We were lucky enough to be able to foster three 7 week old pups, two boys and a girl, who we named Boofhead Fred, Pippin and Diva Twinkle Toes! They all had unique little characters even at that early age. Boofhead Fred loved company and made a huge fuss whenever he was left alone. Pippin was really relaxed, always the first one back to sleep. Diva Twinkle Toes was affectionate and interested in everything going on around her.
Their mum was a pet Labrador who had not been desexed. While on heat an unknown neighbourhood dog jumped the fence to meet her. Pups need to stay with their mum until 8 weeks of age to learn doggy manners from their mum and siblings. Being so young these pups needed to be fostered with dogs that could play that role, like our 2 year old female Brittany. She played with them, kept an eye on them and disciplined them just as their mum would have. It was awesome to watch.
One of their siblings was rehomed by another rescue group and sadly has had to be put down with a very bad case of hip displaysia. Responsible breeders plan their litters carefully to reduce the incidence of this painful condition. Unfortunately so called 'hybrid vigour' does not protect pups from hip displaysia.