[quote=martink110] I got my puppy at 5 weeks, no problem with potty training. Some breeds are ‘cleaner’ than others. ([/quote]
I agree completely that some breeds are cleaner than others. My big Akita, as dumb as he is, is like a cat. Festidious about his grooming. Perfers walking on the clean floor inside than on dirt. That’s one of many behavior problems with many terriers, they don’t seem to give a shit where they shit.
On the 5 week thing. Housebreaking is only 1 of the many many possible problems. Generally, 5 weeks is just way too early. Puppies learn NOTHING the first 3 or 4 weeks of life. Half of that, their eyes aren’t even open. They eat, eliminate and sleep. Then learn how to walk, run and that’s about it. All of their socialization learning comes after 4 weeks. They learn to vocalize and what their various vocalizations mean to other dogs. They learn about canine hierarchy. What I call doggy manners. This is a key component in how a dog will relate to you, other members of your household, other people and other dogs. It is stuff that is virtually impossible to teach outside of the litter setting.
Dogs separated at 5 weeks, as compared to those separated at 8 weeks or later, tend to be skittish, very hard to socialize with other dogs or pets, agressive towards strangers, not good with small children, and often inconsistent in learning desired behaviors because they have an incomplete imprinting of hierarchial standards. They also tend to lick incessantly.
It’s not an absolute. There are dogs separated at 5 weeks with none of these behavior problems. And some owners will never notice them as problems. But the likelihood of problems is so much greater, there is simply no good reason to ever take the risk. (As a disclaimer here, I have to admit, my assistant dog was separated at some time before 5 weeks. She was a rescue from the mean streets of Rosarito, where she was abandoned. She is a good dog, but has many of these undesirable traits. I can’t trust her alone with small children. Can’t take her to a dog park. Has no clue where she fits into her pack. If she hadn’t been rescued by the daughter of a former dog trainer, I doubt she would have survived.)