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Hi everyone! Thank you to everyone who helped me narrow down my puppy choices! I'm going with the third choice-- a very experienced breeder who raises great puppies in her home with lots of early stimulation, socialization, health-testing, the works!!!

But now there are two puppies that have become available from this same breeder, one that will be 8 weeks old when I bring her home, and the other one will be 14/15 weeks old when I bring her home.

8 weeks.... 14 weeks.... doesn't sound like it matters, but all the books talk about how drastically different the socialization stages are in dogs. I've asked the breeder for her advice, and I'm waiting to hear back. Just curious what doodle parents on here think.  Both puppies are coming from great environments, similar in size, with very genetically sound parents.

Thanks again!!!

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I do not think you should worry.  Let the puppy decide, if you can get the breeder to present them at the same time.  Second option would be go with the older one, you can observe more of the personality.  If those options arn'y enough, then go with a female.  In our experience, they are a little more malleable.

I live on the west coast, and my puppy is on the east coast!! I've been asking for lots of videos so I can watch them both. Both puppies are girls. Thanks for the tip!

I thought this was a really good article about socialization.

Socializing Your Puppy: Why “Later” Is Too Late

I want my dog socialized and exposed to my life. And even though some breeders do a really good job, I don't think it's quite the same as exposing them to the things that you personally encounter in your normal life. I would want my puppy younger. Not too young, but young enough to get as much benefit from the socialization period as possible. I didn't do as good a job with Katie as I wish I had in hindsight, but if I was to do it again I would hope to start around 8-9 weeks and take her as many places as I safely could during that crucial period. 

I think you're really smart for thinking about these things before you get a puppy. The right puppy is a wonderful thing!

I agree with wanting an 8-9 week old puppy.  Even with a great breeder they aren't going to take a small army of puppies out into the world too much because it just isn't practical.  

From that article, this part sticks out to me:

"The fact is, “when she’s older” will be far too late.  Scientifically, here’s the reason why:  puppies go through a critical socialization period from 6 to 16 weeks of age that will dramatically impact their behavior for the rest of their lives.  During this period, their brains are like tiny sponges – soaking up everything they experience and filing it away for the future."

That being said, if you visit the puppies and the 14 week old puppy's personality is just exactly what you want then I would still consider it.

Thank you!! It's really fun learning about puppies and their development! I studied child development in college and was fascinated! Mother nature is amazing. Wish I could go back and double major in animal sciences! Thanks so much for the article--very illuminating!

Just curious, what do wish you'd done more with Katie when she was younger? 

It's silly stuff, really. I wish that I had vacuumed more. I had hardwood floors in that house and did a lot of sweeping, but now that I have carpet she thinks that the vacuum is evil and she needs to destroy it. She also thinks that the new trash bag is a monster and acts like a fool. I also wish that I had had more people come to the door and knock. She's really good once they come in and greet her, but when someone comes to the door she acts like a wild child. I think that's really the thing that if I had to do it again I would do more of, have people come over and work on being calm for meet and greets.

Thank you, Stacy! That's not silly! Very helpful to know! I have hardwood and tile floors too that I sweep/mop and don't vacuum that much... hadn't even thought about that!

I really think temperament is even more important than age.  I would explain to the Breeder what you're looking for in terms of temperament and ask which of the puppies fits that "profile" more closely.  Some people are looking for a very calm, laid back personality while others who want a dog who enjoys hiking or may want to do agility would be looking for a different temperament.  If you're going to be able to meet both of them I think you'll probably have a feeling for which puppy would be the best fit.

Good point! I, unfortunately, live too far away so I won't get to see her in person, but we will be Face Timing and video chatting so I can get a good look at them both. Thanks!

Do you know why the older puppy is available? Was there some reason why it was not purchased with its littermates or was it returned or was the breeder considering keeping it and changed her mind? Before I would consider taking the 14-week pup, I'd want to know why he or she is even a possibility. 

For me, if the personality of the younger puppy matches the criteria for the temperament profile you have established, then I think I'd go with the younger one. You would have more opportunities to expose him or her to what life would be like living with you. That being said, a good friend of mine recently adopted a three-month-old puppy and he is perfect for them and has been really easy so far. 

If both dogs' personalities seem like a good match, do you have a preference based on gender or appearance that might help you decide? 

Great question! I should have mentioned that. Yes, the breeder wanted to keep the older one but changed her mind, not because of anything bad. She said she doesn't want to bite off more than she can chew and it was a really hard decision to give this one up. Both are red/apricot girls and so adorable! One has a curlier coat, but I like the look of both. Unless there's one coat type you think is better? 

As Jane suggested, look at temperament as which to choose.  A puppy that is a bit older might be a bit easier. That is what we chose when we got Ned. His little system was more developed. He was more independent and ready to leave the ‘nest.’ He was 12-14 weeks. You can’t take them out really between 8-12 weeks- they need their shots. 

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