You found a great breeder and chose your puppy, but now the breeder insists you wait to take the pup home until she reaches 8 to 12 weeks of age. Why? Because the breeder wants your puppy to learn proper play, such as bite inhibition, from her mom and litter-mates before leaving.
“As the litter of puppies grows, they play together and often make each other cry, but then usually the ‘aggressor’ will stop being so rough,” says dog trainer Gisela Baily of Kendrick, Idaho. “The aggressor learned by the other puppy’s screams that play was too rough, or the screamer bit back and this response taught the aggressor that the play was too rough.”
Sometimes the litter’s mom steps in to discipline a too-rough puppy. No human can provide this valuable imprinting. It must be learned from other dogs, and your puppy’s canine family offers the safest early learning environment. So stay patient; the wait will be worth it!
Dog Fancy February 2015