination period, and generally are well on their way to being housetrained too because they learn from the adult dogs in the house. They are also well through the puppy biting stage and have extra socialisation with sibs and parent(s) to be less nippy. They run less risk of being timid, reserved adults. They are calmer and less barky. They have lost none of their adorable cuteness at 10-14 weeks at all (as anyone who saw my two 5 months old rescue puppies at the cavalier day will agree! :lol:) but they make a much easier transition for both puppy and family.

I wish trainers more generally would rethink the old recommendations because I simply believe they are WRONG!

Three of my four dogs came to me as older puppies or adults -- age 10 months, age 1-2, and age 8. Anyone who has met them will agree I think that they are well and truly bonded to me! :rotfl: And the one who is probably too bonded is Jaspar, the puppy that came at 8.5 weeks...

24th July 2008, 07:11 PM
We got Ollie at about 18 weeks and he has bonded to me like no other dog I have ever had.

24th July 2008, 08:17 PM
Our Rosie is from the same situation as Arasaras' Faithey and although she's the most loving little pup, she learned most of her "behaviour" from Mary Alice (our older Cavalier).

She's fine now, at 16 months but it's just so sad to think that they are ripped away from their Mothers at such an early age.

I think Rosie was taken from her Mother at 5 or 6 weeks, just dreadful, poor pups and Mothers.

Our (late) Charley was 12 weeks when we picked him up and there's a tremendous difference in their sturdiness and behaviour.

IMO, as someone else posted, this breeder doesn't want the expense of keeping the pup til it's mature enough AND/OR wants your cash now.

Time to find another breeder. Sorry that this has happened to you.:flwr:

Emma n Renco
24th July 2008, 08:26 PM
Gosh that seems way too young to be offered a pup... Harvey was 8 weeks and is scared of everything that moves. He is very anti social and terrified of other dogs. If only we had known better at the time and we would have definately waited until he was 12 weeks before we took him. My advise is definately to wait if possible...

24th July 2008, 08:33 PM
In Denmark the most normal is to get the puppies at 8 weeks (that's legal here). We got Molly at 8 weeks, and she is a very happy and confident dog. She doesn't have problems socializing at all. BUT I would never take a dog any yonger than that.

24th July 2008, 08:33 PM
Wow, 6-7 weeks is so young! :eek: I think everyone has already been pretty clear that they would run as fast as possible from this breeder...we got both of our boys at 11-12 weeks, and I think they are very confident, well-adjusted dogs. Although you might have to wait a while for a puppy from a reputable breeder, it will definitely be worth the wait ;)

24th July 2008, 09:00 PM
We got Dottie at 6 1/2 months. She happily bonded to us IMMEDIATELY and when it was time to leave her home, there was no looking back. I don't buy the 7 or 8 week old "bonding with the new owner" excuse either, especially with Cavaliers!

As Karlin pointed out, most placements of older rescue dogs successfully bond with their new families. I personally think it is just a reason to move out a litter so there is room for the next. The cash turnover for the BYB is faster, there are fewer mouths to feed, and vet bills are smaller because the "breeder" gets rid of the puppies before the next series of shots and de-wormings are due. This is all to the detriment of the poor puppies removed from their moms too soon, often resulting in behavioral problems.

Cathy T
24th July 2008, 10:41 PM
I have never seen any dog having problems bonding to owners

If Jake were any more bonded with me I'd have to have him surgically removed.;)

24th July 2008, 11:00 PM
If Jake were any more bonded with me I'd have to have him surgically removed.;)


25th July 2008, 05:27 AM
Thanks to all for the info and I am glad that I am not crazy lol. I went out there to talk to them today. They had no problems letting me come out there for a visit on an hour's notice. I can't walk away because unfortunately, I paid the deposit before I was told that little 6-7week weaning tidbit of info. After reading a few responses here today, I expressed that I really would appreciate him staying as long as he could, not that I don't want him, but because I'd feel better about it. He is a chunky little pup compared to the others and he is just starting to walk today. The other day all he did was sleep and when nudged didn't do much. I just don't think 2 weeks from now is a long enough time table. Anyhow, they agreed to let him wean at his pace etc. And the husband assured me health was top priority and he wouldn't let the pup go too soon. So, hopefully *cross my fingers* they'll do what's best for the little guy. He already seems to have gotten some fleas :( (isn't he too young to have a flea treatment?). They have a nice little set up on a ranch, but I believe they are kept in the barn and there are fans I can see from outside of the barn but, with the doors kept open, I doubt there is any type of A/C in there. They bring the puppies out to be seen into a nice A/C guest house, so at least I know that when I go see him that he is out of the Texas heat. I just can't walk away from this little guy... I feel like he needs me :confused:

Cathy Moon
25th July 2008, 12:15 PM
Wow, after this additional information you've just shared I can only say RUN away from this breeder, deposit or no deposit, and do not buy the puppy! There are perfectly good reasons to back out of a puppy sale: newly diagnosed allergy or asthma in children, loss of job, losing home, job transfer, etc.

