I was a frequent poster on the previous forum when I had my lab Lucy, and then I made a brief stint here on this site. I'm "about" to get another puppy. I'm trying to read up, brush up and remember all my old training and tips and tricks. One of the things that always bothered me, and I feel like I never truly understood the best way to handle it is how to get the puppy out and socialized pre-shots. I read so many horror stories and cautionary tales about parvo and other illnesses that can afflict a puppy without its shots, that I probably didn't socialize Lucy well enough. I mean we got out and socialized but she had some low grade anxiety, fear of small children and strangers. She was incredibly protective of me which was great on the one hand, but also made me feel bad that I might have been the cause of that behavior. She had what I would think was a great life - she was loved dearly by me, my friends and family and my exhusband. She was my best friend. I'm tearing up just writing this, I miss her so much! But I always wondered if I could have set her up for less anxiety if I had been better about socializing.
So... what are your thoughts and suggestions on what is safe and how to best socialize the puppy pre-shots. I live in a building where there are LOTS of dogs so being in an area that is dog free is going to be tough for me and the new pup.
Thanks in advance for your insights!
you don't have to leave your house to socialize to humans. Have puppy "parties" and invite people over. Have them remove their shoes at the door and wash their hands, as long as they haven't been playing in poop they should be safe to the puppy Concentrate on as many men and children as you can. Carry the dog in your arms and go see neighbours (actually you might even be safe walking there) to say hi.
Go over to friends/family homes (as long as they haven't had parvo you are good) with the puppy.
There are some puppy k classes that start around 9 weeks of age so you can look into those.
Bring the puppy to places like home depot, put them on a blanket you bring from home and in the cart (puppy touches nothing but the blanket and people's hands).
You can also socialize to other dogs in safe places (friend's dog who is friendly and up to date on their shots).
Talk to your vet about how prominent parvo is in your area. Some places are higher risk than others.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Thank you! Great suggestions. I was able to either have friends over or go to friends houses before. I like the puppy K idea to help supplement. Also I think now that I'm a bit older more friends have young kids. My good friends are vets and have a couple of dogs, so that is another option. Plus I love the Home Depot idea. Sure to get plenty of people who want to meet a puppy in there!
When old enough (Our Lab is 11 weeks now), I would suggest bringing her to Petsmart or petco on a weekend. There are always lots of people with there dogs and its a great way to socialize your puppy in a fairly controlled pet environment. We never let our puppy get to close to the other dogs at this point, but shes getting used to a lot of new smells.
We bring our puppy to football practice and to school when picking up our child. The kids on the sidelines and school love playing with her, and we feel its doing wonders for the little girl. She is very used to screaming/wild kids and love to run around with them.
I have always felt putting your puppy in a lot of "strange" environments helps condition them.
Last edited by K2-Kevin; 10-04-2012 at 11:38 AM.
We have a dog-friendly neighborhood. Mo is a regular celebrity on our walks. People driving by will yell out "Hey Mo" or come out of their houses to give him hugs and kisses. He absolutely loves the attention given to him by all the adults and the kids in our development. There are plenty of dogs but they are either too big, play too rough, or are too grumpy for little Mo and his antics. He does have a friend named Buddy, who is 7 years old, and loves to play with Mo. I take him to PetPeople every Friday and he gets to meet new people there. Once he has had his last set of shots, he will go with me to my barn owners house. She has a 2 year old Great Dane, a 4 year old "mop" looking little dog, and a 6 year old chocolate lab that he will play with while I ride.
Another thought is going for rides with the pup and going thru drive thru's.
Getting people over to your home is often going to require work. Reaching out to people you don't know well or whatnot to get a range of people. I have heard you want to reach for 100 different people.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Agree with Tanya that Pet stores are NOT places to bring a small puppy until fully immunized. They are not clean enough environments and the pup does not have to physically contact another dog to pick up disease (floor/other surfaces).
On the same note - your puppy should be in your arms at the vet office. Not touching the floor at all - ask them to disinfect the exam table if you don't see them do it OR bring a blanket/towel with you to put the puppy on.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.