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Socializing puppies when there is a risk of disease

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Daphne

1292589
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 8:09am PST 
When a mother is feeding her puppies there is a secretion of Colorstrum in the milk. The Colorstrum is full of antibodies for the pups which fights off disease. Once the pups are weaned from their mother the Colostrum level decreases which in turn increases risk of disease to the puppies. Even when there is still even a slight amount of Colostrum in the pup's body systems after weaning this will decrease their 1st set of vaccinations to prevent disease. I think it is a major risk to socialize a pup until they have had their full set of inoculations at 16-weeks of age and I still would use caution afterward. I already lost a dog to a fatal disease and I will be darned if I lose my new baby. I live in an apartment complex with idiots. They do not stop to think my pup's immune system is still low and she could acquire diseases quickly and easily. They think they can just approach my puppy to play with her and invite their dogs to join in on the play. They think puppies are some kind of toy and do not think of the responsibilites of keeping a puppies health in check. Then these people get bent out of shape or take offence when I tell them they can't be around my pup. I don't care! It's my fur baby and not theirs. When I see someone appraoching my pup and me, I will quickly reenter my apartment. It is bad enough my puppy has to be in the environment that can be contaminated with disease such as in grass, plants, the air we breath in, but then these idiots bring their pets over. Not only pets can carry diseases, but humans can to. I read on a post on this site that people can be invited to come over and see your new puppy. Well, people can carry disease on their clothing and other articles. Humans are no safer than their pet visiting your new pup. What makes me laugh is they tell me their pet is vaccinated. So, big deal. It doesn't mean their pet hasn't been in contact with sickly animals and their pet can pick up the disease, not get sick themselves, but can or will spread a disease or diseases to my pup. It's called cross-contamination or dissemination. I have researched this all while in medical school and my years in the medical field. People do not think, period. They make poor judgment from their own stupidity. They take things with a grain of salt. Well, not me. As I said I lost a close and I mean very close fur baby and I will not lose another one. Those of you that take it lightly then I feel sorry for you. The reckless one's who take no precautions are the one's who will lose their fur babies. I will have sympathy for your puppy, but no sympathy for you when you could or should I say should have taken responsibility for your puppy. I lost my fur baby to Histoplasmosis (fungal lung cancer) and there is no vaccination for it. Our fur babies can pick up diseases easily, quickly, and they be rip away from us in the snap of a finger. The one's not protecting their fur babies or lack respect for those who do protect their fur babies are reckless and it shows me they really do not care all that much for their own fur babies when they don't safeguard them. Would you take your human baby/child on outings around sickly people without your baby/childs immunizations? I think not. Same thing for furry babies. If you love your pet then you should take responsibility to protect them.
Go ahead and socialize them, but don't bring your dog around my puppy or there will be you know what to pay by me and not just me, but others who have witnessed my loss of a fur baby. How hard it is to protect them to disease compared to them suffering and being sick for the rest of their lives from Parvo or other diseases and let's not let us forget the costs involved to save a dog from something such as Parvo and/or other diseases. The fur baby didn't come into this world to be harmed by disease that should have been prevented by responsible pet owners. They came into this world to love us unconditionally and we return the love to them.
dog
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 10:13am PST 
I would much rather put in the time later then lose a pup to infection or disease. While I get the socializing windows, I also live in a HIGH risk parvo area. And since I almost lost a dog that was fully vaccinated to it at 9 months, when she should have been safe, I have no faith in vaccines. She was vaccinated at 6, 10 and 14 weeks then again at 6 months with rabies as per the protocol at that time. I am super cautious with pups. They go only to areas I know are safe, I limit exposure to other dogs, I bleach everything they use and I am cautious about who handles them, making sure they are disinfected before and after contact.
Many people are unaware that parvo is spread through direct OR indirect contact and the virus is extremely resilient. Add the multitude of fungal and bacterial infections and I will take caution over risk any day.
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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 10:53am PST 
No one is suggesting you socialize your pup with sickly dogs.

I've had dogs and/ or cats for nearly fifty years now. Proper vaccination is important, but givrn a normal vaccination schedule and some reasonable precautions, puppies are ate very low risk of infection. More dogs die of lack of socialization--they are the dogs who bite or get into fights not because they were "bad dogs" but because they never learned what's normal in their environment, how to cope with the new and the unfamiliar, and how to interact with members of their own species, who come in a bewildering array of sizes and shapes.

You do need to be careful about socialization before the puppy vaccine series is complete, ut it's a bad mistake to avoid it altogether.

Socialization should be, yes, in a place you know unvaccinated or sick dogs have not been. Dog socialization should be with stable, friendly adult dogs and appropriately sized puppies WHO ARE VACCINATED.

Socialization with people should be with as many different kinds of people as possible--as long as they will obey your rules for how to interact appropriately with your pup, and not inadvertantly make it a bad experience.

