If You Love Puppies, Don’t Buy or Sell Them Until They Are 8 Weeks of Age

“I wuv you but I need to stay with my mom and siblings until I’m 8 weeks old.” – Fiona


Puppies are so cute! We know.  Young puppies are adorable and you want to just hug them and take them home with you right now. But, wait a minute. Your puppy needs to be 8 (eight) weeks old. It is crucial for dog breeders and buyers to understand that puppies need to be with their mother and littermates until they are 8 weeks of age.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why puppies shouldn’t be sold or bought early:

They are Still Learning to Eat Solid Food

Puppies younger than eight weeks old are just starting to eat solid food now. Give them time to adjust to this change before letting them leave their mother and their littermates. Separating a puppy from its mother before weaning can make them more prone to illness and long-term health problems. Weaning typically begins around 3-5 weeks and takes a few weeks..

It’s the law.

In Ohio Revised Code Section 955.50, it states that no puppy can be sold before it is at least 8 weeks old. Many other states have this law too.

(A) No person shall sell, offer to sell, or expose for sale, for the purpose of resale or receive for delivery within this state, or ship from any point within this state to any point outside this state, for sale to the general public at retail, any dog under the age of eight weeks.   – R.C. § 955.50

(C) Whoever violates section 955.261955.39, or 955.50 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense and of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense. § 955.99

It is a misdemeanor to sell puppies that are too young in Ohio.

Avoid Future Behavior Problems

The time between 5 and 8 weeks is critically important for a puppy’s proper behavioral development.  Every puppy needs to spend that whole critical period in a stable home environment, with all of its littermates and mother plus plenty of friendly gentle handling by people.  If a puppy goes to a new home before 8 weeks of age it misses out on an important development period when it is learning how to have positive interactions with other dogs, people, and how to generally become a normally functioning dog.  Some behaviors, such as not biting humans, cannot be properly taught by humans, so a puppy must learn them from their mom and littermates.


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