In the next month I will adding a new addition to my home and I have a question regarding socialization and immunization as I just want my new puppy to get off to the best start possible. A lot of my family and friends have dogs and after doing a lot of research I've learnt that a puppy needs to be fully immunized prior to meeting other dogs. How true is this? as I don't my dog to be segragated from other dogs for the first portion of her life. Don't get me wrong I also want her to be safe and healthy but is there a happy medium?
Yes - socialize her with dogs you know that have been fully vaccinated. Stay away from dog parks and do not put her down on the floor at the vets or at a pet store or any public place until she is fully vaccinated.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
The best thing would be to have firends with dogs that have been vaccinated to come over to visit at your home until your pup is fully vaccinated. That way, your pup gets used tomeeting people and dogs right away. Then you can branch out to stores, parks, pet shops, dog parks, other people's homes, etc.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
I agree with both responses. Dr. Patricia McConnell discussed this dilemma in "The Other End of the Leash" and IIRC recommends similar solutions.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I agree with the previous responses. I only let Lucy get around my parents dogs and my sister's dogs until she was FULLY vaccinated. I was very careful about taking her to pet stores and places where other dogs have been until she had her shots. A couple of months ago I started taking her to the dog park and she loves it! I also have enrolled her in daycare at Petropolis which is her favorite! However, she has just come down with kennel cough. Your dog has to have the bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine before going to Petropolis, so I guess she picked it up from the dog park. They put her on antibiotics and she is back to normal! The vet said to just be careful b/c although they are vaccinated it does not mean they CANNOT get kennel cough and other illnesses they are vaccinated for. He said they are still able to get it, it's just not going to be nearly as bad as if they didn't have the vaccine. Now whether this is true or not I don't know, but I am a first time dog owner so of course I feel like a terrible mom that my dog came down with kennel cough. I'm so glad she's doing better though, I really was worried about her. So yes I would wait until she's had her complete set of shots before socializing her with dogs you do not know. Hope this helps!
Agree with the above. I was actually reading an article by Ian Dunbar this morning on this very issue ('Modern Dog' with morning tea, anyone? ) and he basically says that it's much more crucial during that period (8-13 weeks) that puppies be socialized with people of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. He said that the exposure puppies get at the breeder's with their mom and siblings is usually enough to 'tide them over' until they are fully vaccinated and can go to areas frequented by strange dogs.
Hope that helps! Have fun with new puppy, and post lots of pictures!
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue