Many people question if they can pick out, see, or play with their puppies before they are ready to go at 8-weeks-old. Sorry but the answer to the question is NO. There are several reasons why we do not let anyone around the new puppies between birth and 8 weeks – all to protect our dogs and your puppy. Below you will find not only details as to why the answer is no but also information as to what you can do in the mean time to prepare for your puppy.
First, it is extremely stressful for the mom to have strangers visit as she is caring for her new litter. This in turn will put stress on the new born pups. Remember, you are one of many people (sometimes as many as 25) who are getting a puppy, not including everyone else who “just wants to peek at the new babies.” If we allow everyone to see, touch, or spend time with the new pups, the mom’s routine would be disrupted: her eating and caring for pups and even her ability to produce enough healthy milk for them could be at risk. As well as take away from what we do with them every day to prepare them for the new family.
Like a new baby, the opportunity for young pups to pick up infectious diseases is increased with all new contacts. Their immune systems are building, so at this time, the moms and pups live in whelping nests which have controlled temperatures and are separate from all outside traffic. Most illnesses and diseases are innocently carried on people’s shoes and clothing. Entire litters of puppies can be wiped out within 48 hours by the puppy killer parvo virus. This disease could be picked up unknowingly by people in a school yard, a park, or on a sidewalk, and this is only one disease. We cannot risk exposing our dogs and your puppy to diseases that could destroy them.
Your puppy is not the only puppy. By protecting all of our puppies from stress and disease that could be brought on by high traffic, we are protecting your puppy. Just think about how you would feel if someone who just wanted to see his or her pup happened to bring in stress or illness that would cause us to lose a litter and you to lose your future puppy. We have heard from many people that pet stores, other breeders, or other kennels let clients visit puppies; the reality is that their number one concern is selling a puppy. Also, will those people be there to support you, replace the puppy, or guide you in the days, weeks, or years after you get your puppy home? Are they willing and capable to help you with training, breeding, behavioral, or health questions? Just because someone allows you to see the puppy, it does not indicate the quality of dog or of service you will receive throughout the puppy’s lifetime.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We take great care and much time caring for all of our dogs and their puppies. It is time and energy consuming. This is what we do best, so please let us do it. We understand your excitement, and we are happy that you are enthusiastic about getting your pup. But until you take your puppy home, we are responsible and the puppy’s health and safety is our priority. I guarantee you that in 8 weeks after the birth it will be well worth your wait.
IN THE MEANTIME WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You can visit our Facebook page, Iron Hill Retrievers in Delmar, where we often post pictures/videos of new litters and puppies. See mom and puppies that are to choose from when you arrive at 8 weeks to pick up your puppy.
You can prepare your home for your new puppy: