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Okay, let's say I bring my 8 week puppy home less than a year from now. The puppy is going to have some shots, but not all of them. As everyone probably already knows, it's essential that you socialize your puppy at that age. The problem is, a lot of people say that you should almost isolate your puppy from other dogs because their immunity isn't built up. You can socialize around certain humans, but there is still a chance your puppy could get something if those humans have or are around dogs.

So my question is: How do you socialize a puppy who hasn't had all their shots without putting the puppy at risk?
 

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Go to places(relatives or friends) that are safe, whose dogs are good with pups and stay away from pet stores, dog parks, public parks anywhere that strange dogs go.
Take your pup to places that have people, noise, different texture/surfaces so pup can be exposed.
I went with my pup to parades, garden centers, farmers markets, the SchH club(I feel a private training group is safe) and several parties~I got my pup just before Memorial weekend so many events were going on.
At the vet, I recommend carrying your pup and bring a towel or blanket to put him on until the 2nd set of vaccines is done.
If the pup is of good genetic temperament and from a breeder that does puppy raising properly, you don't need pup to be around other dogs to keep him from getting reactive or fearful. I did take my pup to a puppy play group for a few visits when he was about 12 weeks, but after those he hasn't interacted with many dogs other than his own pack. He has no reactivity to dogs unless they get in his space/face.
 

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What she said...My vet doesn't want pups walking on the floor of his office until vacs. are completed, no Petsmart, dog parks, etc. However, our training club allows pups to start puppy class at 8 wks as long as they've had their first round of shots, so classes aren't out of the question
 

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Like this thread and the info posted here. I too was confused on what to do with my 8 week old..take him out to meet other dogs (friends and family pets) or refrain doing so till he gets the rabies shots ? Based on what I'm reading, looks like it's safe for him to meet other friendly dogs (with lots of supervision). Zorro did get his 2nd round of shots this week. So I'm assuming it should be fine
 

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I would keep my puppies in a bubble if I could, but if you want to raise well socialized pups you need to get them out and about a lot at an early age. Sure some dogs are more laid back than others and take things in stride even if the prime socialization period is missed, but IMHO if you use basic caution and don't do things like take your dog to a boarding kennel when it's 8 weeks old you will be ok.

We take our puppies everywhere we can from day one, so after only one set of vac's. I personally am not comfortable taking dogs in general to boarding kennels, daycares, etc, and I most certainly wouldn't do it with a puppy whether their vaccines were done or not. Their immune system is still developing. Dante's shots are done, but I'm still not comfortable with him going to doggie daycare and wouldn't dream of boarding him. However, he does go everywhere else - parks, city walking paths, various petstores, TSC, etc. We do not take him into petstores that sell puppies because they are sickly puppy mill puppies. However, he does get to meet and greet other privately owned dogs that appear healthy and well behaved.

He also started training class with about 20 other puppies when he was 11 or 12 wks old and he goes each week to that.
 
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