|Maltese Puppy Homecoming Age
by Larry Stanberry - Divine Maltese
The question should more aptly be "What is the youngest age at which ALL typical toy breed pups are most apt to make that transition safely ?" and not "Is it possible for any particular Maltese pup to make that "jump" at seven or eight weeks of age?" Why take a risk unnecessarily? If a pup is going to exhibit signs of ailment or infirmity - it will invariably be before the twelve week mark, and not necessarily before the eight week age. As a breeder we'd rather deliver a healthy pup with an ultimate opportunity to thrive in its new family environment - and, as an owner, you should want the same. Why bond with a pup at seven or eight weeks of age and then subject yourself and the pup to emotional trauma if a condition arises that either forces you to return the pup or, even worse, threatens the pup's life or future health ? Additionally, a toy breed pup at eight weeks is injured so very easily - a fall from the bed or sofa, dropped from unsuspecting arms, caught in a closing door as it attempts to follow you into a room.
By twelve weeks of age our pups have at least two innoculations - at eight weeks they may have only one - or none. Unless the pup is "off" the mother for at least a couple of weeks it is possible that an innoculation doesn't "take" as the natural antibodies it receives from its mother's milk can prevent the shot from effectively stimulating the antibodies for which it is intended - then a shot at eight weeks is not any good. We avoid the vet at all costs with young pups - that's where illness and disease is rampant. An eight week old pup is better off in its breeder's house, where it has obviously thrived in a safe and secure environment to reach this age, than to make a risky transition into a new environment.
Maltese are a "love the one your with" kind of breed. They will bond just as strongly with a new owner at twelve weeks, fifteen weeks, or six months - given proper socialization by the breeder - as they will at seven or eight weeks of age - and at a much lower chance of risk.
-Larry Stanberry - Divine Maltese