Forum Policy on Underage Puppies

Discussion in 'Information and Announcements' started by editor, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. editor

    editor Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
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    It is inevitable that we will get more posts about underage puppies as the forum grows. This is because we have more overseas visitors joining us, and it is common in some countries for puppies to be sold at five or six weeks of age, and sometimes even as young as three or four weeks.

    I explain in this article, why I want to ensure that my websites don't in any way endorse or encourage this practice of selling underage puppies. But as this is cropping up more frequently, I think it is a good idea to have a summary here on the forum.

    Why eight weeks?

    Here in the UK, the Kennel Club recommends puppies are not sold before they are eight weeks old. And many experts feel that separating a puppy from his mother and siblings before seven weeks is detrimental to the puppy's health and development.

    Many of the people commenting on the main site, are doing so because their tiny puppies are failing to thrive. They have stopped eating, or drinking, or their hair is falling out, etc. Many of them have read my article on underage puppies which includes a recommendation to take the puppy back to the breeder.

    Reasons for early rehoming

    In most cases the new owners of these underage puppies tell me that the mother has died. In some cases this may be true, though it is probably unlikely that female dogs are dying after giving birth in quite such large numbers! Sometimes the puppy's owners will explain that the bitch didn't have enough milk.

    However, neither the death of the bitch, nor the lack of milk, is a reason to sell puppies at such a young age. Most puppies of six weeks old are already weaned. And even if they are not, it is not just their mother and her milk that is needed. Puppies need siblings. They need to play with their brothers and sisters. This is good for their social and emotional development and helps to start the process of bite inhibition, where the puppy learns not to hurt others with his teeth.

    Profit and loss

    The truth is that the trade in underage puppies is born out of a desire to make the most money for the least effort. The sooner the breeder sells the puppies, the sooner they get their cash and are relieved of the effort and cost of caring for eight or nine greedy messy pups.

    The trade in underage puppies is fuelled by puppy buyers. Albeit inadvertently. And my personal view is that anything which encourages or supports people in buying and raising such immature dogs is probably not a good thing. That is why this forum currently does not allow discussions about individual puppies under seven weeks of age.

    I appreciate how difficult this is for people that have bought a very young puppy without realising it still needs its mother. And the best person to advise you on the care of such a puppy is your vet. Do get your tiny puppy checked up as soon as possible.

    Your view
    If you want to comment on this policy, you are welcome to do so. It is a difficult and sometimes heartbreaking subject. But please do read this article first Too Young to Leave Mum so that we are all on the same page :)
     

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