Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

15 weeks - too old to take home ?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Obitoo, Aug 25, 2013.


  1. Obitoo

    Obitoo PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all, we've chosen our puppy from a reputable breeder, havent picked her up yet but now we're a bit worried about her age, and would appreciate any advice.

    The thing is she's already 14 weeks old, she'll be 15 by the time we take her home and from everything I've read, the 'socialisation window' shuts at 16 weeks. So is it too late, should we look for a younger pup, to avoid possible issues?

    She's a working cocker, we've done our research and know the breeds right for our active family, but I guess our concern is she's growing up in working kennels right now and everything I've read says you should take a puppy home at 12 weeks (which is what I did with my previous pup ( rest in peace) so I've got no experience of homing a pup a whole month older)

    Other info: we've got a young baby, and an old Cat :)

    Maybe it's not a big deal, maybe it is... Would appreciate any thoughts from anyone. I do have to say though that we've fallen in love with her already!
     
  2. Alice Childress

    Alice Childress PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,714
    Likes Received:
    318
    Actually with most breeds, 8 weeks old is the usual age to bring a pup home.

    It's not a problem getting your pup at 15 weeks old IF you trust and know that their breeder has been doing everything in their power to socialise the pup to everything they may need to encounter in life, to the degree that you would. That means different surfaces, household noises, men, women, children, babies, teenagers, toddlers, trains, buses, cars, the vets, shops, cats, livestock etc etc etc If they have, then great. On top of this, have they put in work into training as well? Basic manners? If you've got a baby having a slightly older pup may be easier (puppies like like having a second baby in terms of the work involved, seriously). However, personally, unless I were certain that the person had done all of this and taken it very, very seriously, then I would not want to take a pup at 15 weeks (unless a rescue).

    When you say that she's growing up in working kennels, does she actually live in the kennels full time? Or was she raised in a house? If she's been in kennels and not raised in a house, it may have been very hard for her to get the socialisation to every day noises that she needs to have had to live with you.
     
  3. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    136
    What's the reason for the dog leaving at this age rather than the usual 8 weeks? What has the breeder actually said about it?

    Have any relevant breed health tests been done?

    Cocker Spaniels are lovely, the ones I know are really energetic so if you can cope with that, great :)

    I'd be interested to know why the pup is leaving at this age, though...
     
  4. bearcub

    bearcub PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    5,451
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    As Alice Childress says it does hugely depend on the breeder and the sort of life the pup has been living up until now.

    Personally if I got another puppy I would take her home at 8 weeks as I would want to do things my way from as early as possible. I would want to socialise her my way, and unless the breeder had gone to lengths to take her out and about as much as possible then I would walk away I think, but again, that would be a very personal decision for me - I really enjoy the early socialisation phase with puppies.

    Was the puppy kept back by the breeder on purpose or has the breeder just not found a suitable home for her?
     
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    18,545
    Likes Received:
    12,594
    I wouldn't get a 15 week old pup that had lived in kennels. Apart from the socialisation/habituation that's been missed, a pup that's been accustomed to peeing and pooing in its run is going to take longer to house-train as you'll have to undo the habits already formed - not something I'd want in a house with a young baby. It would also be easier to train a younger pup not to have a go at your cat.

    Whatever you decide, hope it works out.
     
  6. Obitoo

    Obitoo PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. Yes all the health/dna tests are good so i'm happy with that, but as to why the breeders still got 4 pups of that age i dont know. She's got a second, younger litter with only one pup not yet taken so its a good question - and one we asked ourselves, just we didn't ask the breeder *durrrr* . I shall endeavour to find out, its important thank you.

    I do know the breeder has had some serious health problems in the past few weeks (v serious - hospitalised) and i do think that's put her behind on this litter (eg they're not vaccinated yet)

    I'll also try to find out about socialisation so far, I agree Alice if they've basically been doing everything that i would do then all well and good, but if not then...hmmm well. I do know they work on training the pups daily, they all had v good retrieves, so that gives me some confidence.
     
  7. WeedySeaDragon

    WeedySeaDragon PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Messages:
    2,594
    Likes Received:
    56
    If they've not been vaccinated that suggests they may well not have been out and about much.

    It's all very well doing training at home on a daily basis but at that age you want them out getting good positive experiences with all sorts that they're likely to encounter in daily life.

    I'd be concerned that they may not have much in the way of experience of life outside their breeder's property.
     
