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The time to get a puppy is an age old question. Exactly what is the right age to bring a new pup home. And it is not to be taken lightly. Most puppies will change homes at some time in their life, usually from the house they are born into their new owners home. The optimal time for a puppy to leave their mother depends on many things including his emotional needs, his socialization schedule and the level of doggy expertise in the house.

Leaving home and their mother can be very traumatic for puppy so limiting the emotional trauma is critical. If you take the puppy too early he will miss out on early pup-pup and pup-mother interactions. And since the first weeks in a new home are spent in a puppy social vacuum, the developing puppy may grow up under socialized toward other dogs. On the other hand, the longer a pup stays in his birth home the more attached he will be to his doggy family and the harder the transition. And a delayed transition postpones socialization with the pups new family.

So, What is the right age for a puppy?

For many puppies, eight (8) weeks is the right age.  By 8 weeks, sufficient dog-dog socialization has taken place between the mother and litter mates. This will tide the puppy over until he is old enough to meet and play safely with other dogs at doggy daycare or the dog park. Yet the puppy is young enough to form a strong bond with his new human family. The right age to start doggy daycare is 16 weeks of age. So between the age of 8 and 16 weeks it is up to you to socialize your pup and by that we mean making sure your puppy has positive experiences to people, places and things. But keep in mind puppy’s have several fear stages they go through, so positive socialization is very important. Failure to do so is the leading cause in behavior problems in dogs everything for separation anxiety to aggression. So make sure you do your doggy homework and seek out advice or a dog trainer if needed.