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When can puppies go to their new homes?

by Wade Morris Dunwoody Realtor on August 26th, 2010

My dog had a litter of pups, who will be 6 weeks in a couple of days. They all have good homes lined up, and are pretty much weaned, only feeding from the bitch occasionally. The bitch is giving them the cold shoulder and they seem to be quite independent.

I would really appreciate some advice on when to send them to their new homes – the prospective owners are keen to take them, just want some advice of when.

Thanks for answers!

No lectures please about being an irresponsible owner.

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about the author Wade Morris
I’m part owner of Home Source Group of REMAX Greater Atlanta Realtors® specializing in Atlanta Homes in Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Sandy Springs. Whether you are buying or selling your home we work with resale’s, first-time home buyers, companies relocating people to Atlanta, and most home sellers in northern part of the Greater Atlanta area.
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  1. Justin H permalink

    I’ve always heard 6-8 weeks or after they are weaned.

  2. MARY DOES MARYLAND permalink

    usually 8 weeks. thats how long we had to wait for ours.

  3. angel permalink

    I take them away from our dog at 8 weeks

  4. Rafe permalink

    After the 2 months period is done. For two months they should get breast fed by the mama, then it’s time to separate.

  5. 8 weeks is normal!
    Don’t do it too early though or they will get sick and maybe not make it.

  6. josie permalink

    Hi ya, I won’t lecture about being irresponsible, but would advise that you take the mother away now as she’s probably had more than enough of them and they are able to eat anyway. They can physically leave the mother from now, but for socialisation purposes I’d recommend you leave it until week 7 or 8. They need to learn how to interact with each other better and teach each other the perils of biting etc which will make them less ‘nippy’ when they go to their new homes. If you want me to email you a puppy pack (I’m a qualified behaviourist), drop me a line at and I’ll help you out. These are good to give away with each pup as they help with toilet training, chewing etc. Cheers, Josie. x

  7. Kelly A permalink

    wait two more weeks til they are 8 weeks…you want them to be basically completely weaned before sending them to their new families

  8. Mother permalink

    It would be best for the puppies if you wait at least until they are 9-10 weeks old. The early weeks (up to 12 weeks) are crucial for interacting with their litter mates and Mom. It is very scary for them to leave the litter as an infant, too young to warm themselves or deal with strangers, new places and other traumas. It really can be emotionally and physically harmful for puppies to leave the litter too soon.

  9. b.w. permalink

    10-12 weeks. Even after they are weaned the mom teaches them ‘dog stuff’. The following is not a lecture, just some facts.

    Why do you want to beed a dog?

    Are you not aware that there are 15 dogs born for every one human?

    Are you not aware that there are millions of dogs killed every year because of not enough homes?

    Are you not aware that only 1 dog in 10 gets a permanent home?

    Are you not aware that one female and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in just six years?

    That coupled with the health benefits of spay/neuter WHY would you breed your dog?

  10. dianka permalink

    6-8 weeks is thet time for it. make sure they get the vaccine, and off they go! trust me, you don’t want your house chewed off! and it will be harder for you to let them go as they grow and you will love them more and more.

    but aren’t they the sweetest things?

  11. amccoy1962 permalink

    The puppies can go to their new homes once they’re totally weaned, drinking and eating on their own, but not before they receive their first set of shots, and deworming.
    Pups should get their first deworming at 4 weeks of age, then at 6 weeks, the second deworming and the first set of shots.
    It’s of good practice to wait a week after the first set of shots before leaving, as you want to make sure they don’t have a reaction to the shots, and that the immunizations are in their system.
    Being an irresponsible owner/breeder, IMO, is one who doesn’t know and couldn’t care less to learn. You asking, which shows me that you’re making effort to learn, and do it the right way!

  12. bookmom permalink

    8 weeks is the minimum and in many states it is illegal to sell/transfer a pup under this age.

    Some small breeds are supposed to stay with their mothers longer—look up the national breed club for your breed on the web and look at their breeder section. They might have a “code of ethics” or something with the best age for the pups to leave the mom.

  13. george v permalink

    When they are 8 weeks old.

  14. bluealiens4erin permalink

    As a breeder I would never sell my pups earlier than 8 weeks old, but usually keep them until they are 10 weeks old. It is crucial for the pups to interact with each other. This helps them become socialized with other dogs and can reduce the risk of having dog-dog agression. Also, I make sure my pups are fully weaned off mom at 4 weeks, this ensures a smooth transition from my home to the new owners.

    If the mother is becoming annoyed of the pups you should work on getting them weaned off her soon. I try and wean my pups as soon as they get their teeth in (how would you like a bunch of sharp pointy teeth on your nipples, probably not fun for mom).

    You need to educate the new owners on the responsibility they have to socialize their new puppy. At 8 weeks old they are prime for socialization and are in their learning stages which makes it perfect for training as well.

    If you are going to be breeding more I suggest you find a good book on breeding and look up information on the internet. You should also talk to reputable breeders in your area about the entire breeding process. The more you know about breeding, the better breeder you will become. Always find opportunities to learn more about it!

  15. firehorsegirl permalink

    Blue is correct.

    Also, I like to have pups placed with the new families between the 8 to 10 week-old period–I find that the bonding with the new family goes much smoother if the pup is introduced in this time frame.

    After 12 weeks, sometimes the pups have already bonded to their dam (this is the preferred term for the mother dog–pronounced “Dahm”) and the transition to the new home does not go so well.

    Good Luck!

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