Picking up my puppy too early from breeder?
  • rcarr03rcarr03
    Posts: 8
    Hello guys,

    I just wanted your input on something. Japanese law states that breeders can't sell their puppies until the puppies are 45 days old. I'm planning on picking my puppy up at the 48 day mark. However, I've researched that people don't normally pick up their dogs until the 8 week mark. Should I wait?

    My puppy will be a Kai Ken.
  • AjaxAjax
    Posts: 123
    Hi, greeting from Japan. We're in Misawa.

    If it were me, I would try to wait until he's at least 56 days or 8 weeks old (with 8-10 weeks being ideal in my mind) Leading up to 8 weeks is a critical development time for puppies who are learning important socialization skills from both their littermates and their mother that their going to use for the rest of their lives.

    Almost 7 weeks old isn't that bad, and shouldn't be a deal breaker, but it may make your work a little harder. That's of course considering that they only are getting a benefit if they are living in a good environment at the breeder's. If they're not being cared for then staying longer will only do them harm.

    What's the reason that you're picking him up at the 48 day mark?
    Not much you can do if its due to work or travel responsibilities, but if it the breeder is insisting that you pick him up when it's just barely legal then that would be a red flag to me.

    If you are concerned about getting an early pick from the litter, perhaps you can buy the puppy at that time and then offer the breeder an extra fee to keep him for an extra week or so to benefit from the socialization.

    We got Ajax from Shigeru at 10 weeks and while he wasn't Ajax's breeder I know that he was socializing him during his stay and I think that was part of the reason Ajax was such an easy puppy.

    Anyway, congratulations and good luck with your new puppy. :)
    Post edited by Ajax at 2016-08-24 06:34:40
  • rcarr03rcarr03
    Posts: 8
    Hello Ajax,

    Thank you for your input. I trust this breeder and I did ask them at the time if taking the puppy right after the 45 day mark was too early, they told me it would be fine. However, they also left the decision up to me for when I wanted to pick him up. I knew that puppies usually get to their homes by the 60 day mark but I never knew why. So I opted to pick him up as early as I could, not knowing that the last two weeks were vital to learning their bite inhibition and socialization. I'm most likely leaning towards calling them up and asking to see if they can hold them until 60 days old.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    When are the litter mates being picked up, and are they still with mom? While I do agree that 8 weeks is best, but that is sort of also relying on the fact that the rest of the litter is staying that long as well. If the littermates are all getting picked up early and everyone has been separated from mom already, then it may just hinder his development if you wait. He can't learn bite inhibition and socialization if he's living by himself.
  • rcarr03rcarr03
    Posts: 8
    I believe I got first pick so I don't know if and when the rest of the puppies are being picked up.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    It doesn't hurt to ask
  • rcarr03rcarr03
    Posts: 8
    Actually, is picking up the puppy at the 7 week mark that big of a difference from 8 weeks?
  • AjaxAjax
    Posts: 123
    A week is a long time in the life a puppy that young. Think of it as 25% more socialization (assuming he's still with his litter) that you won't be able to replicate yourself. It can't hurt (unless he's spending a week alone in a crate). So beneficial, but not required, from what I've seen, the real problems come with puppies separated 6 weeks or younger.

    I believe this is the current thinking...
    Canine Socialization Period: 3-7 weeks
    This is when your dog learns the species-specific behaviors that make him a dog.
    Through interaction with mother and littermates, the pup learns the body language, facial
    expressions and vocalizations of canine communication. It’s important that puppies
    remain with their littermates for this entire period. Modern thinking is that it is beneficial
    to extend this until 8 to 10 weeks, as long as the breeder provides a rich, stimulated

    Just a side note, I would try to pick him at the start of a weekend. If you can dedicate those first few days completely to him, they make a huge difference in house training. :)
    Post edited by Ajax at 2016-08-24 10:24:29
  • note above- "as long as the breeder provides a rich, stimulating environment"
  • Myabee09Myabee09
    Posts: 552
    I got my Kai at almost 4 months old, and she was the easiest puppy I've ever had. I would have preferred to get her closer to 10 weeks old, but the holidays fell around that time and it was impossible. I've also gotten a puppy (not nk) at 7 weeks old and there was a major difference in the training and socialization involved. I agree with @Ajax that one week can make a big difference if the puppy is with the littermates and in a healthy environment. I think calling the breeder and discussing putting off the pickup for at least one more week would be a good idea. That way, you can find out what's going on with the other puppies, what kind of living space they have, and see what the breeder thinks about everything.
  • Eight weeks is a *minimum* age... I feel that closer to 12 is much better for the pup. Which is why we keep all of our puppies until 12 weeks now!
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2016-08-24 15:26:36
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    Honestly I think it really depends. If this helps you at all, I picked up my second puppy earlier than 8 weeks and she did just fine. We were extra vigilant in not taking her out too early being so young. She did have an older "sibling" at home to play with, which helped with the socialization aspect I guess though. She turned out to be great and healthy, and I don't believe we inhibited any social development.

    What I would absolutely recommend though in any case is making sure you talk with your breeder about as much of this as you can if possible and work with them to ensure a good outcome (if that kind of dialogue is possible). I think that was key in my case. They were always there too along the way if something did come up, which was so nice to know they were always there for me.

    I think 8 weeks is the standard if you can, but be flexible and educate yourself if that is not something that's attainable, whether you have to pick up earlier or later than 8 weeks.
    Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 528
    The breeder may be willing to hold the puppy longer for you, but how will it be cared for, and socialized? Will it be separated from its mother and littermates, who may also be leaving near the 45 day mark? It's possible the breeder keeps a pup, and they could remain together for a while, but with the mother is best. If it would be alone, you may be able to provide better socialization yourself. No matter what the Western ideal is, you'll have to judge what is best in your individual case.
    Post edited by zandrame at 2016-08-25 07:43:04
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3449
    So wait...you're getting your puppy from a breeder in Japan? Unless it's from Shigeru or someone who raises puppies like he does, it's probably BETTER that you get your puppy as early as you can so you can do the socializing that it seems many breeders in Japan may not do.
    Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 240
    If all the other puppies are getting picked up early, then I would pick up your puppy early too. If the breeder has to hold on to only your puppy, they're not going to put the extra work into it that you will, and it is unlikely it will still even be with its mother much to learn anything. It will simply become something kind of 'inconvenient' for the breeder, not to mention if you try to act like you know more than they do then they're most likely going to become offended.

    I'm making loads of assumptions here, but if they're sending them home early then usually they just want them out of their hair sooner rather than later (weeks 7/8 are when they are most mobile and start eating / pooping more).

    Tain, Nare the GSD/Husky, and Tavi the Kaigirl!
  • rcarr03rcarr03
    Posts: 8
    Thanks everyone, I made the decision to get him at the 7 week mark. I appreciate all the input guys!

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