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Thread: 49 Days????

  1. #1
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    Default 49 Days????

    I have always picked up my dogs at 49 days because that is what I was told is the right time, what is the science behind this? What is the difference from day 42, 45, 52, etc.?

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    Senior Member 1st retriever's Avatar
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    I got my Irish Wolfhoud at 6 wks old. I will never do it again. She missed out on exploring with her littermates and getting to be a puppy. I attribute part of her issues to this. The other part I attribute to bad breeding. Just my experience.
    Steph

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    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    The old theory using 49 days as a 'rule' is misinterpreted science. Many moons ago (1950-60's ish) a couple of reserachers named Scott & Fuller were investing the nature vs nurture debate using dogs. They were looking at what traits were heritable and what were influenced by handling/environment and how social behavior could be manipulated using the environment & genetics. Through their studies which invovled breeding and observation of Basenjis, cocker spaniels, beagles, shelties and fox terriers, and different mixes of those, they came to the conclusion that to prevent 'feral' type behaviors, puppies needed to start getting some sort of human contact by 7 weeks of age - 49 days. If they went more than 49 days without any human contact, the puppy would grow up fearful/timid of humans. In their experiments the puppies were kept in a room and food shovelled in through a slot- literally NO human contact.
    I'm not sure who first decided that this 49 day rule meant that puppies needed to be picked up from their breeder by that age, but that is where the number comes from. If your breeder raises the puppies in a barn and never handles them - then yes, you better get there soon. But I think that reputable breeders are going well above and beyond to make sure that the puppies are getting TONS of daily contact and human socialization, so this number as a specific pick up date becomes a non-issue.

    The actual study done by Scott & Fuller is called Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. It is not exactly light reading (about 400 pages covering their years and years of research) but it is interesting. After reading it through there is nothing to suggest that any specific day is better for picking up a puppy from a good breeder, but it does provide a good argument for selecting a breeder who is doing a good job handling the puppies and also breeding good temperaments in their dogs
    Erin Lynes
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    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    Probably an old wives tale that means nothing. Some training book advised getting one then, might have been seeing eye dogs. I think the idea was that the dog would relate to people and less to other dogs.

    If the breeder is doing something with the litter after 49 days it probably doesn't matter. There are those that think the pups benefit from being in the litter and learning from each other.

    I got my last pup at 49 days, best dog I've ever had, and probably the best dog I will ever have. If you get the pup then you can control everything about it's environment. If a pup is in a litter and it's timid or bold the litter will reinforce that. If you control everything that won't happen. Personally I think if you get it young it will relate to you better, of course waiting a week or two probably doesn't matter either.

    The last one at 7 weeks worked for me so I would be hard pressed not to get the next one at 7 weeks too.
    John Lash

    "If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."

    "Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham

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    What are the thoughts on day 47?

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    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    I have never read anything scientific about any other 'magic' day and wouldn't believe it anyway. There are ages when puppies go through fear periods but these are extremly variable in my experience. Observation has shown me that puppies develop at different rates even in the same litter and I prefer not to place mine before 8 weeks of age due to the social benefits/bite inhibition and confidence gained from being with littermates until then. If you are getting your puppy from a good breeder then keeping the puppy with the breeder and littermates a little longer would be preferable to getting the puppy sooner, IMO. Although someone a lot of puppy experience is not going to be overwhelmed by a 49 day old puppy, people with less experience often are and that extra week helps.
    Erin Lynes
    Eromit Labrador Retrievers

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    Twig AGDC, Ruger JH ADC SGDC MGDC MSDC MSCDC CRNCL, Winchester SGDC CRNCL, Shelby SGDC CRNCL, Spider, Kimber, Verona, Missie, Jackie,
    Victor CRNCL, Jet, Glitzy CRNMCL SGDC, Harvey & Viper
    ..........gone but never forgotten, the gal who started it all: Spider's Sunshine MSDC MSCDC AADC AGDC NAC NGC NJC (Nestle) ...........

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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    I don't know Erin Lynes, but she pretty much thinks about this the way I do. As a breeder I'd rather keep them until they're 8 weeks old and as a puppy buyer I'd rather get them at 8 weeks old.

    I have had litters who were ready to go at 7 weeks but 8 has been better for most. That extra week seem pretty big for their maturity IMO.
    Howard Niemi

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    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  8. #8
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    I always thought that it came from Wolters book Water Dog.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin Lynes View Post
    The old theory using 49 days as a 'rule' is misinterpreted science. Many moons ago (1950-60's ish) a couple of reserachers named Scott & Fuller were investing the nature vs nurture debate using dogs. They were looking at what traits were heritable and what were influenced by handling/environment and how social behavior could be manipulated using the environment & genetics. Through their studies which invovled breeding and observation of Basenjis, cocker spaniels, beagles, shelties and fox terriers, and different mixes of those, they came to the conclusion that to prevent 'feral' type behaviors, puppies needed to start getting some sort of human contact by 7 weeks of age - 49 days. If they went more than 49 days without any human contact, the puppy would grow up fearful/timid of humans. In their experiments the puppies were kept in a room and food shovelled in through a slot- literally NO human contact.
    I'm not sure who first decided that this 49 day rule meant that puppies needed to be picked up from their breeder by that age, but that is where the number comes from. If your breeder raises the puppies in a barn and never handles them - then yes, you better get there soon. But I think that reputable breeders are going well above and beyond to make sure that the puppies are getting TONS of daily contact and human socialization, so this number as a specific pick up date becomes a non-issue.

    The actual study done by Scott & Fuller is called Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. It is not exactly light reading (about 400 pages covering their years and years of research) but it is interesting. After reading it through there is nothing to suggest that any specific day is better for picking up a puppy from a good breeder, but it does provide a good argument for selecting a breeder who is doing a good job handling the puppies and also breeding good temperaments in their dogs


    Erin,

    Great post... That's the first post on the 49 day question (that I've seen) that didn't slam R. Wolters and actually gave credit where it belonged. It is old science, but science just the same. Not some kook espousing their opinions. Not suggesting that Richard was a kook but some paint him that way..

    I think todays breeders have come a long way from those early days of having a litter and letting "fend for themselves." Todays pups are well socialised, handled and raised in the home/house by breeders. I don't think pick up of a pup on the 49th day is so important today as it once was...However for me old habits break hard

    John I have always been a 49 day person myself. Every dog I bought (if possible) was picked up on the 49th. day and if I bred a litter they left on the 49th day...Worked for me..

    Erin, I think the study later in the 90's by Dr. Bataglia, (Early neurological stimulation) and then the militaries "super dog program" took Scott and fuller's study to much greater levels..

    So today when a puppy buyer buys a puppy from a good breeder they are way ahead of where they would be, even twenty years ago.

    Your thoughts???

    Randy

    Edit: Copterdoc I was composing a response while you were posting.. Mine is NOT a shot at you. Or anybody.
    Last edited by Rnd; 03-31-2013 at 09:01 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Swack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    I always thought that it came from Wolters book Water Dog.
    It was, based on Scott and Fuller's research.

    Swack
    Jeff Swackhamer

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