  8. redroses2106

    redroses2106 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    6,343
    Likes Received:
    546

    why does she have two litters? that would ring alarm bells with me straight away.

    as for an older pup - tbh if I was buying from a breeder I would want my pup at 8 weeks, however lots of people get older rescue / rehome dogs, so I don't think a slightly older pup would be so bad so long as some socialisation has been done.
     
  9. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    136
    Great that you're checking all of this out - far too many folk don't.

    I would definitely want to know more about the two litters; does the breeder own the parent dogs for both litters?

    If you want to, you are welcome to PM me a link to the breeder's website; I'm certainly no expert on this breed but I'd be happy to take a look and let you know if anything rings real alarm bells with me?

    Or I'm sure some of the folk that are experienced with this breed would be happy to look at the link?
     
  10. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    35
    I would question the "breeder" why 2 litters at same time, could this be a byb??
     
  11. planete

    planete PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    700
    I got my now two years old male lurcher at 15 weeks. He had lived outside with his siblings until then, but had a lot of human contact and handling. He had not, however, been off the breeder's premises.

    I worked very hard at socialising him. It took him three weeks of puppy classes and daily walks in places where we were sure to meet people and other dogs before he was confident but he got there. He is now a take anywhere, do anything with kind of dog. He has never had a spat with another dog, he puts up with the disruption of foster dogs coming and going in the house. He is the dog I trust to be never disruptive, grumpy or 'deaf' to commands. He has done agility and is starting pet gun dog classes next week.

    If you are prepared to implement a thorough socialisation programme I would say go for it from my own experience. Socialisation is best started early but I believe the 'window' is not slammed shut at 16 weeks, only slightly less wide open. House training is being done successfully in a couple of weeks with adult rescues so not a major hurdle here, and basic training is just that. It does not take long to teach sit, down and the beginning of stay. If the pup is healthy and you like the parents' temperament her age would not worry me. She should also have acquired very good bite inhibition by now from prolonged contact with her siblings, that is one thing I did not need to teach my dog.
     
  12. Obitoo

    Obitoo PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, they do have a lot of dogs - they breed working bassets and labs too. To me, its a country couple with a bunch of dogs (and chickens, and geese). But maybe i'm being naive. They showed me the KC pedigree for our pup and of the two litters they have three of the parents.

    Having just googled the adverts, it seems that the younger litter's dam is a ftch - whereas the older litter we're looking at only has ftch's 3 or 4 gen's back, so is that why the 4 in our litter aren't taken perhaps? We've made the specific decision that we don't want a highly strung trialling dog, we're just after a pet with good working stamina thats not *too* mental :)
     
  13. leashedForLife

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    19,309
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Primary socialization is from 4-WO to 12-WO.

    Secondary socialization is 12-WO to 6-MO, but if the pup has missed a lot, 2ndary is MUCH more work,
    for MUCH-less gain. That doesn't mean this pup is hopeless or even less than wonderful - it depends entirely
    on how much effort's been expended by the breeder.
    Has this pup met any cats?
    Or any babies? How old is Ur baby? Under 6-Mos? Over a year?

    I'd hesitate to get a younger pup with an infant who's not yet potty-trained, already in the house -
    one UNhousetrained child at a time, of whatever species, greatly simplifies life!

    OTOH, this pup is already old-enuf to begin housetraining the day U bring her home; an 8-WO pup faces a month
    of scheduling before they can start housetraining, as they don't have functional sphincters till 12-WO.

    If U've "fallen in love", was that with photos or a living pup?
    if U've met her, what was Ur impression? Is she friendly, confident, outgoing, happy?
    Does she flinch when touched, or avoid strangers? Is she wiggly & investigative?
    Good Qs!
    Socialization is to any living being; habituation is everything else [sounds, sights, movement...].

    Has she been in a house?
    Did U meet her IN the house, or see her & her sibs in the kennels?

    Did U meet her dam? How was she - friendly, outgoing, happy to meet a friendly stranger?
    Yes -
    she's not the only leftover pup, she's got siblings who are still at home.

    Was the breeder hunting for another breeding prospect, hunting trails candidates, or ____ ?
    I wouldn't worry about that much; if she'd lived in a PETSHOP cube or any other tiny area with her waste,
    yes, but not if it's an I/O kennel run. That's room to toilet & not lie in it, which is what breaks down
    a pup's impulse NOT to void where s/he sleeps.
    Fetch isn't a critical skill for a pet-dog, :p altho i think it's great fun for everyone, dog & human.

