Can anybody tell me what ill effects a dog might suffer if pulled from the mother at a very early age? He is small now but we are assured he will catch up. He was only able to get milk from his mother for a couple of weeks, then supplement formula. Should we still pay top dollar for this dog?
I dont think that the concern with being pulled from the mother too young is so much the health concerns but the socialization of the dog with its mother and litter mates. If the breeder is trying to get you to take the dog too early? that is definately not a good breeder and I would stay clear.
It is commonly known that puppies should be kept with their mother for at least 8 weeks. 8 weeks is not just a made up number. People who study puppy development recommend AT LEAST 8 weeks for MANY, MANY reasons. I would never take a pup earlier than that.
They have problems with socializing with both people and other animals/dogs. They do not properly learn bite inhibition.
After having done rescue so long I really believe this because so often people say this dogs bites people/dogs, growls, barks uncontrollably, acts skittish,etc etc and of course the pups was brought home at six weeks old. Of course good training can help this but its hard if not impossible to teach what a mom dogs and the other pups can. Just leaving a dog the extra couple of weeks with mom and the other pups just sets it up to thrive vs struggle.
Is this pup still around the other pups? Why was it pulled from mom? What are you wanting it for?
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons -James Thurber
So as long as you give it all th elove it needs, all the right foods and milk. I am sure you'll do just fine as well as the puppy. It is sad to see them pulled from the mother so young. But 8 weeks is not a long time. So if after a few months I'm sure the puppy will consider you MOM or DAD. Then you have a friend for life.
during a puppy's development, they go through various stages of both physical and mental development. There is a particular fear stage at 7 weeks of age and they need their mom. Smaller breeds can be taken from mom at 8 weeks and larger breeds from 10 to 12 weeks. To me, taking a pup away from mom earlier than 8 weeks will not provide the pup with the socialization and security it needs. Hence, the pup may develop issues like the aforementioned uncontrollable barking, and be fearful. If the breeder is so eager to sell the puppy before 8 weeks, I would be very wary.
Note that there is another fear stage at around 10 months but the pup is older and has hopefully bonded with its new mom and can rely on you to provide the security it needs.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
An orphan puppy can be hand raised to be a normal dog... however it should be done by a knowledgeable breeder. I know breeders who have lost the mother of the puppies shortly after she whelped them and the litter needed to be hand raised. I also have a friend who had a singleton pup from a bitch who whelped almost a week early (they saved 1 of the 6 puppies - they were not really ready to be born) and her maternal instincts never kicked in. She never had milk and when they tried giving her the puppy she tried to bury it or hide it. So they took him away from her and hand raised him.
However, they've been showing and raising Shelties for 35 years and knew what to do to properly socialize him.
It's not a task I'd encourage a pet owner to take on. You CAN socialize him properly - but I'd recommend you read up on "pack behavior" and start establishing yourself as pack leader. He should probably go through Puppy Kindergarten classes and be socialized to other dogs as soon as he's vaccinated.
And a knowledgeable, responsible breeder won't let someone take a puppy home until at least 8 weeks no matter what the situation with weaning is like. I'd be more concerned about his genetic health as it sounds like you're dealing with a lazy, unethical breeder if they let you take a puppy younger than 8 weeks home... really - if there was a reason it was weaned early, it should have stayed with it's breeder LONGER. It's their job to do that early socialization. Not the person who is BUYING the puppy.
And even if there's no longer a mother the pup's littermates play a huge role as well. they learn from their siblings.
Puppies pulled too soon can have behavior problems, health problems, as well as difficulty adjusting to a new home. Puppies' mothers teach them about being a dog too. It's not a good idea to take them so soon. some breders keep small breed pups till they're 12 weeks old.