Eureka! Dog Blog

Dog Training and Behavior weblog

Socializing New Puppies

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This has come up a few times over the last couple of weeks.  If you have a new puppy, he should not be going out and about until he has had all his puppy vaccinations.  We’ve heard from several people who have adopted new puppies (some as young as 6 weeks old – too young to be taken from their mother and litter-mates) and who are not aware of this. 

Yes, we all agree that puppy socialization is very important – you want your puppy to have as many happy experiences as possible, so he is not scared of the world, and so that he knows how to greet new people and dogs.  But until you know he is protected from the common diseases that kill puppies, he should not be walking around parks, streets, shopping malls, dog parks, etc.  Carry him instead of letting him run on the sidewalk.  Let him run around the house and the enclosed yard.  Have him meet older or young adult dogs that you know are not carrying diseases.

Once he has had all his puppy shots, then start letting him meet and greet other puppies, walk in common areas, go to puppy classes.  Just make sure you are there to deal with any problems he encounters.  If he is startled by something, don’t reinforce his fear by grabbing him and soothing him – that will make him believe it was something to be scared of.  Instead, just get his attention and do something fun – play with him or give him a treat, and act like nothing bad was happening.

Written by eurekapaws

January 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm

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