I'd like to enroll Cassie in puppy kindergarten with the same trainer we took Piper to. I liked her style and really connected with her. She has a session starting this coming Saturday, which runs 6 weeks, and after that session is over a different trainer will be teaching the following 2 sessions. The trainer I like (Nancy) is traveling to show her goldens this summer. I'd really love to get Cassie into the session Nancy's teaching before she leaves.
Here are my questions. Cassie will be exactly 11 weeks old on Saturday. Is this too young? Also, she has had one round of vaccinations at the breeder and is not due her booster until mid April. Is it wise to expose her to the other puppies, as well as anything lurking around the training academy, before having her booster shots in 2 weeks? The trainer does not see either of these as problems. I'm not super concerned about the age, I think we started Piper only a week or two older. But the shots things worries me some as the trainer (who stands to benefit from my $$$) and my vet (who has been known to be very conservative) disagree.
I'm no expert. But, here's how I understand things, from my vet...
Puppies are born with immunity they get from their mom. It wears off somewhere between 8 and 16 weeks. Without some type of testing (expensive I think), you don't know when this will happen. Until it wears off, they are pretty well immune to most of the diseases, apparently. The problem is, none of the shots your puppy gets, apparently, will "take," or in other words, will provide "additional" immunity, as long as the puppy's mom's immunity is still in its system. It basically renders the shot useless. This is why you get several rounds of shots between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. The vets are, as I understand it, saying "we don't know where the puppy loses his natural immunity (and thus would need a shot), so we will give several rounds of shots every 2-3 weeks -- that way, when the mom's immunity wears off, it won't be long until your puppy gets a set of shots which will will 'take.' "
So, I think the issue is this -- what if your pups first set of shots were useless (she still had her mom's immunity at that time). Then, her immunity from her mom wears off at 10 1/2 weeks, and yet you don't have the next set of shots scheduled for her until 12 weeks. Therefore, she would have 1 1/2 weeks where she, apparently, would be effectively not immune -- and thus susceptible to a puppy disease lurking around the training academy.
I am only giving you the rationale, not any judgement as to what you should do. I'm just trying to give you some info to help you make your decision.
It really is just about your comfort level.
I started Gabby at puppy class at 9 weeks. But it was run at our vet clinic for our vet's clients only - so everyone was on the same shot schedule, etc.
First off I wouldn't ever attend a puppy K where all of the dogs were requested to show vaccinations being up to date. And at your puppies age that would apply. I took Moose to a puppy K class at 12 weeks and he did great. I don't think it is too young - you can always take more than 1 class!
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
I'm sure the younger the better, I know the place where I take Murphy has an age requirement, it is pretty broad though and I dont know exactly what it is.
Why would it be bad that they request vaccinations?
I'd wait personally. It's just not worth the risk of your puppers picking something dreadful up and getting very sick.Hoping this was a typo?Originally Posted by dakkerdog
I spoke with the trainer again and she again encouraged me to take the class, telling me it's not an issue that Cassie has only had her first set of shots and that the Giardia is "no big deal". I spoke with the vet again and he told me it's a BIG issue that Cassie has only had her first set of shots. I'm going to err on the side of safety and skip this session.
I originally found this trainer through my vet's office, they were recommending her. In my last conversation with the vet he told me he's taking her cards off his reception desk and no longer giving out her info in the package he gives to new dog owners because he feels so strongly that she's putting dogs at risk, both by taking puppies before the vaccines and by the fact that she also didn't discourage us from coming when I told her that Cassie has (and is being treated for) Giardia.
In light of this encounter, and since I'd rather not wait an additional 8 weeks before starting, I'll start investigating other trainers in the area in the hopes that I can find a class for her that starts in 2-3 weeks, after her next round of shots.
That sounds like a good idea. I know that my trainer will not allow any dog in her class until all shots are up to date.Originally Posted by Piper
I'm not sure where you are located, but this link may help you find some trainers in your area. Good luck!
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
My trainer had us start Grace at 10 weeks too. I wholehearted believe the earlier the better. As long as the puppies/dogs in the class have had the shots that are appropriate for their age, then they are fine. I do think that there is a certain amount of "safety" you need to mind with puppies, but most of the times, these classes are held in areas where the only dogs that attend are ones that are healthy and not bringing in illnesses.
I would take the class and listen to your trainer.