Group of Curly Coated Retriever puppies posing together outdoors Dog Husbandry Tips 11.12.2023

Puppies delivered after 8 weeks or only after 12 weeks

When does it make sense and when is it legal?

The decision to adopt a puppy is both emotional and responsible. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there are specific guidelines that regulate the minimum age for the legal adoption of puppies. These guidelines serve to protect the animals and ensure that puppies are given away at an age when they are physically and mentally ready to be separated from their mother.

When can I pick up my puppy from the breeder?

In Germany, the minimum age for handing over puppies is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act. According to this law, puppies may only be separated from their mother and given to new owners from the age of eight weeks. This law ensures that puppies spend the necessary time with their mother and siblings to develop important social skills and receive an appropriate initial diet.

From when in Austria

Similar to Germany, Austria also emphasizes the welfare of young dogs. In Austria, the law stipulates that puppies may only be given away from the eighth week of life. This regulation is enshrined in the Animal Welfare Act and aims to protect the health and well-being of young dogs.

When is it legal to get a puppy in Switzerland

The situation is similar in Switzerland. The Swiss Animal Welfare Act stipulates that the sale of puppies is only permitted from the age of eight weeks. This regulation helps to ensure that the puppies have enough time to be socialized and properly nourished by their mother before they move to a new home.

Why is there this age limit?

The minimum age for the release of puppies has been set for several reasons. One important aspect is socialization. In the first few weeks of life, puppies learn important behaviors through interaction with their mother and siblings. This early phase is crucial for developing communication skills, learning boundaries and understanding social structures.

Another reason is the health of the puppies. In the first few weeks of life, they are dependent on their mother's milk, which contains essential nutrients and antibodies. These help the puppies to build up a strong immune system. Separating them from their mother too early could lead to health problems.

Hund,Hunderasse,Fleischfresser,Leber,Begleithund,Gras,Schnauze,Landtier,Sportliche Gruppe,Jagdhund, Sissi Brandauer

Different countries have different regulations regarding the minimum age at which puppies may be separated from their mother and given to new owners. France, Spain and Hungary each have their own regulations.

What is the regulation in France?

In France, the law stipulates that puppies must be at least eight weeks old before they can be separated from their mother and sold or given away. This is enshrined in the French Animal Welfare Act and aims to ensure the appropriate social development and health of puppies.

In Spain, the following rule applies

In Spain, the minimum age for the delivery of puppies varies depending on the autonomous community, but in general the minimum age is also eight weeks. This regulation is designed to ensure that puppies spend sufficient time with their mother and siblings to receive adequate socialization and nutrition.

Hungary behaves in the same way as most European countries

In Hungary, puppies may not be given away before the age of eight weeks according to the Hungarian Animal Protection Act. This regulation ensures that the puppies can learn sufficiently from their mother and siblings in their early developmental phase, which is crucial for their social and health development.

Hund, Fleischfresser, Hunderasse, Begleithund, Schnauze, Schnurrhaare, Ballen, Fell, Canidae, Hütehund, Jeannette Weißenborn

What are the advantages of giving the puppy away after 10 or 12 weeks if you are a breeder?

The decision to hand over puppies at 10 or 12 weeks, rather than the legal minimum of 8 weeks, can be beneficial to breeders for a number of reasons. This decision focuses on the welfare of the puppies and aims to give them the best possible start in life.

1. extended socialization and training

  • Extended learning phase: Puppies learn intensively in the first few weeks of their lives. Between the 8th and 12th week, they are particularly receptive and can benefit from additional socialization and training.
  • Better behavioral development: During this time, puppies can learn important social behaviors from their mother and littermates, such as inhibiting biting behavior and interacting with other dogs.

2. complete vaccinations and health checks

  • Complete vaccination schedule: Many puppy vaccinations are given in an 8 to 12 week window. Giving puppies later ensures that they are fully vaccinated before they go to their new homes.
  • Comprehensive health check: This gives the breeder more time to identify and treat health problems before the puppies are delivered.

3. better assessment of character and suitability

  • Character development: By 10 to 12 weeks of age, puppies have more developed personalities. Breeders can therefore better assess which puppy suits which type of household or owner.
  • Recognize specific needs: Breeders can recognize potential special characteristics or needs of puppies early on and advise new owners accordingly.

4. strengthening the immune system

  • Stronger immunity: A longer period of time with the mother helps the puppies to develop a stronger immune system as they can benefit from the mother's milk for longer.

5. responsible breeding practices

  • Demonstration of commitment: Waiting until 10 or 12 weeks shows that the breeder is acting responsibly and putting the welfare of the puppies first.
  • Education of new owners: This extra time gives breeders the opportunity to educate prospective owners in more detail about the puppy's care and needs.
Einen Welpen, ChiPoo, Pudel - Chihuahua-Mix mitnehmen Depositphotos / Vsfotos

The legal regulation that puppies may only be handed over from the age of eight weeks is an important part of animal welfare in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This regulation ensures that puppies have sufficient time for their development and socialization. It serves to protect the health of the animals and ensures that the young dogs are ready for the transition to a new home.

By adhering to these guidelines, breeders and future owners work together to ensure the welfare of the puppies and give them a good start in life.

Banner: Depositphotos / ots-photo
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