You could go to small claims to get your deposit back. Speak to an attorney if it's a huge amount. Or just let the money go and chalk it up to ignorance regarding how to identify reputable breeders.

I would not line the pockets of a breeder like the one you are describing. This person is in it for the money and obviously doesn't care about the health and well-being of the dogs she is breeding.

25th July 2008, 12:21 PM
Sounds like a puppy farm to me. I bet if you asked to see in that barn you wouldn't be impressed with the conditions and shocked at how many they have in there.

How much was the deposit? Have they refused to return the deposite?

25th July 2008, 02:42 PM
"I just can't walk away from this little guy... I feel like he needs me"

I can totally understand feeling that way... and that's exactly what unscrupulous breeders are counting on. The problem is that yes, you may think of it as "saving" this puppy, but in doing so, many others are being doomed to a sad fate of living in a puppy mill. And, many more mill mommas are being condemned to a life of non-stop breeding. Supply and demand. :(

Good luck with your decision... it is a difficult one.

25th July 2008, 02:59 PM
I would ask to see the inside of the barn. If they refuse, I would ask why. If they don't show you the inside of the barn, I would contact your local animal control/humane society and ask them to investigate. You could be "saving" more than just your own little puppy. Any reputable breeder should have NO problems showing you where the puppies are living.

My two little rescues, Harley and Sapphire came to me as adults. There have been absolutely no problems with bonding! The bigger issue with getting older dogs is socialization with other dogs. Although most dogs socialize well, performance trainers like to get their dogs very young so that they can socialize with all different types and sizes of dogs during critical socialization periods. I personally would rather have my dog, especially a toy dog like Cavaliers stay with their moms as long as needed. My breeder also breeds Akitas, so Gem and Monty were socialized with them.


25th July 2008, 03:37 PM
I would bet that you could get your deposit back especially if you plan on reporting the conditions the puppy was in and that you were misled on the breeding situation when you agreed to the sale. (I'm sure the internet picture was taken in the "nice air conditioned house" that the "breeders" enjoy. Then the poor puppy taken back to "the barn."

If you choose to go ahead with this (and they are counting on it to keep this unscrupulous operation going) please plan ahead.

#1 Buy the most comprehensive pet insurance you can get before your puppy starts displaying any health problems. (If these folks offer a health guarantee you might as well use it for compost because they either won't honor it fully, or your puppies health problems won't present until you are hopelessly in love with him. (They will want him back to trade for another, like any of us would do that!)

#2 Start a savings account for behavioral training, as he is likely to have issues that are difficult to live with, such as innappropriate biting/teething, chewing, barking, great difficulty with potty training, etc. Good breeders will often keep their puppies with mom and their other dogs (IN THEIR HOME, NOT IN A BARN) until the age of 10 or 12 weeks. Here, they learn from their parents and siblings what is appropriate behavior.

#3 Puppy farm operations breed without regard to previous inherited health issues in the parents. Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), cataracts and other eye issues, patella and hip problems, as well as skin allergies are passed down from generation to generation and it is very likely that your puppy will suffer from one or more of these ailments at a very young age.

If you are saving a few bucks on this end purchasing this puppy, you will most certainly be spending alot of time and money at your vet's in the end.

I didn't mention chronic tummy ailments and possible ear mites, giardia (oh, you did say he had fleas...another BIG RED FLAG.)....

This is certainly your decision here. If you want to "rescue" a dog, there are many, many older dogs that have been taken from breeding farms such as the one you have visited, that have led wretched lives in barns with no loving families or care. They are desperate for homes.

If you choose to buy this puppy, just walk away with him, be prepared for any or all of the above and good luck!

4th August 2008, 09:21 PM
What are the terms of your contract? Is it nonrefundable? That is a red flag right there.

I bet you will find their concern about health did not extend to having cardiologist checked breeding dogs, eye, knee and hip certs, or being aware of syringomyelia...

There is no way I'd take a dog from a breeding farm like that and I'd also report them to the local SPCA, which may not be aware they have a large scale operation like this. I'd also let internal revenue know they are breeding dogs (have they spoken to you about tax on the purchase? I bet not). It is typical for this type of operation to mass breed dogs out in barns and outbuildings that buyers never see the inside of.

As hard as it is, it is important to walk away -- every purchase further rewards and funds their exploitation of the breed.

4th August 2008, 10:02 PM
I"m with Karlin and everyone else. These people need to be stopped. The puppies have FLEAS???????????? I am a very small breeder and also do a lot of rescue. Yes, all puppies need homes, but I know that I do NOT want to contribute to the problem, and this breeder is a problem breeder, the circle just continues until someone does something, whether it's reporting them or just not lining their pockets to continue to bring more misery into this world. Did you ask to see all the breeding dogs? They probably live in cages their whole lives.