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-   -   Vaccines and socialization, to be or not to be. (

MDPatterson 11-29-2012 08:41 PM

Vaccines and socialization, to be or not to be.
I have a 11 week male GSD pup.(12 weeks on sunday) Gunner is the best thing that has happened to this marine in a good long while. Other than my wife of course.

Thats why I want only the best for him. While no one is perfect, there has to be a right answer to the vaccinate or socialize question.

Ive read a lot of research, called a lot and spoken in person to a wide range of professionals on this issue. It always comes back to the answer I knew about in the first place. and that everyone says to release themselves from liability. "Its really your decision."

Well of course it is, but thats why I didnt ask for yours, I just want to gain from your experience!

I feel strongly and dont doubt for a second that if you dont socialize in time, both you and the dog will pay for it later. Furthermore the dog is really the one that is done a disservice, and I dont want that on my conscience. What I do want is a happy dog. So what is the most influential time frame regarding socialization for male GSD pups?

Ive heard 8-12 weeks, but the vet says im fine to wait till after his last shot (at 16) So I dont want to sacrifice his safety for his happiness, nor his happiness for his safety!]

My issue is that the breeder had given him a shot at 6 weeks(Oct 19). Then when we got him at 7 weeks(I know a week early) we took him to the vet and they scheduled him on Nov. 23 (Five whole weeks later!) When we got there on the 23rd, they said that too much time has passed and we would need to start over. So they gave him the shot, and scheduled another on Dec 13. Now, They think that will be his 2nd shot. It may be his last, because I do not want to over vaccinate, he's a dog.

Ive researched the info on the pharmacists webpage, the AVMF, AVMA, my trainer, my vet, the emergency vet, countless internet sites.

I know this is a common question for dogs these days, but what do the german users advise. User advise means more to me than professional or paid. Because its unbiased and experienced, boots on the ground.

I want so badly to show him the world, but dont want to cross the threshold I currently have for him (the home, the backyard, the frontyard, my car window, trusted family homes, bringing friends and family over, and our trainer) if it means he sniffs up some parvo or distemper.

Thanks in advance for your time, I know its long, and thats probably why it wont get read much, but to any that do, This US marine would greatly appreciate it, my little pup gunner has already in 5 weeks done for me and my ptsd what VA doctors and pills couldnt do in a year. So I will give him the same. Thanks again.

onyx'girl 11-29-2012 08:51 PM

The vax at 6 weeks was virtually useless...puppies still carry the maternal antibodies and fight off vax's until about 7-8 weeks. That is why the protocol is now to wait til 8 weeks to begin the series of puppy shots. I would follow Dr. Dodds vaccination protocol....she IS the guru on researching the risks and side effects of vaccinations: Dr-Dodds-ChangingVaccProtocol

You are right in your thoughts, and we cannot keep pups in a bubble, they need some exposure so their immune system stays strong!
Thank you for your service to our country, and welcome to the site!! I look forward to pics of Gunner! I hope he will help with your ptsd, in fact I know he will!!!

JeanKBBMMMAAN 11-29-2012 09:05 PM

This has a lot of back and forth, but my post is in there so I don't have to repeat it :) and I agree with Guardyan as well.

question about Parvo ( 1 2)

harmony 11-30-2012 02:09 AM

It can be a fine line. I heard vet techs say how dumb people are letting a puppy on the floor (at a vets), and I do agree (to bad some people just do not know better). But it might be a good idea to have a social dog and not wait until a half a year either. Be careful :)

GrammaD 11-30-2012 09:43 AM

Take him to early puppy classes for early socialization. That's a low risk setting plus you get started on good foundation work.

msvette2u 11-30-2012 11:11 AM

Distemper does not live off it's host very long at all, it's quite fragile.
Parvo is a huge danger and it's everywhere.
We vaccinate using these protocols -
Community Practice Vaccination Protocols from the College of Veterinary Medicine

But a puppy isn't fully protected with 1-2 vaccines, and even up to 4 vaccines (if started at 6-8 weeks).

Avoid dog parks, and try to take the puppy low-dog-traffic areas, and/or carry the puppy when you're out in public where other dogs may have gone potty.


When we got there on the 23rd, they said that too much time has passed and we would need to start over. So they gave him the shot, and scheduled another on Dec 13. Now, They think that will be his 2nd shot. It may be his last, because I do not want to over vaccinate, he's a dog.
As long as it is a 5-way vaccine and doesn't include lepto, you should be good -
The reason a series of vaccines are given as opposed to 1-2 is because of maternal antibodies which onyx mentioned.

A puppy over 4mos. of age only needs 2 vaccines to impart immunity, because of that reason as well.

At 11-12 weeks, you could do 2-3 (again 5-ways are extremely safe) whichever your vet recommends.
Kennel cough and lepto are unnecessary.

Nikitta 11-30-2012 11:18 AM

Welcome to the forum. It's great to see someone doing their research. It's great to see someone else with the same great taste about dog breeds as the rest of us./smile The people here are more knowledgeable about this then i am. I just wanted to welcome you and thank you for your service to our country and we LOVE pictures here.

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