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Vaccines and socialization

1982 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  doggiedad
Hey Guys.

I am picking up my new pup on Tuesday, she is going to be 7 weeks then. My previous dog was older when i picked her up, so i dont think this was as much of a concern.

She had her shots at 6 weeks, but i am almost certain that that was round 1.

My concern is, as far as i know she is not protected until 3 rounds of shots are up, yet this is the most important socialization period in her life. How do you manage the health concerns with complete socialization?

thanks for everyones help in advance.

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I have always thought an important time was from 12 to 20 weeks but I could be wrong? I also know breeders that won't let a pup go till 8 weeks or longer? Some even being 12 weeks. I wouldn't take her to any dog parks till she's done w her shots........well I would never go to a dog park but that's another story, but you can take her around people she will be fine.
Yes there is an important socialization stage at 8-12 weeks old.
I think you sort of have to balance the socialization and the worry of health. My solution is to socialize but to do so carefully. So for example I would avoid places where a lot of unknown dogs may be, but take the dog to visit a lot of friends and to play with friends' dogs who are healthy and vaccinated. A lot of people will take their puppy in public only while holding them so they aren't coming into contact with the ground.
Puppy classes may also be an option, as long as they have strict health and vaccination requirements.

Here are a few good websites that talk about socialization before fully vaccinated:


Early puppy socialization classes: risks vs. benefits - Veterinary Medicine

Puppy's First Month at Home (8-12 weeks) | Dog Star Daily

How to socialize
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When a pup is vaccinated before 8 weeks, the vaccine may be fought off because the maternal antibodies are still in the pups system, therefore making the vax worthless. Over vaccinating or combining rabies with other vac's can be as risky as taking a pup without proper vax. I would use good judgement, take pup to relatives or friends with healthy, stable temperamented dogs for socializing. And carry pup at the vet, bring your own towel to put him on til at least the second set is completed.

I follow Dr Dodds vaccination protocol taken from here...

We have followed Dr. Ian Dunbar's recommendations which basically state to allow pups into puppy classes and the like 7 days after the 2nd set of vaccinations. Generally first is at 6 weeks, 2nd at 9 weeks, so the earliest we allow pups into our puppy socialization gatherings is 10 weeks assuming they started at 6 weeks.
I may get flamed here, but seriously use your judgement. I would avoid dog parks and pet stores, but do take your pup out and about around the neighborhood and to play with older dogs you know. Socialization doesn't have to mean your dog meeting new dogs- you can take her everywhere you go to see new places, people, and noises which is just as important as meeting other pups. Take car rides, go hiking for short periods, meet the neighbors, and so on. I do however, hate taking my pup for their first vet visit because it seems no one thinks about all the germs they will come in contact with in the waiting room. Call ahead and ask to be sat in a spare room instead of forced to stay in the waiting area that is only cleaned at the end of the day:) Other than that my pups go where I go from day one.
Guys, thanks so much. This is very very useful!
I took my current dog out and about the second day I had him and he was 8 weeks old. Like the others said, I avoided places with lots of other strange dogs but did take him to meet my friend's dogs that were known to be safe with puppies and just took him for walks. I took him every possible place and had as many people of different types, ages, and whatever to pet him right away.
This probably won't be a popular idea, but I'm planning to use a pet stroller for my next puppy. That way I can take them out without having to worry about them coming into contact with germs other animals have left on the ground or other surfaces before the puppy is fully vaccinated, so I can take them more places.
i got my pup at 9 weeks old. he was in puppy class at 10 weeks
old that was after his 2nd round of shots. for socializing and training
i had lots of people visit our home and some brought their dogs.
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