Great Debate: Should puppies stay with their mum longer than eight weeks?


While a heartbreaking number of puppies are taken from their mums far too early to be sold off to unsuspecting owners by unscrupulous breeders, eight weeks of age is the traditional age for puppies to move on to their new home.

As puppies are usually fully weaned by the age of seven weeks, and able to eat solid foods, eight weeks is the minimum age for them to leave their mum and litter mates – but is it the best?

While may say that at this point puppies are old enough to move on to their new homes and become well-adjusted, confident dogs with the right care and socialisation, others argue that leaving pups with their mum until 12 weeks would be beneficial, allowing them to pick up more social skills from both their mum and their litter mates before they go on to their new home.


What do you think – should puppies stay with their mum longer than the widely accepted eight weeks? Tell us what you think here, in the comments of this Facebook post, or by writing to with “Great Debate” in the subject line.


  1. I used to let pups go at 8 weeks but now do the Nobivac 10 week protocol for vaccinations so my pups are often nearer 11 weeks before they leave. They are more confident and easily housetrained(i use alfafa pellets in litterboxes so they transition to grass more easily) used to the outdoors and going out to do their toilets and getting used to weather changes, so not such a shock to their systems. These are Miniature Wire Dachshunds but I used to breed Bullmastiffs and Gundogs and they were easily happy to leave st 8 weeks.

  2. I have bred a few litters in my time and I have never let any go before 12 weeks of age. I bred rottweilers and found for them it was more beneficial to stay those 4 weeks more, yes it was more work for me but they was puppy pad trained by then and little commands like sit was fully intact and socialised with both young and older children to but they also learned much more from mum and there litter. Also because we have a big enclosed garden meant they enjoyed going outside with both mum and dad and they would also toilet outside on the grass making it easier to get them toilet trained. I have never brought a pup home since less then 12 weeks old (my present fur baby is an Alaskan Malamute with an eighth of Siberian husky in him) i refused to take hi earlier then 12 weeks he was paid for in full but I wanted him to stay with his mum longer then the 9 weeks that his breeder was letting them go because I believe it was absolutely beneficial for him to stay longer, his breeder was happy to keep him the extra weeks. I found he transitioned much easier when he came to me, he is now 2 years old and I am now training him to be my assistance dog he goes everywhere that I go.


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