Picking up pup: 8 weeks vs 14 weeks?

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fwagner

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This topic has probably made its rounds through hunt talk but the search engine on this site is a struggle to use. I currently have a 11 year old pointing lab and am considering getting another pointing lab out of a breeder in Knoxville Iowa. I have always picked up my pup at 7-8 weeks and have never had a problem. The breeder prefers that you let them keep your pup for an additional 6 weeks (14 total) to go through their "Head start" program. What is everyone's opinion on this. Personally I'm not interested in the program and would like to have my dog at 8 weeks, lot's of fun memories are made training them in my opinion and if you put the time in you shouldn't have a problem. Also this will be a new situation for me in that my 11 year old isn't long for the world and I'm wondering what impact her dying would have on the younger dog? Does anyone have any experience with that? Thanks for all your help!!!
 

belly-deep

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I get mine at 8 weeks. Is there an extra fee for the "head start" program? Might just be an additional money maker for the breeder.

I goof around with my pups a little bit, but they either have it or not. I don't really start training on them until 9-12 months.
 

Boomerusaf

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Is there an extra fee for the "head start" program? Might just be an additional money maker for the breeder.
I totally agree with this, it sounds like a sales pitch! I like getting my pup at 8 weeks! That way you get your imprint early and communication can begin. Just my two cents.
 

406LIFE

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If you are training your own, I see no benefit to letting them keep them. My training starts on day one of being home, I wouldn't want to loose six weeks. That's also prime bonding time with your pup, for it and you. The only reason I would let someone keep my pup is to housebreak it, I could do without that. Otherwise just give me my dog.
 

Bigjay73

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I'm a firm believer in 8 weeks. Gives them time to learn some manners from momma, but not the bad habits from living the lord of the flies life. I hope they aren't keeping all the pups together for the extra 6 weeks.
 

Trial153

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In a pointing dog or retriever I would go with the 8 weeks to get a jump on bonding and manners. For a hound I would way rather see their personality and conformation at 4 months before I picked him out.
 

Nutrioso

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I’ve read and heard good arguments for both positions. I think it depends on your circumstances. If you have the time and ability to socialize the pup in that early period, it makes sense to get him home and get that process started. That is what your breeder should be doing during that time.

One thing to think about is that before Parvo immunity develops there is a risk in taking the pup around areas where other canines have been, so if that is the socalization plan keeping it a bit longer at a reputable breeder where there is less exposure makes some sense.

While I think dogs are impacted somewhat by the sudden absence of a kennel mate, in my experience it has not been a problem. As long as the pup bonds to you as his number one guy and not to your pensioner, you should be fine.
 

MJE2083

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8 weeks for me. Not sure if it's an actual correlation, but my last pup came home at 7 weeks and got very ill 2 days afterwards. A hospital stay and $2,000 later she was fine, but I never want to go through that again. All my others have been 8 weeks or later, and never a problem.
 
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fwagner

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All my thoughts exactly..... they keep them with the litter and they do charge a fee. Thanks for the help!
 

TimeOnTarget

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7 weeks for me on my last 2 labs.

If you saw an ad in the paper for 14 week old puppies would you consider it? No different than what he is trying to pull here.
 

dan.kirkpatrick

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Ive bred many litters of labs over several years,,{country/ranch style} and we start letting them go sometimes as early as 6 weeks if they are eating solid food by then,,id aim for 7-8 weeks unless you are having them trained,,find out the info on your head start program and see what it really is?either way,start the training as soon as possible.
 

Horse

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7-8 weeks. Start basic obedience immediately at home. Start playing fetch and using wing on stick, if you are going to want a "pointing" dog. Then after a few months look at "classes" if you don't have a lot of experience training.
 
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