Bring home an 11-week old Weimaraner puppy?
October 13, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Is 11 weeks too old to bring home a Weimaraner puppy?

We've talked to the breeder. We asked her a lot of questions about why she breeds dogs, how they were brought up, etc. We're satisfied with all the answers.

The puppy we're interested in bringing home is the last pup in the litter to be spoken for. She's 11 weeks old and currently living with a couple other litter mates that haven't been picked up yet.

She told us that the pups were brought up indoors in her house at first, then lived in a 10x20 ft area with a doggy door that opened onto some grass. She said the puppies were exposed to several family and friends. It sounded like more kids than adults.

I've read so much about how removing a puppy before 7-8 weeks is too soon for many dogs. But I've also read so much about how 8 weeks is the beginning of an extremely important socialization period that only lasts a little bit longer.

We'd like to crate train our puppy and help her get used to all the people, places and noises that she'll encounter in a busy life of exercising around our city.

How big a deal is it for a puppy to spend weeks 8-11 with her doggy family and breeder instead of her new home? Are we going to have trouble crate training, potty training, and socializing? Or is this no big deal as long as we introduce her to new people and places right away?
posted by reeddavid to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
11 weeks is just fine. She'll likely have better dog manners than puppies who were homed sooner than that. There's still plenty of time for socialization. Keep in mind she needs all of her vaccinations before you start bringing her new places outside of her home ground.
posted by vers at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you don't trust the breeder to have properly socialized the dog, then you don't trust the breeder. You might see if she's willing to provide references of other people she's sold dogs to, and see if they're willing to talk about how well-socialized their dogs were when they got them.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:21 AM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I own a weimaraner. If this breeder is allowing her pups to be removed before 12 weeks (tho I think 11 wouldn't matter so much)—and it sounds like she is: She's 11 weeks old and currently living with a couple other litter mates that haven't been picked up yet, then I wouldn't trust the breeder bc she is not caring for these puppies properly. It sounds like she's just breeding them and getting them out the door as soon as possible in order to save on care costs as well as collect her fees for the puppies. Is she a backyard breeder? No reputable breeder I know of would let the pups leave before 12 weeks.
posted by violetk at 11:28 AM on October 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

I brought my pup (lab/rotweiler cross) home at exactly 11 weeks earlier this summer. He's one of the most socialized dogs I've ever known/
posted by mannequito at 11:49 AM on October 13, 2012

Is she a backyard breeder? No reputable breeder I know of would let the pups leave before 12 weeks.

This is contrary to my experience. Most breeders I know home the puppies between 8-12 weeks depending on a bunch of factors.

Dogs are individuals and so some dogs will be totally fine to be re-homed at 8 weeks and others will do better at 8-10 or even 12 weeks. There are lots of opinions on what is best and for what reasons. It's possible to overthink it.

FWIW, both of my dogs came from highly regarded and respected breeders and were brought home at 8-9 weeks.

As for socialization, the doggie day cares around here do puppy play dates, where you can bring your pup in for playtime with other puppies of similar age and temperament. We did that with both of our dogs until they were nearly a year old, and it worked out really well. Alternatively, puppy classes are a good chance for them to play with a variety of other dogs, too.

I wouldn't expect you'll have real trouble crating, potty training or anything else. Weims can be a very active dog, however. Be prepared to do lots of walking and working with them. Some dogs are perfectly content to be couch potatoes, but Weims typically aren't those dogs.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:34 PM on October 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

I admit I'm a bit confused by your question. People bring home and train dogs of all ages. (They don't spoil!)

Whether or not you have difficulty potty training the pup depends on what you consider a hassle. I brought a pup home at 16 weeks, took him out to pee every two hours (yep, even in the night) for the first week. And then every four hours (plus after any big toy chewing session) for about a week and everything worked out. I also crate trained him at the same time. He lived outside with his litter mates before then -- so it was all new.

I'll give you one hint. At the beginning, at the moment they start to pee say something like "do your business!" and give them lots of enthusiastic praise when they're done. For pooping I say "got poops?!" When finished, call him to you and reward him with enthusiasm. (interrupts any plans for running off he might've had -- returning to me is what happens after poops).

Eventually, they'll associate the words with the action and it'll become a command. My dogs will empty their bladders every time I say "do your business!" even if it's just a small amount. If I say "got poops!" they start looking for a place to poop. If they haven't got poops, they sort of look at me and do a little hop to let me know they haven't got poops.
posted by vitabellosi at 1:06 PM on October 13, 2012 [7 favorites]

11 weeks is perfect. 14 weeks is too late and a dog will become dependent on it's littermates by then, but 11 weeks is perfect. The dog will be socialized by it's littermates and ready to enter the wider world.
posted by SpecialK at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I got my giant breed dog at 11 weeks and it's worked out fine and my potty training method was like vitabellosi's. This teaches them the command for going to the bathroom. I gave my guy a treat as a reward. This is really important.

I used the crate for a while but my dog never really liked it. Once he stopped chewing stuff and was housebroken, I stopped using it. However, many dogs like their crates and consider them a safe, den-like place. My big guy prefers his giant pillow where he can sprawl. I use the crate for emergencies and for travel.

Most dogs are given away between 8 and 12 weeks. I wouldn't trust someone who gave dogs away at less than 8 weeks but more should not be a problem. Dogs are pretty resilient, just be consistent with training and routine. I made sure my dog went lots of different places as a puppy and I let lots of people pet him. I had him play with lots of other dogs. Bikes, skateboarders don't phase him. He's good at riding elevators, walking through crowds.

I read an article earlier this year, however, where a couple that raised Shiba Inus said they had to be picked up by a certain time or they would behave differently. (They weren't breeders but got their dogs from a breeder.) I can't find the article now.
posted by shoesietart at 9:42 PM on October 13, 2012

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