View Full Version : what age do you rehome the puppies?

19th November 2005, 09:03 PM
Thought I'd ask this as there seem to be lots of opinions on the subject. Over here (Ireland and UK), puppies are often homed around 8 weeks, some as early as 7.5 weeks (I think that is a minimum set by the Irish Kennel Club, though it seems dreadfully young to me). Do the US clubs set a minimum age for cavalier breeders to adhere to? Or is there a general consensus among most responsible breeders?

I always wonder even at the standard of 8 weeks for puppies generally, which still seems quite young. Dog behaviouralists that I know feel the puppies benefit from an extra couple of weeks with mum and siblings to be better socialised and have more 'manners' (eg less sharp puppy biting for example because mum and siblings will have established what is acceptable and what is painful to all the pups). Do you find this to be the case? I know that TKC on this board --n who is a qualified trainer and behaviouralist -- says she finds the pups or adults that come in with behaviour issues tend to be those rehomed at 7 weeks or younger; the early separation really does seem to affect how the pup relates to the world and its self confidence and self restraint.


19th November 2005, 09:43 PM
I always understood that the best age to separate the puppies from mom/litter for new homes was 11 weeks. This is what I read and this is what was advised from my breeder. What I read in books was that this being a small breed dog, it took longer for the puppy to develop than a larger dog. I am no expert.

New Jersey

19th November 2005, 09:44 PM
We got Rory at almost 11 weeks and i'm very happy. He was wonderfully socialized w/ other dogs and also much easier to potty train because he was older!!

Bruce H
19th November 2005, 10:20 PM
I happen to think that 8 weeks is too early, although I know some breeders let them go that early. I don't really know if the CKCSC has any guidelines for that; I'll have to look it up.

We let our puppies go around 11 to 12 weeks; there's sometimes a lot of pressure to let them go earlier, but we hang tough. That way they have the extra time to be gradually weened from the mom and they are learning how to become a dog from the adults. The adults are very good about playing with them and seem to know not to be too rough. If a puppy gets a little to rough with one of the adults, the adult "disciplines" the pup (the adult makes a lot of noise, but we have yet to hear a puppy yelp); teaches the pup what is too rough. And we hear a lot of yelping when the pups are playing together when someone gets a little too rough, but that seems to decline as they get older and learn how to play without hurting so much. What's really interesting is that we will see the adults occaisionally be submissive to the pups; I think it's part of teaching the pups to be dogs.

At about 8-9 weeks, we start sending the puppies outside with the adults to do their business, under very careful supervision. That way they start getting the idea about housetraining. That's a little more of a challenge with the winter litters, like we will have with Anna and Star, it just means we may wait til 10 weeks and send them out for a shorter period of time. It may sound like a little thing, but we also teach them how to go up and down stairs because so many people have stairs in their house.

I have always said that the down side of letting them go so late is it gives us plenty of time to fall in love with them. We've tried all kinds of things to keep from falling in love with them, but nothing has worked so far.

OK, checked CKCSC Code of Ethics and they say 8 weeks minimum, but recommend 10 to 12 weeks to let puppies go.

20th November 2005, 12:33 AM
I thought I remembered something like that with the CKCSC. Thanks for the perspective on this. I agree that time spent with older dogs really seems to make a difference. It's interesting to see even a much older pup around adult dogs -- my friend has a westie who at about 6 months was into everything and a bit of a behaviour problem and a pest (I know some aficionados of the breed call then 'pesties' :lol:). I was over with my cavaliers and I was curious to see even quite submissive Jaspar letting Murphy know when he was getting annoying. My friend was delighted to have him put in his place -- I think he'd have been happy to hire my guys a couple nights a week just to teach Murphy a little more self-restraint.

I think the same with kittens -- when I foster kittens I always give them time with my two big toms who both love minding kittens. The continued nurturing is good for them, as is having an adult let them know when they are too rough (a lot of them are taken too young from their mothers so getting a foster dad id a big help for them).

When I got Leo he was 10 months old, and had not experienced stairs! He just froze on them. It took him about a week to gradually get the hang of them and now he flies up and down them.

20th November 2005, 04:47 AM
Cedar came to us when she was just 8 weeks old. She is extremely submissive with other dogs; it could certainly be linked to a lack of time with her littermates. She also seemed to struggle at first to remember to clean herself properly. Perhaps she was still used to her mom doing it for her or she hadnt fully learned it herself yet. She quickly figured that out, though.

Bruce, I think it's great that you start teaching your pups how to do stairs! Cedar, at 4 month, has finally just mastered going up and down ours. It took her a while to go up, even longer to go down! I love hearing her little feet on the stairs now, though. Her little pitterpattering feet are so cute!

20th November 2005, 07:00 PM
We brought Maxwell home at 12 weeks, and to be honest I cant imagine having one younger than that~ My girlfriend did...hers was 8 weeks, and it scared the be jeezes out of me becouse she was so darn small.

Cathy T
21st November 2005, 03:18 AM
I swear I'm coming to MN for my next cavalier!!! Love the way you do things Bruce. I talk about you all the time as an example of a caring breeder.

I got Jake at 10 weeks and Shelby at 12. Big difference between 10 and 12.

21st November 2005, 11:04 AM
both mine was 8 weeks old and yes i think its to early...1 they are very small and second my children expected a playful pup and ended up with 4 weeks where they just slept eat and went to toilet...and couldnt understand why i kept telling them to leave the pups tp sleep

Bruce H
21st November 2005, 12:49 PM
I swear I'm coming to MN for my next cavalier!!! Love the way you do things Bruce. I talk about you all the time as an example of a caring breeder.

I got Jake at 10 weeks and Shelby at 12. Big difference between 10 and 12.

Thank you so much. The way we fall in love with those darn little things, it would be impossible not to care about them. Did I ever mention we have a clause in our contract requiring a photo and short note of how a puppy is doing? We sometimes think that's a little overboard, but it does give us a chance to see how all our puppies are developing.

Darby's Mom
21st November 2005, 08:34 PM
Darby was 11 weeks when I brought her home from my mum, who breeds these wonderul little "kids." :D She also doesn't allow them to leave until at least 10 weeks. I DEFINITELY think it makes a huge difference! I don't know if my mum is genuinely trying to socialize them properly, or if she just can't bear to let them go! :lol: Just like you, Bruce, she requests photos and contact/communication with the new homes, and if anything were to happen where the puppy could not be kept, she wants him/her back! :D

21st November 2005, 08:43 PM
I've gotten pups at 8 weeks and I've gotten pups at 8 months.... It is so much an individual pup personality thing. The earliest I've homed a pup is 12 weeks-- because I can never pick which one(s) I want to keep.
When the pups turn 5 weeks --the moms here- seem to start to distance themselves from the pups. The pups seem to start to belong to the PACK. When they are first born -- the moms are VERY protective of the pups.