I just ran across your forum and was reading some of the feedback, and noticed that it's not recommended that puppies are separated/leave home before 8 weeks. This was unknown to me when we recently acquired a puppy at 6 weeks, and I was hoping for some tips on how to minimize the psychological/temperamental impacts this may have? Now I feel bad about the poor pup who should still be with his fam :(
Any insight would be much appreciated! Thanks!
First of all, don't be overly upset with yourself over this, it's really the breeders' responsibility to make sure that their puppies are kept with their canine family for the correct length of time.
Many puppy owners, especially first timers, don't realize that 5, 6 or even 7 weeks is really too young for a puppy to be rehomed.
Although you can see issues such as fearfulness, anxiety, separation anxiety, excessive nipping/mouthing, housetraining problems etc. in puppies who have left their momma too early, these are generally things that can be overcome with love, patience and understanding.
At 6 weeks old a puppy is barely weaned, and is a tiny infant. Potty training is going to be problematic for most of these pups as they have basically no bladder/bowel control. If their owner realizes this and is accepting of their limitations, sets up a routine and is consistent with efforts to introduce housebreaking slowly, this can be overcome. However, if a puppy is punished for something he simply can't control, then it can lead to long-term problems.
A young pup like this may also be extra 'needy' and be very anxious if left alone. Bite-inhibition hasn't been fully learned yet either, and owners may need to put extra time and effort into dealing with this puppy behavior.
You obviously are keen to do the best for your puppy and to help him adjust to his new home and family, and if you follow the guidelines on the pages below I think you and your pup will do just fine :o)
To help you get off on the right foot I would recommend that you check out the following pages... and I wish you the very best of luck with your new pup.
New Puppy Care
Crate Training A Puppy
Socialize Your Puppy
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