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What is the Ideal Age to Adopt a Puppy?

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In the past, people believed that eight weeks old was more than enough time for a puppy to be with his biological family. In reality, it should be longer.
What is the Ideal Age to Adopt a Puppy?
Last update: 21 December, 2022

Dogs go through many difficulties and different psychological processes as they age. Of course, training them at an early age does have great advantages. However, what is the right age to adopt a puppy?

The right thing to do is to even out the time between birth, breastfeeding, and the immediate socialization process. Remember, any changes can define an animal’s behavior and perceptions. When it comes to figuring out the right age to adopt a puppy is important for the pet’s future.

Living with the mother and siblings

This important question automatically leads to another question: what is the best time to separate the puppy from its mother and siblings? Obviously, family interaction is transcendental for newborn puppies. Being part of a pack brings physical and psychological advantages. 

You can feed a newborn dog with a bottle, but ideally you should respect the puppy’s bonds with his mother and siblings. It’s natural for his mother to feed him, and for him to experience early socialization with his siblings.

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Being with their mother allows puppies to socialize with larger members of their species without getting hurt. Of course, human beings can have contact with them from the beginning, but it’s best to respect the natural order of things.

Premature weaning

The mere act of interrupting breastfeeding causes physical and behavioral changes in the pet. He may show these symptoms: hyperactivity, aggression towards other dogs, stress, and separation anxiety.

There’s another problem associated with a lack of social inhibitions. Dogs that are weaned prematurely may find it difficult to control their biting while they are at play. In addition, many canines with this problem show some inhibition while mating.

Not to mention the physical disadvantages of weaning puppies prematurely. Their immune system will be weaker against infections and this poses a threat to the pet’s life.

What is the right age to adopt a puppy?

Previously, people believed that eight weeks’ old was more than enough time for a puppy to be with his biological family. Under that standard, human training is the most determining factor for a dog’s behavior.

However,  currently people believe that the best time to build an exclusive puppy-owner relationship is when the puppy is three months old. That way, the disruption of family relationships is less traumatic and more normal.

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During the first three months, the mother sets limits on her puppies, teaches them to play without hurting themselves, and gives them affection. If you abruptly interrupt that process, you’ll make it difficult for the animal to become tame. The outcome will be having the puppies become fearful or excessively violent later on in life.

Advantages of adopting a puppy after 3 months

This is the right age for a human to start training an animal. A puppy’s cognitive skill will be at its highest, and this is the right time for social learning. He will soon begin to obey orders through positive and negative conditioning.

The emotional aspect of this is also crucial. After three months, leaving his family will be less traumatic and his bonds to his owner can strengthen. In psychological terms, this is the perfect age to adopt.

Each dog develops his own personality. However, this is the age in which canines start becoming independent. When the pet is still a puppy, people can traumatize them, and as they get older, they will become more difficult to train.

The problem with adult dogs

It’s not that older dogs are problematic. The only problem is that they already have a defined personality. In that case, they’ll be difficult to train, and you can have many problems relating to it if you don’t understand his personality. 

Despite of this, there are adult dogs with these traits that don’t bite things and go to the bathroom in the right place. It all depends on the what experiences and traumas the animal has had. 

Therefore, the right age to adopt a puppy is defined by the socialization process. You must realize that not all dogs are the same, so the issues that have been explained in this article will always have a certain degree of relativity.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.