The best age to adopt a puppy can vary depending on the condition of the dog. Even so, it has been concluded that the optimal time to separate the puppy from the mother and the siblings is between seven and eight weeks of age , neither more nor less, which is in the middle of the socialization process that all dogs go through when they are puppies.
Although dogs continue to learn to socialize throughout their lives, the most important stage is the one that goes from three weeks of birth to three months of life. This period of time is called the ” sensitive period of socialization ” and is one of the most important, if not the most important, of the entire process of animal formation. This fact will firmly mark their behavior throughout the adult stage.
Despite this, many people choose to adopt the puppy before the recommended period, many even take it home with just a few days. This should not be done if it is not an extreme situation, such as the mother having passed away, it is always ideal to spend the first weeks of her life with her siblings and her mother .
Taking the animal out of its environment early is called ” early weaning ” and can be very problematic as it grows. That is why we always recommend waiting until the best age to adopt a puppy.
Problems of not waiting until the best age to adopt a puppy
The “early weaning” can cause these complications in the animal:
- Hyperactivity : It is true that some breeds are more hyperactive than others, but a dog can be much more hyperactive than expected if he is separated from the litter early. This happens because the mother has not been able to teach him what are the limits that he should have within the group.
- Aggression : it is possible that, by being separated before its environment, the animal does not know how to relate to other dogs, so it can develop greater aggressiveness towards others, both animals and humans.
- Non-independence syndrome : from the seventh week of the puppy’s life, the mother begins to reject her children as a natural process. This fact makes the puppies begin to be independent and that in adulthood they better cope with being alone at home. If they separate before their mother, they may suffer the syndrome of non-independence, that is, they will not cope well with being alone at home.
- No control over the bite : the fact of taking the puppy prematurely can cause the dog not to learn to control its strength. When he is in the pack, the puppy learns to control the force he has to exert when playing, which he will not do if he is separated prematurely.
- Inhibition of sexual behavior : the latest studies indicate that dogs that are weaned early may have inhibited sexual behavior in later adulthood, which can cause some other problems.
That is why it has been concluded that the best age to adopt a puppy is between seven and eight weeks old. Before it is vitally important that the dog maintains a close relationship with its mother and with the litter, this will make it a healthy and balanced adult dog . Otherwise it may be a bit more complicated.