Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc.

Puppy Placement Age

Is it Breeder Rapaciousness or Responsibility?

By Tamara Dunn

(first published in Harp & Hound, Autumn 2015)

The Irish Wolfhound Club of America’s Standard of Behavior has caused controversy with companion owners because of the recommendation that puppies be kept with the breeder, littermates and dam until a minimum of ten weeks of age. Owners are eager to bring their new addition home, so it can be difficult understand the above and why we have these standards. It’s exciting adding a new puppy to the family and frustrating having wait. We all want the same things for our hounds, for them to healthy, happy and good citizens in the community. I hope to help new owners understand what breeders are endeavoring to do by waiting until puppies are older to send them home.

From the Standard of Behavior for Breeders, Irish Wolfhound Club of America, approved September 5, 2009, under Care and Sale of a Litter: 

“The breeder must be prepared to give up 3 months of her/his life to care for the bitch and puppies. The bitch needs supervision and care while in the whelping and nursing phases and the puppies need constant care and socialization from birth until they leave for their new homes at 10-12 weeks.”

I agree with the Standard of Behavior in regards to puppy placement age and will attempt to explain the necessity of the standard’s recommendation in this article. I want to send home healthy puppies. This means ensuring puppies are free of testable congenital diseases. A congenital disease is a genetic or structural abnormality present at birth. In the case of our breed, the primary concern is liver shunt, a potentially inheritable disease for which we can easily test. The best age for testing is after eight or nine weeks.....

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This page was last updated 03/30/2018.