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Thread: How long do pups need to be with their momma?

  1. #1
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    Default How long do pups need to be with their momma?

    I am looking at buying a female lab that helped a litter of pups 3.5 weeks ago. The guy that is selling her is thinking that the momma could be picked next weekend (pups would be 4.5 weeks) old. Shouldn't the mom stay with the litter until the pups are all gone to their new homes?

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    Senior Member stonybrook's Avatar
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    7-8 weeks is typical.
    "Speed of the captain, speed of the ship."

    Travis Lund
    Stony Brook Kennels
    www.stonybrookkennels.net
    Foley, MN

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    Member Cptmorgan177's Avatar
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    I wouldn't until at least 6 weeks. The pups shouldn't be picked up until at least 7 weeks. But they should be done with momma at 6 weeks. However momma will need time to recover from the litter before she can do much of anything anyway, so there is no rush.

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    I am not in any big hurry either. I just want to make sure his pups have their momma as long as they should have.

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    Senior Member Cass's Avatar
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    Pups should stay till at least 8 weeks. There are a lot of studies done out there supporting this. In the past it was the norm to pick up a pup at 6 or 7 weeks old, but new research heavily favors that a dog will be more mentally sound if left longer. I intentionally didn't pick my last guy up until he was 9 weeks, and there is a huge difference between him and my female who we got at 6. He just seems to adjust much better to everything be it other dogs or every day life. My female, not so much. Obviously all dogs are different but I do believe that taking a pup too soon can negatively affect it for its entire life. Those first few weeks with its mother and siblings are a crucial part of a dog's development and where the greatest amount of development and learning who it is takes place. I would not be picking the female up for awhile yet, and I would be saying something about selling the pups that young as well.

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    Cass, He is not letting the pups go to their new homes until 7 or 8 weeks, I am referring to him letting the mom of the pups go home with me before the pups are gone at 7-8 weeks old. He is talking about me getting the momma when the pups are 4.5 weeks old and I told him that I am not in a big hurry to get her and that I felt she should stay with the pups until they are to their new homes.

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    IMO you do not want to pick up the Dam that early. Never mind the puppies, she could have significant post partum issues that you could end up having to deal with and be financially responsible for if she has not fully recovered from whelping/nursing. The same rule applies to purchasing any dog, you don't take them if you know they're not healthy.

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    They may not need mom for the bulk of their food, but mom still teaches some lessons to the pups. I keep mom with the pups through 6 weeks, although they spent a lot of time away from the pups as the pups get older, but there is still time spent with the pups. I let my pups go home after 7 weeks, and take mom away completely 3 days before the first goes home.
    Nate Baxter, DVM
    Lebanon, OH

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    Senior Member Bally's Gun Dogs's Avatar
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    I wean between 4-6 weeks depending on the litter and the bitch...some are not worth the fight to try and keep them nursing.

    Then 2-3 weeks for female to completely dry up as each female is different.

    I am retiring a female that will be going home when pups are 8.5 weeks old. She will have been completely dried up, spayed, and healed so all potentially complications are handled by me not her retirement home.
    ~Cortney Bally~

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    Senior Member Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jax View Post
    Cass, He is not letting the pups go to their new homes until 7 or 8 weeks, I am referring to him letting the mom of the pups go home with me before the pups are gone at 7-8 weeks old. He is talking about me getting the momma when the pups are 4.5 weeks old and I told him that I am not in a big hurry to get her and that I felt she should stay with the pups until they are to their new homes.
    I get that - but whats the difference? They are still being taken away from their mother. Whether the pups are at his house or someone else's there is very little difference other then the fact that they have their litter mates. The dam is a crucial piece of the puzzle.

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