Our puppies are kept in the house with us for the first 2 weeks of their lives, so I can monitor their feedings and make sure they are off to a good start. They are then moved to our puppy cabin near our front door so they can have more room. At 3 weeks old they are able to move into a room of the puppy cabin with wood shaving to keep them clean and sanitary. They learn to potty in the wood chip area and keep their play/feeding area clean. If the weather is nice, they can go outdoors during the daytime when they are about 6 weeks old and enjoy running and playing in the large puppy pen. I spend much time with them each day -- petting and scratching them, talking to them, and giving them the social attention they need.
Our puppies are tentatively matched with families at about 6 weeks old using input from each family according to what they are looking for in a future dog. Personality, gender, future activities, and their choice in the puppy's appearance are all factors. Selection is normally done in order of puppy reservations. After the puppies have their 7 week health/heart check-ups at the vet, the matches will become final.
Puppies will be able to leave for their new homes at 8 weeks old. If a puppy cannot be picked up by the time they are 9 weeks old, arrangements must have been made with us before the puppy was reserved. Puppies do best with close association with people and especially their new owners when they are at the young age of 8 to 9 weeks old. I spend a lot of time playing with the puppies while they are here, but it is always in a group setting, and they need the individual attention an owner will give. Their socialization for identity with humans starts at an early age, and some authorities say extends to about 12 weeks. If you know you cannot pick a puppy up in a timely manner, it would be best to wait for a future litter.
We felt the need to add this condition to our website, since in the past we have had a few people who notified me when the puppies were 8 weeks old that they could not pick up their puppy until the puppy was 11 or 12 weeks old. If this is due to unexpected circumstances, a puppy from a future litter would be a better option.
We don't want to sound harsh about this, but it is not in the best interest of the puppy to wait here for weeks when he or she could be placed with a loving family at the earlier age and begin adjusting to his or her new home.