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We adopted a stray Shih-poo about 16 years ago but she was about a year and a half old and already house trained. She died late last year so we decided to get a puppy shih-poo. We have adopted strays before but always adult dogs, large outdoor types. Now we are getting see the things that we didn't know about puppies and it is challenging!

One of the problems that we have, is that the puppy, Abby, has long hair and our vet doesn't want us to take her to a groomer until she has all her vaccinations which will make her 22 weeks old. How have others handled getting the hair cut on a small dog before the 22 weeks? She's already starting to look shaggy now at 3 months (13 weeks).

Thanks for any information.
 

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Why 22 weeks??? Typically dogs are finished with their puppy vaccines just after 16 weeks of age. At my work we like to separate out the vaccines on the small dogs, so that sometimes pushes them to 18 ish weeks before they're done. 22 weeks seems like a long time beyond even the most conservative vaccine regimens that I've seen by vets. Do you know why it's going to be so late to complete the vaccines and/or what vaccine schedule your vet has recommended?
 

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Our vet starts shots at 8 weeks and has a 4 shot regimen. Vaccines at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 and 20 weeks with 2 weeks for the final booster vaccines to be fully effective.

Our vet seems to be very competent.
 

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I have a very conservative vet when it comes to vaccines and 22 weeks is really unusual. How is she being socialized?

I worked at a grooming salon and as long as puppies had been vaccinated against kennel cough for at least a week they were allowed in. I brought my own pup there and she was fine. In my puppy classes, they just need to have had their first round of shots at 8 weeks to be able to participate. In both cases I've never had a puppy get sick, even with something minor.
 

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I would be concerned about not getting the puppy accustomed to grooming from a young age. It's much easier for puppies to be introduced to grooming while they're young (within the socialization window) than to try to acclimate them when they're older.

Do you know if diseases like parvo and distemper are common in your area?
 

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Yes, we have had several puppies die of parvo in this area. Apparently some irresponsible people let their dogs run free and have spread the disease.
 

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Yes, we have had several puppies die of parvo in this area. Apparently some irresponsible people let their dogs run free and have spread the disease.
Well, in the choice between socializing late and watching my puppy die of parvo, I'll go with late socialization.

What you can do is get her used to the kind of things that happen in grooming yourself. Give her lots of treats while you brush her, touch her feet, touch her ears, use a blowdryer, etc. Go slow and keep it very, very positive.
 
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