Many breeders make the wrong choices for young pups --- seperating them so they do not get ear damage, keeping them in kennels, not exposed to people etc.This will prevent damage to ears, and lips, but the pups need to learn to get along. They have to learn to respect older, larger dogs. They also need to think of people as more than an occasional source of food. I think 8 weeks is old enough, older pups do not bond as well with new owners. however, if I ship a pup by air, it doesn't go til 10 weeks. I get the pup to sleep in the crate it will be shipped in for the last week or so with a towel. Pup and smelly towel then are ready. For the pup, the world out there may be totally foreign, but this is my crate and it feels, smells OK.