Hi. I have a friend who just got themselves a new puppy but they got it at 5 weeks old. What stage would the puppy be at in his learning and seperation from mommy? What could harm him having been seperated at this age? thanks everyone
Puppies learn bite inhibition from their litter mates as well as general socialization. That's why most decent breeders don't sell their pups until 8 weeks, and personally I sell mine at 10,to get them past the fear imprint stage, sometimes longer.Why did your friends buy the puppy so young?
It's all theory and depends on the individual dog. I bet if they spend time in training it, the dog will be just fine.
Our best, favorite dog, that sleeps with my son every night for the past 3 years, was a singleton that's mother died. Hand raised by people NEVER had interaction with other puppies or even it's mother.
Dogs, like children are resilient and in good hands will be just fine.
Ali the difference is that YOU are a breeder. You know how to hand raise a puppy and compensate for the lack of a mother. You also have other, maternal dogs in your home... There is a BIG difference. I could hand raise a motherless puppy without many socialization problems... my uncle and aunt can barely train their dog...
The biggest concern for me would be that the puppy hasn't been properly vaccinated or wormed. I would make sure that is a priority for them and that they work out a good schedule with their vet.
I would also be concerned how the puppy was weaned and pay attention to food intake. If it was just ripped away from Mama and not transitioned on to solid food, they may have trouble the first couple of days getting it to eat. Don't give table scraps. Try and get the puppy going on a good quality food (Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul, Eagle Pack Holistic, Nature's Logic... something along those lines - NOT Puppy Chow, Pedigree, Iams, Science Diet...).
And bite inhibition will probably be the biggest challenge depending on the breed. The puppy will probably "play bite" and "mouth" a lot (meaning it will like to stick hands in it's mouth and bite down, nip at ankles, etc...). The mother dog and siblings teach a puppy that biting hurts if done roughly.
I would expect training (housebreaking and obedience training) to be a little more tricky. Housebreaking especially will be rough going the first several weeks. Tell them not to expect the puppy to even START to be housebroken until 10-12 weeks. Most people don't realize that before 8-10 weeks most puppies have to potty every 30-60 minutes. That has nothing to do with being taken away from the mother... just thought I'd share that bit of info. I would start the puppy on paper training until it is at least 8-10 weeks and do NOT scold it for accidents. It's not old enough to start housebreaking yet. Also don't expect to start training for a couple of weeks. They can "play" and use commands - but formal training will be beyond the puppy for a couple of weeks yet.
And keep it's sleeping and playing areas warm. It has just recently developed the ability to regulate it's own body temp. Don't leave it outside if it's below 40 degrees for more than 2-3 minutes. Keep it's sleeping/living area at about 70-75 degrees.
Really, puppies just start to walk at about 4 weeks... this pup is a baby baby still. Really not ready to leave it's breeder. But with patience and love it should develop just fine. They do need to discuss vaccines and worming with their vet ASAP though.
OH - and tell them to keep it away from strange dogs outside the household and don't take it to public places until it has had at least 2 puppy vaccines!
They have already made arrangements for the first vaccines when its 6 weeks old and it was showing interest in using the paper. They didn't get it from a breeder. Its was someone who didn't fix their female and then end result was pups. What food would you suggest? They were going to go with large breed techni cal puppy formula. Is it good?? They don't have the internet so i'm doing this for them
http://ashleyspets.com/DogFood.html - I really like this webpage for looking at foods. It explains what is good and bad about dog food and also has links at the bottom for websites for the better brands. Go with something really high quality. The dog actually eats MUCH less kibble on a high grade food (my dogs literally ate 1/2 as much food on Canidae verses Science Diet). You'll either want a puppy food OR an "All Life Stages" food (the ALS foods use the theory that puppies just eat more when growing verses a puppy formula - it's the same theory we use for people kids). I usually like ALS foods better because there is so much conflicting info on when you stop feeding puppy food - HOWEVER I am using Chicken Soup right now which has a puppy formula and I have been switching puppies to adult food at 6 months.
Good nutrition does a lot for a dog. And if she's a large breed puppy - you'll really see a BIG difference in how much kibble she goes through on a higher grade food (like the difference between feeding 6 cups of food a day or 3 cups a day).