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Discussion Starter #1
Why do so many dog-sites recommend keeping your dog off the yard and relatively isolated until all shots/vaccinations are complete - while at the some time teaching that early socialization with dogs and kids and people will yield the best results?

What is the proper compromise here?

Thanks!
 

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from what I learned. Its because the puppy has NO immune system (just like any baby) and only has the anit bodies from its mothers milk unitl 9 weeks(?) ... they are very suscptible to Parvo, distemper, kennel cough, fleasm ticks etc... They say to socialize with Vaccinated, Healthy dogs ... because you know they *shouldn't* get anything from them... parks and public spaces are no place for an unvaccinated puppy.
 

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I will always err on the side of more socialization/more risk, than less socialization so long as your area doesn't have any parvo/lepto outbreaks and if you're keeping your puppy off the grass and on the sidewalk, or are carrying your puppy around in stores, etc. you are relatively much safer than letting your dog jump in puddles , and roll in poop. This is what my vet recommended - just don't let him romp around in dog parks, or go into petsmart where thousands have peed everywhere. Keep the leash short, and keep the walks fairly short (maybe 15 minutes for a 8 week old pup, adding 5 minutes per month of age thereafter).

I brought my pup out as soon as she got her 2nd shot, and she is perfectly happy and very well socialized :) Plus, not exercising a dog is just asking for puppy problems to worsen, and even escalate due to the frustrations that come with lack of exercise.

But,as the owner, you have to decide what risk you're willing to take. If you have a dog that is poorly socialized, you might end up putting them down anyway if they ever broke skin on a human being.
 

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Parvo can live for 2 years on surfaces and puppies have no immunity to it. So take the puppy to petsmart in your arms, don't let him loose one floor. Also, socialization means exposure to not playing with. It's enough for your puppy to see lots of people, animals and things, he doesn't have to climb all over them. He can play with dogs you know are vaxxed in a home you know has not had parvo in it for at least 2 years.
 

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TMI Alert ...
1. The idea is to keep your young pup away from frequent dog traffic to avoid Parvo and Distemper infection, mainly. Most pups don't have full vaccinations until age 12 - 16 weeks. Before that time, they are susceptible, and these diseases are deadly, most of the time.
2. However, you can have 'puppy parties' and invite many people over to your house, 3 - 5 at a time, to socialize the pup with people. You want to control the situation a little, to make sure no one tracks in stuff from the outside. You can also discuss this with your Vet, because some places have a high risk or infection and some have a low risk.
3. In addition, if you are careful, then you can invite dogs who are up-to-date on all vaccinations to socialize with your pup, on your property. Again, discuss this with your Vet. We used to use my dog to help other people socialize their pups. If you're not sure, wait until your pup has had all shot before socializing with other dogs.
4. Any time that you want you can take your pup for a drive (pups may get car sick but most grow out of it fairly quickly.). YOu can carry the pup while shopping, and keep the pup in the cart... in places such as PetsMart, and some Home Depots. StarBucks lets you drink coffee outside with your pup.

Dr. Ian Dunbar popularized the general guidelines. I don't think he 'invented' them, but he did summarize them for general understanding.

Here are two free downloads: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
 

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You can take the puppy out in public, just keep away from high risk areas. Just carrying it around in public is good socialisation, it gets to see and smell many different things, and experience different environments. A lot of puppies also feel safer being carried than walking in new environments, so they accept new environments more readily.

Personally I will socialise early for my next puppy. For Obi I followed the advice to not take him out much until he had his last vaccine, at which point he was 15-16 weeks, and that is WAY too late to start socialising a puppy. Lucky for me and Obi he was socialised with a lot of people while he was in foster care, and I took him to puppy classes from the moment I got him. If it wasn't for that he would probably be messed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, all of you, for the great advice. Lil_fuzzy, that was my thought - 16 weeks is too old, but there are certainly people who advise waiting - which I was really not comfortable with. New puppy here, lab-mix from shelter, last night was his first night - just barely 8 weeks old, and he's extra-tiny, at that.
 

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The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has stated that the benefits of early socialization outweigh the risk of disease. (Read their position here: http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/puppy socialization.pdf )

I am a strong believer in early socialization. Last summer, we took our 12-week old malamute puppy to the state fair, and I believe she was much the better for it. For the first couple of weeks we had her, I took her to as many places as possible WITH THE EXCEPTION of places which included strange dogs. She experienced as many new people, places, sounds, and safe dogs (ie dogs we know and who aren't carrying disease) as possible. After she'd had a couple of rounds of shots, we began socializing her with strange dogs as well.
 
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