…..I was speaking to a well-respected breeder of Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and mentioned to her that I had picked up my new puppy from his breeder at the age of nine weeks. She looked at me with some amazement and said “Nine weeks? That is leaving the puppy in its litter for an awfully long time. I believe that the scientific data says that the optimal time to send a puppy to its new home is at seven weeks — 49 days to be precise. I never let a puppy go much earlier than that, regardless of a buyer pressuring me to let a puppy go at age 6 weeks, but I do try to get the puppies adopted as close to seven weeks as possible. Socially speaking, the litter is a very competitive environment. I believe that if the puppies stay in the litter too long they start to develop a pecking order and a strong pattern of dominant or submissive behaviors around their littermates. I think that these carry over when they leave and can be a source of social and behavioral problems later on.”
by Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C.