Most people offer Clumbers from eight weeks of age – I think this age is too young, let me tell you why!
It has become the norm to offer puppies of all breeds at 8 weeks of age, and that sort of fits in with vaccinations, if the buyer is prepared to do the essential follow up vaccinations and can trust the breeder to have probably weaned their pups before the first vaccination.
However, selling and rehoming at 8 weeks of age does not fit in with any breed’s socialization or development!
That is why it is incumbent on the new owners to ensure their pups are socialized, because the puppy is ‘torn’ away from it’s natural socialization and kindergarten of the litter and caring dam – no wolf chucks out (or sells) litter mates at 8 weeks of age!
It is since the 8 week sell phenomenon has crept into dog breeding, combined with the less experience owners have of raising and caring for other animal species, that we have seen the evolution of a new industry, an industry yielding many millions of dollars of income for lots of people – trainers, and dog sociologists, and dog psychologists, for the new owners, desperate to offer their dog the best of lives realize something is wrong with their pup’s mental health. You can’t deny that taking a puppy away from its family at the tender age of 8 weeks (a wolf wouldn’t) is not going to affect its puppyhood and so adulthood. The parallel situation in humans has dire consequences for decades, or even life times.
Since, gosh I can’t remember now, I have not offered puppies under 4.5 months of age – this suits the socialization of the individual, the vaccine regime and recommendations, and coincidentally means the adult incisors are cut and so offer a ‘guarantee’ as to show or breeding potential worthiness of the individual! Bad bites are certainly not limited to Clumbers, but a sound, full and deep scissor bite is actually a rare phenomenon in the breed. A poor scissor bite (or worse, alas!) does not preclude your dog from a successful show career but should eliminate it from an breeding programme, but this is a point that will not interest the average buyer of a Clumber.
What should interest you, and actually concern you,
– is the lack of natural time a puppy of under 4 months has to bond, and learn from his litter mates and his parents, and other adult dogs
– the incomplete vaccine cover
– the obvious ‘trauma’ of relocating a pup to a new environment with no soul mate to share and swap stories with when one is so young and tender and lacking in any worldly experience
– why someone bred a litter if they do not have the resources or time to offer each and every puppy they bring into the world a loving home at least for several months as a baby grows into a teenager
– the known and accepted fact that there is a ‘fear period’ between 8 and 12 weeks of age in dogs, why add stressful new experiences like a new home and travelling in that period?
A dog’s average life can be taken as, say 12 years, that is a nice age for a Clumber. Let’s skip the less than realistic ‘dog years’ to human years equivalent and just look at age and periods as a percentage of actual age or time (or years old).
- birth 0 years – death 12 years
- 8 weeks = 0.15 years, that’s 0.15 x 100 / 12 = 1.28% of your dog’s life
- 5 months = 0.42 years, that’s 0.42 x 100 / 12 = 3.5% of your dog’s life
now compare that to humans in a fairly rich western country, let’s say the expected life span for a human there is 80 (I am being optimistic, I think it maybe something like 75 for Australians on average)
- 1.28% of 80 is 1 year of age – hmmmm, how independent is a baby at one year of age, how far down the track of his education has he gone? how much immunity does he have, and how are the social skills?
- 3.5% of 80 years is still only 2.8 years, but at least humans by this time have learned how to interact with their own species, have got through the worst of infant diseases/vaccination, and actually in the right learning environment most really start to excel at language, communication, social skills, and motor skills, are particularly aware of their world, and want to get out and explore.
I am not sure what age a wolf cub moves on – they reportedly don’t leave the immediate area of their den until six months of age – slip that concept over to a Clumber (assuming 12 years of life), that is 0.5 years x 100 /12 = 4% of his anticipated life, later kindergarten age 3.4 years in humans.
In fact, humans leave home (mostly!) between 15 (19% of lifespan) and 20 (25% of lifespan) years, translate that to a Clumber’s lifespan and a puppy should be considering leaving home at 2 years 3 months to 3 years!
WHY are people selling and buying or otherwise trading in puppies at 8 weeks of age!