    How outgoing, interactive, & bold is she?
    do novel sounds or sights make her flinch, bolt, or freeze?
    .
    .
     
  14. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    35
    For me if someone was breeding that amount of dogs and different breeds it would flash up a very big warning light,sorry dont want to worry you but i would not get a puppy from these people
     
  15. Obitoo

    Obitoo PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point, but we're ready for that!

    Thanks, yes i was wondering/hoping if this would be the case (from prev experience of tiny bladders heh)

    We've met the litter, and the parents. The pups are wiggly and inquisitive and everything you'd expect. Super friendly to strangers. The one i fell for isn't the boldest or the pushiest, but what clinched it for me was meeting the dam who was easily one of the friendliest bounciest loveliest (sp?) dogs i've ever met, she just bowled me over.

    Kennels. I dont think she's been in a house, but i'll find out. This bothers me.
     
  16. leashedForLife

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    19,309
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    in that case, i really wouldn't be too bothered.

    Are there 2 adults in the house, for the housetrain / socialize / habituate phase?
    That will really make a HUGE difference, if U are a single mum without good solid network support,
    i'd skip this puppy until the child / infant is older - which BTW i haven't seen yet, just how old
    is the human infant?... & boy or girl? [Boys tend to provoke bites more than girls, hence the Q.]

    U've got just over 2-months to get the rest of socialize / habituate, but it sounds as tho she's got
    a good foundation to build on, at the very least.

    Are there older children? They can help too, U know. :yesnod: Any kid 8-YO & up can help train,
    many kids are more enthusiastic than adults about teaching the pup, & they've got more time, too.
    .
    .
     
  17. Fluffster

    Fluffster Crazy for cockers

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    4,082
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    Hi!

    We were in a v similar situation to you - we went to see a 14 week old working cocker last week, and as expected, ended up bringing her home! She was so friendly when we went to see her, not scared at all, just really curious and since we've brought her home, she's been great. She's met my friend's dogs and got on well, been good with my two cats even though they hate her at the moment and loves meeting new people. We had planned to get an eight week old cocker, but so far I have no regrets about getting a slightly older one. She even sleeps right though the night without needing a toilet break which is great - I kept waking her every two hours the first night and taking her out before I realised she didn't need to go.

    I think they're such lively and friendly dogs in general that as long as you start socialising them the minute you get them home, they're absolutely fine. We are trying to expose her to as much new stuff as possible, she hasn't had her vaccinations so you need to get a bit creative - we carry her places so she can see new things and have had some puppy play dates with dogs I know are vaccinated and safe.
     
  18. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    19,069
    Likes Received:
    16,036
    I prefer to get a young pup around 8 weeks but have twice had pups of around 18 weeks. One was at the vets to be put down and she had a lot of issues initially but turned out to be the perfect family pet. The other one had been kenneled all her life. The breeder kept most of her dogs outside and she had run on 2 bitch pups and decided not to keep either so I had the choice.
    She was a bit nervous of men but that could have been because of an incident when I had only just got her but apart from that she was no trouble at all.

    If you like the breeder and the pup I would go for it. If they have working dogs (you say one of the bitches is a FTCH) then they are obviously not churning out rubbish. What is wrong with having two litters with a few weeks difference in age. Could be the bitches came in season close together!
     
  19. littleangel01

    littleangel01 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    9
    think as long as you are happy with the breeder then it should be fine lexi and rio came to me at 16 weeks lexi was abused but rio from a family and was great easy to train ect.

    my mate had a pom puppy who was kept back as she was an only pup friend got her at 14 weeks i think and again as she had been looked after met people kids and lived with cats she was great

    on the other hand i know someone who gt a lurcher pup at 15 weeks last one left had lived outside in kennels with his mom never been in the house met kids only been around people when fed or parents taken out ect was fine when meeting and around his parents but once home he was terrified of everything :( would hid at normal everyday sounds growled at kids and strangers if got to close sadly even tho they did classes ect they ended up rehoming him to a single male relative at 7months as he bonded with one person but was aggressive to everyone else and couldnt be trused with the kids he is now happy in a one person home.

    s others have said as long as the pup has had some socialising ect then it should be fine if not then just be prepared you may have to do a little more training with noise people ect
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice