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Hi everyone,

Oh boy, need some advice - what do you all think??
My puppy is 4 wks old and obviously still with his mom and the rest of the litter. The plan was for him to come home with me at 12 wks. HOWEVER, the "breeder" (I use this term with caution since they're not really breeders and I get into this on another post - they're good people though and this happened unintentionally) brought the mama to the vet early this week and it was confirmed that she has absolutely no milk anymore and they are now feeding the pups exclusively puppy formula or whatever it is. She had a c-section - The lady is now dealing with HER infirm elderly Mother who lives out of state and said that I could technically bring the pup home- I think the situation with her mother is pressuring her - but she didn't sound too convinced and I'm not either. I mean even though the mama isn't feeding them anymore, don't they still need the established amount of time with their mama in order to grow healthy emotionally, etc.? What is the worst that could happen if I take him now at 4 wks? I'm trying to play devils advocate here since it may come down to me having to take him. I think he's way too little to be separated but I'd like to know you're comments and the reasons. Honestly don't know what to do - :huh::unsure::smhelp:
 

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Unless you are very experienced at raising pups of this size at this age and have other dogs the pup will be socializing with from day 1, it is a bad idea. From 3-8 weeks is an essential time where the dog learns how to be a dog from mom and littermates. Honestly, unless these folks are ensuring socialization with the mom and littermates, I wouldn't take the pup.
 

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It is a lot of work to raise a puppy properly to give it the best chance at being a well balanced animal and if that can't be done then its not fair to the dog or you (who will be expecting a mentally, physically, and socially healthy dog). I'd say 4 weeks is much to young unless you are a breeder yourself but I will defer to others with more knowledge.
 

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At 4 weeks, the puppies can probably start lapping up some type of puppy food I believe. I would NOT take a puppy that young. It is really important that the puppies stay with the mother and littermates...the mother and littermates will be teaching and imprinting on the puppy.
 

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The skeptic in me says her story about her mother is BS!! I've heard similar stories before. RUN!

WAIT A MINUTE! She had a c-section this week?
 

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Not good!

I worked at a vet hospital for over 4 years...but mostly because I am a show/breeder of Maltese AND this is ridiculous what they are doing. Just the thought of a 4 week old puppy separated from momma makes me cringe! ESP. if these people have never whelped and raised a litter of pups they have no idea how to "keep" puppies alive until 12 weeks old and beyond. Many things can happen to a puppy at weaning time even at a normal weaning age. Low blood sugar is one and another problem can be cleaning the pups normally done by momma.. stuck feces is very dangerous to puppies. The way my vet explains it is the "plug" unchecked causes the intestine of overlap and infection sets in and they can die quickly. Most good momma dogs continue to nuture and TRAIN their kids for many weeks after weaning, even up to 4-5 months old. In my opinion what would be best for the pups is for the entire litter and momma to be watched over by an experienced breeder who really cares about what was brought into this world. Jeanne
 

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The skeptic in me says her story about her mother is BS!! I've heard similar stories before. RUN!

WAIT A MINUTE! She had a c-section this week?
No, according to earlier posts, she had a c-section for this litter a month ago. But as far as the story being BS and RUN I'm in agreement. Your gut instinct has been saying to you to be leery. Well this is just proving it. When I got Tyler, who was several months old, after his neuter he wasn't eating and we were worried about hypoglycemia. It's scary and serious. I can't even imagine dealing with it with a month old pup unless you're a vet or a breeder with experience. This truly does reek of BYB tactics. Know they're "friends" of the family but this is all a ploy to get you to take the pup. BTW, since you're helping them out with this unwanted litter, are they giving it to you for free?
 

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I think you're trying to ask if the puppy is better off with you than the 'breeder?'

If it were me, I'd back out of this situation. It sounds like she just wants to get rid of the problem sooner than she should be. At 4 weeks old, they can eat a bit of mush and from a feeding point, it should be ok but jsut because the mom doesn't have milk doesn't mean that the puppies should be weaned from her yet. They learn their manners from their mom.

If she insists on handing the puppy over at 4 weeks, I hope you are not paying her any money. You would be doing her a HUGE favor and if she really wanted what was best for the puppy, she'd give her to you (minus vet costs, etc)

Here in california, it's actually illegal to sell a puppy before the age of 8 weeks (physically handing them over)
In New york, it's illegal for any 'pet dealer' to sell a puppy before 8 weeks, not sure if she classifies as a pet dealer.

What a tough decision for you! One of the worst things that can happen by taking a 4 week old pup is obviously hypogylcemia and death (and the butt plug that Jeanne mentioned) There might be temperament issues, if he/she doesn't learn the lessons the pup needs to from mom. Lots of biting, etc. I really hope you consider getting a different puppy from a different breeder but I understand that doesnt' always work out! Good luck and please keep us updated!
 

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I worked at a vet hospital for over 4 years...but mostly because I am a show/breeder of Maltese AND this is ridiculous what they are doing. Just the thought of a 4 week old puppy separated from momma makes me cringe! ESP. if these people have never whelped and raised a litter of pups they have no idea how to "keep" puppies alive until 12 weeks old and beyond. Many things can happen to a puppy at weaning time even at a normal weaning age. Low blood sugar is one and another problem can be cleaning the pups normally done by momma.. stuck feces is very dangerous to puppies. The way my vet explains it is the "plug" unchecked causes the intestine of overlap and infection sets in and they can die quickly. Most good momma dogs continue to nuture and TRAIN their kids for many weeks after weaning, even up to 4-5 months old. In my opinion what would be best for the pups is for the entire litter and momma to be watched over by an experienced breeder who really cares about what was brought into this world. Jeanne
:goodpost: If you do not know how to care for a puppy of this age, do not attempt it.
I have left my daughter in charge of a little pup one time. My daughter is an adult and has children of her own. Puppy was 8 weeks old. She helped me before with them, but she didn't pay attention to the puppy eating or pooping. I got her back almost dead and I was unable to save her. My mom, watched 2 four week old pups for me, that were with their mother, while I was in the hospital. My mom took care of all kinds of animals with success in the past, but 1 pup died of hypoglycemia. She kept taking the mom away from the pups. Who knows why.
My mom will be watching my dogs while I go to the Nationals. I have made sure that I do not have any puppies for her to care for.
 

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No, according to earlier posts, she had a c-section for this litter a month ago. But as far as the story being BS and RUN I'm in agreement. Your gut instinct has been saying to you to be leery. Well this is just proving it. When I got Tyler, who was several months old, after his neuter he wasn't eating and we were worried about hypoglycemia. It's scary and serious. I can't even imagine dealing with it with a month old pup unless you're a vet or a breeder with experience. This truly does reek of BYB tactics. Know they're "friends" of the family but this is all a ploy to get you to take the pup. BTW, since you're helping them out with this unwanted litter, are they giving it to you for free?
Oops! My bad, my line to line reading isn't great, obviously.

But, I'd still run from this situation.
 

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I worked at a vet hospital for over 4 years...but mostly because I am a show/breeder of Maltese AND this is ridiculous what they are doing. Just the thought of a 4 week old puppy separated from momma makes me cringe! ESP. if these people have never whelped and raised a litter of pups they have no idea how to "keep" puppies alive until 12 weeks old and beyond. Many things can happen to a puppy at weaning time even at a normal weaning age. Low blood sugar is one and another problem can be cleaning the pups normally done by momma.. stuck feces is very dangerous to puppies. The way my vet explains it is the "plug" unchecked causes the intestine of overlap and infection sets in and they can die quickly. Most good momma dogs continue to nuture and TRAIN their kids for many weeks after weaning, even up to 4-5 months old. In my opinion what would be best for the pups is for the entire litter and momma to be watched over by an experienced breeder who really cares about what was brought into this world. Jeanne

Great post.

I have no idea what to tell you, other then to relay what I would do, and that would be, no way would I bring a 4 week baby home. I've had furbabies close to 19 years, and know that I do not have the knowledge or know how, to take care of one so young.

So that leaves us with what happens to the 4 week old baby :( I am so sorry you are being put in this situation, and even sorrier for the puppies and Mom. I think I might call my vets and see what they say, because I would hate the fact that there is a 4 week old baby with siblings in need of care. But I just don't know :(

For those that do know, isn't the baby at this young age working off of the Mom's immunue system? Sorry, but I just don't know.
 

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I agree that even in terms of health, this is a really risky situation. I'm sure you already feel sort of emotionally invested in this pup, but imagine if you couldn't manage and it ended up dying in your arms...On a practical note, do you work outside the home? I imagine a pup of this age would require close to CONSTANT supervision. Then again, if you're saying this is more or less a BYB or accidental breeding, the 'breeder' probably doesn't have any more experience with this than you do.

All health issues aside, it will be extremely difficult to teach your pup any of the 'puppy manners' and lessons that it would normally learn from the mother. Puppies that are separated too young (even when they're 8 weeks+) can definitely have adjustment issues later and you're setting yourself up for a host of problems.

If you can back out of it, I would. If not, I would be sure you aren't going to be charged anything and then speak very seriously with a vet near you that you could be in close contact with throughout the process and certainly an experienced, certified trainer who might be able to give you tips and meet with you periodically to help you sort of duplicate the sorts of lessons that might be missed by the mom.

Best of luck to you. I hope this all works out for the best.
 

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I do not advise taking a pup at 4 weeks. Too young. I got mine at 6 weeks and because she did not spend enough time with her littermates she was very nervous and afriaid at everything. She's one now and gentle, well-socialized, loves people and kids and that is becuase we had to work hard for her learning to trust people. It really is hard for a pup to leave at 4 weeks. If I were to get another pup in the future I would wait til the pup was 10-12 weeks. Good Luck
 

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So what is she paying you to take on this huge responsibility and HER problem.

I agree with the others...RUN!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi everyone. Thanks for the tough love. :( I know it is good advice though and despite not being experienced with little doggies (I've had big furbabies all my life) I do agree with everyone.
I got to visit the puppies again over the weekend - yes, truth is I'm very invested in this baby already...once I saw him for the first time I got hooked - surprise, surprise huh? - and "convinced" them that it's way too soon. It's really the wife that came up with this (btw, the mom story is no story as my sister in law really knows these people and is friends with their family and friends and facts are easily checked - so I know that she is very stressed out right now - which is obviously no excuse though) ...the husband is more of a nurturer and is the one who actually feeds them the formula and cleans, etc. But I totally agree with all of you as I got to see first hand how although the mama has no more milk, the puppies still need her to be there and do their thing...they also need to be with each other and that's an obvious fact that you clearly get just by looking at them.
I'm not condoning her behavior but know that she's not acting out of sheer disinterest for these puppies. Ignorance yes, but meaness no. The mama is HER dog and she has 2 other malteses which she loves so much and they are so well behaved. This woman lives for her doggies. So I think since she's an "accidental" breeder as someone here put it, she's acting out of ignorance and not out of meaness...in fact, she's adamant about placing these pups with family and friends so that the furfamily can all "keep in touch".
It also doesn't help that she may have a suprisingly ignorant/idiot (sorry but this makes me mad) vet whom I leared, told her in the first place, that since the babies are now being formula fed, they could leave. And of course, with some people, if someone of "authority" speaks, it must be so.... I made sure to get his name since I will defenitely NOT be taking my baby to him.
BTW, the puppies were born MARCH 14 which makes them 5 weeks...still too early but I was mistaken. For now, they are holding them - I noticed that the husband didn't even mention taking them now - and I hope that they will be with them until at least 8 weeks, which I know no responsible breeder would give them up at that point anyway but stores do. I am so caught between a rock and a hard place:unsure: but of course want to do what's best for the puppy. The pasting and low sugar level situation especially, really freaks me out and then there's the fact that a puppy should be well socialized. How do you achieve that btw after you bring him home? Is it just trying to let your puppy be with other doggies often? Thanks!
 
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