View Full Version : New Puppy

13th February 2011, 02:26 PM
Hope somebody can help me!

Quite some time ago, I promised to look after my friends 2 dogs (chihuahuas) at our home while they are away for 2 weeks in April. I have been looking for a cavalier pup for my family for a while and have struck lucky that someone who does all the relevant health checks including MRI for SM has some pups available and would be happy for me to have one. The pups are now 8 weeks old, I have asked the breeder and she says she would be happy to keep a pup for me until the middle of April to enable me to look after my friends dogs. This would mean the pup would be 16 weeks old by the time I got her.

Anway, my question is would you rather wait until the pup is 16 weeks old to take home and not let your friends down with regard to looking after their dogs or;

get the pup in the next week or so and have all 3 dogs at our home or;

let my friends down and get the pup in the next week or so or;

not get the pup this time round and wait until a future litter is due from this excellent breeder (not sure when this might be).

Any advantages/disadvantages to waiting until a pup is 16 weeks before taking home. I don't want to get this wrong and want the best start for my new pup.

Sorry if I have rambled on, any advice would be great.

Thanks - Clair.

13th February 2011, 07:22 PM
Welcome to the board and the wonderful world of cavaliers!

Be sure to actually see the cardiologist clearances and the MRI certificates -- sadly there are an increasing number of breeders saying they 'do tests' but either they do not actually do them or they fail to show the actual results. There are some great breeders testing of course too and it is critical to make sure you are talking to one of the latter and not the former. :thmbsup: The CavalierTalk puppy buyer guide has links to help people understand both cardiologist certs and MRI scans. :) It is in the 'Buying and Caring for your Cavalier' part of the LIbrary section.

Assuming this is a great breeder :D -- most reputable breeders actually prefer to home puppies at a minimum of 10-12 weeks and many wait til 16 weeks so I'd feel no qualms about waiting and leaving the puppy to grow and develop with its mother and siblings/other family cavaliers. The new owner gets a far better socialised and often, mostly housetrained puppy that is almost always better adjusted and easier to manage than puppies homed at only 8 weeks (and especially any younger than that, which is actually illegal in some countries/states or a violation of many breed club rules, but sadly seems to be done regularly). Just about pup I have ever met homed at an older age is a calmer, housetrained, better socialised puppy compared to those homed younger.

13th February 2011, 07:34 PM
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I got a little freaked out by a few books I have read recently that suggested I would end up with a shy/fearful dog if I didn't take it home early enough!

Glad to hear this won't be the case & I have a chance of keeping my friends as well as getting a happy/healthy pup!!

Thanks again for your help - it has really put my mind at ease.


14th February 2011, 06:04 PM
Karlin's advice is, as ever, spot on.

I have looked after many dogs for friends when they go away on holiday and I certainly would not entertain having such a young puppy at the same time. It isn't fair on you, the puppy or the guest dogs and would inevitably "end in tears" in my view.

I've also had several dogs of my own at the age of 5 months and have never found any great problems about settling in and training, so I really woudn't worry at all about a 16-weeker.

Do let us know how you get on when you get your pup and Good Luck with the guests :wggle:

14th February 2011, 06:28 PM
Maddie was 13 weeks old when we got her, Pippin was 8 weeks old when we got him. As far as socialising and bonding with us there has been no difference in the long term. The big difference was, Maddie's first car journeys were before we got her, with her mum and her sisters, so when I picked her up she whimpered for a bit then went to sleep. She has always been a good traveller. Pippin, on the other hand, hadn't had the same amount of experience, and he howled every time he went in the car until he was 6 months old. It made no difference where in the car he was, time of day, with or without Maddie, he was very vocal. Now, it may have nothing to do with the age we got him, but if (when) we get puppy no. 3 at the end of the year we'll probably get her at about 13 weeks again. The breeder has already agreed to run her on, providing the mating happens as planned, the bitch has her puppies ok, and there is one there for us.:xfngr::xfngr:

All that rambling can really be summed up as - 16 weeks is fine. Definitely the best idea. :)

14th February 2011, 10:21 PM
The only down side to getting your puppy at 16 weeks is missing those days where she is teeny tiny!!! But really, if this is a genuine and reputable breeder, she will understand the importance of socializing your puppy.

The one thing that I am worried about with a 16 week old puppy is that is at the end of the critical socialization period for a puppy, so if this dog is going to stay indoors and not go on car rides, meet new people, children, men, and see new things and hear new sounds, the pup might be a little on the fearful side coming home. If the breeder takes care of all that, you will be lucky to have a puppy with such great head start, and with a bladder and bowles capable of keeping everything in for a bit longer haha.

15th February 2011, 01:09 AM
If you've truly found a good breeder getting a slightly older pup will be excellent. Your breeder will socialize, and work on housebreaking in this time, so you'll end up taking home a puppy who has a good foundation.

You should be able to arrange to visit your puppy a few times while she's still at the breeder's that way you can still play with her and get to know her at that young age.

I don't think you'll feel that you "missed out" on her baby phase, if you got her at 2 weeks old you'd say "oh, she's so tiny...", 8 weeks old same thing. I got my tricolor at 12 weeks, and he was so tiny. And by 16 weeks he was still a tiny puppy.

15th February 2011, 05:40 AM
I got my puppy at 8 weeks and while he is a great puppy, he still has accidents sometimes (my fault, I know) and he can get a bit hyper. I often wonder if maybe he had stayed a little longer, he would be better at those things and not cause the trouble he does now. Of course, it's all part of his personality and I love it about him! I just think if I ever get another puppy, I'll be waiting until they're a little older.

As for car travel though, Helio was absolutely fine when we brought him home (an 8 hour car ride!). He slept nearly the entire time, drank some water out of a container, had a wee in a box we had in the backseat, and didn't whimper once! He had been on three trips to the vet with the breeder, but those were short trips and I was just surprised and pleased with how great of a traveler he was. So I think it depends on the pup!

15th February 2011, 07:47 AM
16 weeks is exactly when I got my pup. I thought it was great! He slept throught the night in the crate right away and only took a couple of weeks to get the idea of potty training. The next puppy I get I would like it to be around the same age.

15th February 2011, 07:53 AM
Oh and as for car travel and socializing.. I doubt my pup had ever been in the car before I took him home and he has never had any issue. He also warmed up to my kids (which he hadn`t been around) and my cat very fast. He is very social with people and cats but for some reason still is fearful of new dogs at first but after seeing them a few times is fine. Since he was with other dogs for the for 16 weeks this doesn`t really make sense to me but I guess it`s just part of his personality..
Anyways.. congrats on your soon to be new cavalier!