How old puppy is too old to bond - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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How old puppy is too old to bond


We are considering getting a 7 months old girl v/s waiting a few months for a 10 weeks old pup. Our main concern is whether at 7 months old the puppy will have a harder time attaching to the new/forever owner now. Any advice is greatly appreciated. If you had a choice of 7 month old v/s 10 weeks old which one would you choose taking only bonding into consideration. Thank you in advance.
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Last edited by caldobe; 02-11-2020 at 01:05 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 01:20 AM
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I shouldn't think actual bonding would be that much of a problem, provided the 7 month old has been raised in such a way that she is mentally healthy. In other words, was she exposed to enough new things as a young puppy that she is reasonably self-confident? Does she pretty much have the basic house rules learned? She is getting ready to start (or may already be entering) another socialization/fear window soon, so you want her to be going into that with self-confidence and to already be fairly balanced about how she manages the world, strange things and people. Things like timidity or fear barking (which can look like aggression to a lot of people)--unease and discomfort she may have when she is taken out of her typical surroundings and put somewhere new--can be worked with, but if they seem to dominate her personality and behavior, that might mean she'll have a harder time settling into a new place.

On the other hand, with a 7 month old, you're not likely to have much housebreaking to do (probably just a refresher course to learn the rules of a new place), puppy biting and teething should be in the past (though she's getting ready to enter a secondary heavy chewing phase), and she should be more regular in her sleep and eating schedules--she'll be able to go a lot longer between potty trips, for example. The heavy duty sleep loss and schedule disruption that you face when you bring home a young puppy probably won't be a big concern with an older pup.

There are advantages and disadvantages with either. I know you stressed that bonding was what you wanted to discuss, but there is so much else that I would want to look at first, that I would be more concerned about, than whether or not the dog would bond with me, when it comes to deciding which dog I might take.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 10:45 AM
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Exactly what Mel said. I don't think any age is too old to bond - we had a rescue dog that we adopted at 8 years old who bonded very strongly to us, so I don't really consider age a factor at all.

My Richter was about 5 months old when I got him. His breeder was keeping him as a potential show prospect, but a retained testicle got in the way. Zero issues with bonding, and I actually preferred an older pup because he was a little easier in other ways. Ears were on their way with posting, housetraining was progressing, etc.

What Mel said about socialization and other considerations would be my deciding factors. I'd choose the puppy that is the best fit for me. What pedigree do I like the best? What pup's personality is the best fit for me and my needs? Temperament is highly determined by genetics, with early experiences a strong influence, so all of those factors mean so much more than the age you get your puppy.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 10:45 AM
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I dog sit occasionally. And I've done some long term sitting for an assortment of Dobes. I've gotten older puppies who finished their championship young and needed a place to stay while the owners went on long circuits with other dogs. About four days after they came to my house they were 'my' dog--nicely bonded (until their real 'mom' or 'dad' came back to pick them up.

I had one dog that I'd have kept who came on a long term visit. He was five at the time--he moved into a houseful of intact male Dobes and a male Aussie and me and from the second day he was 'my' dog. He was also one of the funniest Dobes I've ever been around.

At the time there was a play structure in the back yard (compliments of the tenant's before me (they had two little girls instead of a houseful of dogs). It had a very steep six step ladder to get up to the upper level--the back bedroom windows overlooked that part of the back yard--I was making my bed one morning and felt like someone was watching me. Turned out someone was watching me--my visiting boy had climbed the ladder and was sitting on the upper platform staring at me through the window.

Later he figured out that none of the other dogs would climb up there and spent a lot of time teasing whoever he was out with--he also learned to use the slide to get down from there--he said it was lots easier than the stairs going down.

I think any dog that comes to you at any age if you are doing the feeding treating, training and petting will become 'your' dog with an unbreakable bond and very quickly.

Good luck with whoever you get.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2020, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your advice. At the end we want a healthy and well adjusted girl. Looking for a pup in Western Canada is proving to be quite challenging especially for the first time Doberman owners. Your experience on this forum is invaluable. Thank you for sharing and educating us. I greatly appreciate your input.
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