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Puppies, Vaccinations, and Socialization

I read an excellent article yesterday in "The Whole Dog Journal" written by Pat Miller, a knowledgeable and renowned dog trainer. The topic was vaccinations and socialization.
Most puppy owners are not aware that the critical socialization period for their dog is between 3 to 14 weeks. Since most puppies are not brought home until they are at least 8 weeks, one would hope that the breeders did some good socialization work with the little one before they went to their new home. However, there is still another 6 weeks of prime time to teach the puppy what a wonderful place the world can be. BUT a lot of puppy parents are not doing it. Why? Because their puppy has not completed its full series of vaccinations and they have been warned to keep their little one away from dogs and public places until they have had all their shots. Bad Move! The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior says, "Puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. They should have a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class". Puppies who have not had their full series of shots should be kept away from dog parks and other places where ill dogs may frequent but otherwise, they are good to go. Get you puppy out with you whenever you can and let him meet and greet all sizes and shapes of people, children, and safe and healthy dogs. Just ensure that it is a positive experience for him. The most well-rounded and easy going adult dogs are the ones that have been properly socialized as puppies. Get him enrolled in a good quality puppy class and you are less likely to have a dog that grows up fearful with fear-related issues.

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