As soon as the pup arrives home. If your vet tells you to hold up until all the vaccines are ready, say yes and forget about it as soon as get off of the clinic. You can take some precautions, as to let him meet dogs that are already vaccinated and take him to places where are no stray dogs, but he has to see as much world as possible.
I myself take my pup wherever I go, which I know is not possible for everybody but do your best, and at least every week I take her to a crowded place: a children playground, to the commercial center of the city, a country club with pool... Today I took her to the Saturdays street market, I can't think of a place more crowded and with more different smells and noises and different races of people, and screams and baby strollers and chickens and cryings babies and running kids and food stands and musicians and... I invite yourself to meet a street market in LA. I think if she survived today she can survive almost everything
Some folks will tell you to quarantine them until they've had all their shots, but I've also read the Mom's milk keeps them protected until 12 weeks, and by then they've had at least 2, depending on which protocol you are going with.
So I took my pup everywhere, and met as many folks as possible, and had no problems, and he's very well socialized and friendly. @ 12 weeks, pup class, for more animal socialization, twice a week until 20 weeks and also to work weekly to meet strangers.
I couldn't be happier with his development. Some folks would say introducing a working pup to that many people and or animals may be counter productive. Sounded silly to me, and have no regrets so far. He's now 14 mos, well socialized and behaved and very biddable, very making good progress.
So if you ask me, I have to agree with LicanAntai, and expect Diabla will be one sweet yet confident dog too.
My friend had a puppy shipped from a breeder from across the country. She went and picked the pup up at the airport after a 7 hr flight, and took the 7 1/2 week old puppy directly to our Schutzhund club. The puppy spent the next three hours exploring the grounds and meeting a dozen new people and other dogs.
This type of constant on-going socializing started from the minute he walked out of his kennel at the airport and continued on a daily basis.
Dog is turning out to be totally normal, and had never had a sick day yet, and is one of the most promising dogs in our club.
So, the short answer is: same as stated by everyone else, start socializing right away!
Yes, socialization starts the moment I get the puppy. As much as I can give as long as the puppy handles it well and is having fun. Kids, kids and more kids too. It's much easier to introduce dogs to kids when they are small, and easy to control.
If you are getting a puppy from a GOOD breeder, the socialization should already be started.
When I have a litter (mine or fosters) I start taking them 'out' at about 4 weeks of age. They go for car rides, visit the vets office (for socializing only), meet the neighbors and their kids and meet new animals (dogs I know, cats, farm animals, etc.).
I listened to the vet because I never had a pup before. Theres alot of dogs in my neighborhood and the way their tied up in yards or sometimes not fenced and running free, I didn't want to take a chance of him getting bit by some strange dog and a owner that I can't communicate with because they don't speak english. The last time I took a walk down the street by myself I was met by a free roaming pitbull. She was a sweetheart and talking to her like she was a puppy definitely worked, but what if I had Baron with me how can I resolve that situation. Baron was definitely socialized and around children, small dogs, cats as a pup. Now he's not around them much but loves to meet people and kids. We had my wifes cousins and her sister over recently and he was so good with the kids. Only nibbled a little after numerous lickings and for him thats really good. 1 more week till he gets his last shots. Reading what you guys said I hope I didn't make the wrong decision.
As soon as we got Jesse at 8 weeks old we took him to PetSmart several times a week to meet all sorts of animals and dogs and people of all nations. He started puppy education at 10 weeks of age at Pet Smart as well for socialization reasons which has worked out great. We also took him to malls to meet people and walked him in different areas. At 14 weeks he went to the leash free zone and 17 weeks he started daycare 1 day a week and plays with 14 -20 dogs on that day for 7 hours (monitored). Kids in the neighborhood love him up regularly. I took the position socialization is much more important for GSD at an early age than worrying about him getting sick doing it, I also knew the initial shots and mother's milk would help protect him if I was careful enough. Only one dog on the street I would not let him get near and it is a dog I am sure never had any shots.
Please remember that the shots are very important to their not getting a disease or virus, and make sure they have those boosters before any socializing is done. My sister lost Onyx litter-mate two weeks after getting her due to her DH socializing the pup... It was very heartbreaking to have that happen. Vet did everything they could, but when DH took him out for puppy play, somewhere poor Harley was exposed to something. The breeder did the first set of shots, Monty's illness happened in between the ten week booster. Unfortunately they did not have a necropsy done, as they were strapped for cash after vet bills, (I would have just done it anyway, whats a few more). I think though, that Monty was exposed to anti-freeze or something toxic. Still, remember they are BABIES and to keep them in your realm at every moment.
Just seeing that I think I made the right decision. If I missed the boat somehow on socialization I would rather work extra hard at training him after his shots are done than take even a 1 percent chance of him getting sick before his shots are done. Thanks onyx'girl