What's the Best Age to Get A Puppy?

Most people think the best age to get a puppy is 6 weeks - WRONG,WRONG,WRONG! Between 7 and 12 weeks is the best time and here's a couple of well-researched reasons why.....


A nursing puppy receives antibodies from its mother's milk (called maternal antibodies) that protect it from disease during the first months of its life. Unfortunately, these antibodies can also keep a vaccine from being effective. These maternal antibodies gradually start to decrease around 6 weeks of age but may still interfere with early vaccinations. That is why puppies area given a series of vaccinations. It is best to have two series of vaccinations given before a puppy is stressed by going to a new home, changing diets, and being exposed to an environment that may contain animals that are sick. In the state of Florida it is against the law to sell a puppy before it is 8 weeks old.


Puppies have 4 critical periods of development between birth and 16 weeks (4 mos) of their lives. What happens to them during these 4 mos. determines what kind of companion they will become and shapes their character for the rest of their lives!


Many show breeders wait until 8-12 weeks to grade their puppies into pet or show potential categories. Generally, 12 weeks is a good time to grade beagle puppies. It is very unusual for me to sell a puppy before this age, unless there is a very obvious fault that make the puppy a pet. i.e. color. Socialization and puppy training during this period is critical and I focus carefully on the needs of my puppies and their individual personalities. A shy puppy gets more supportive attention and an overly outgoing puppy learns how to play correctly. I try to match a puppy's personality with its new home.

Authored and contributed by Sandra Fikes-Kalahari Ridgebacks Edited for beagles by Darlene Stewart.