But you are doing your pup no favor at all if you shield him from all "exposure" until he's four months old and the puppy series is done.
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 11:57am PST 
Vaccines are finished earlier here than they are over there. Pups receive vaccines at around 8 and 10 weeks old, so are usually ready to start walks about 12 weeks old here. 16 weeks is far to late IMO to begin socialization and i'd be extremely worried about beginning so late and trying to make up for lost time. The benefits of early socialization far outweighed the small chances of either of my two catching any diseases.

I started socialization from the very first day with both my two. Took them out in my arms to pet shops, down town, in shops, around busy markets and we also took daily short car rides to accustom them to travelling. Visiting relatives was also a major part of their socialization. After both their first jabs I took them to puppy parties and I started taking them for short trips around the local playing fields, in my arms still at this stage of course. They didn't mix with other dogs apart from the other puppies at puppy parties. By the time they was both ready to take proper walks they was confident puppies that showed no nerves. Recall training was started from that very first walk too where they was allowed to run free. Missy was about the size of my foot and was freely mixing with GSDs, Goldies, Springers...without a care in the world.

My next puppy will be arriving with all jabs already given and at a later age than my current two was, so most of that very early socialization will be down to his breeder. But I wouldn't do anything differently with any future puppy as i've found it to be very successful. Of course, you should exercise caution if you live in a high risk parvo area etc, but really it's just abut weighing up the pros/cons and doing what you think is best for your puppy.
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Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 4:08pm PST 
My two started going to Petsmart, the Dog Park and puppy classes when they were 9 weeks old.
shrug
Everyone is different.
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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 4:18pm PST 
Also, Daphne, try not telling people they're irresponsible or don't love their dogs because they balance the relative risks differently than you do. If you don't start off by insulting people, you might get a more positive response.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 5:19pm PST 
And, this colostrum is only present during the first 24 to 36 hours of nursing... after this the pups gut changes and these antibodies from their mother can no longer be absorbed, so weaning time has nothing at all to do with how long the effects of the mother's antibodies last. It is totally dependent on that particular puppies immune system, and it can be six weeks in one puppy in a litter OR 12 weeks in his littermate.
Jethro ONLY received his mother's milk for 8 hours. After those first eight hours, due to illness of his mother, he was bottle fed completely.
He was titer tested at 7 weeks to check his immunity to parvo and distemper and he was extremely high therefore his vaccinations were not started until he reached nine weeks of age based on those titers.
He was also raised in our boarding kennel/grooming shop and was exposed to hundreds of dogs as well as hundreds of people from day one. Of course, we were not stupid with him, but he did have plenty of contact with other vaccinated dogs who came to our kennel.
Titer testing is a simple solution to determine where a puppies immunity to the tested disease is and when the puppy vaccines should be given.
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Daphne

1292589
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 7:19pm PST 
Oh, she is being socialized. I just chose who will see her. I want to bring up a scenrio and lets all just see what everyone thinks. Being a medical professional and have worked with numerous animals over my lifetime and I being 53-years old have seen a lot.
Here goes:
Jane Doe brings her dog over to see your new pup. Her dog has had all his or her full series of vaccinations. Lets say Janes dog is 5-years old and the dog gets it's annual boosters. Jane is strict with her dogs health care. Your new pup is only 8-weeks old and just recieved her or his first vaccinations. Okay, so Jane says, "Oh, my dog was just around a bunch of dogs at the park and they were all playing". "Then I brought him or her over to a friends before coming here and my friend has 2-dogs and 2-cats. So can Jane's dog being healthy and having his or her vaccinations be caring disease from those other dogs her dog played with? Yes, her dog can carry diseases from those other dogs. Can Janes dog have a virus somewhere on their body from those other dogs? Yes, her dog can. So can Janes dog pass illness to your new pup after playing with all those other dogs? Yes, her dog can. Viruses can be carried on Jane's dog fur and other parts of her dogs anatomy. Her dog will not get sick, but her dog can pass disease onto your new pup.
Now do you see where I am coming from. It's called cross-contamination or dissemination. A healhty pet can pass disease onto a pup after that heathly dog played with other animals that are diseased. Do you know the diseased dogs. No, you do not. You are unaware of even where those dogs have been prior to playing with Jane's dog. I am not saying to confine your dog away from everyone and everything, but a new pup needs protection. I agree there is still a great amount of time to socialize a pup after they are safe from acquiring a horrific disease that could cost them their life or cause health problems the rest of their life. So if someone tells me that their dog is vaccinated means nothing to me. That dog can have all it's vaccination and is healhty but played with other dogs and that healthy dog can then bring disease to your dog/pup.
I am just being cautious and I chose who will be around my pup and then I still question after the scenrio I gave you all.
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Samantha (In loving memory)

Eskies are- angels with- invisible wings!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 7:37pm PST 
A poster surprised me saying they brought their dog to Petsmart and Petco. Dogs cannot even be groomed in a store and other places until they are 4 months old or older. Of course Petco and Petsmart have policies on allowing pups in stores, but they don't enforce them. They don't care as long as they get the dollar out of your pocket.
My groomer will not see my puppy until at least 10-months of age as disease is spread through out grooming facilities even though they clean those places to the hilt. Vet's strongly suggest not bringing your puppy to dog parks, stores, etc until their immune system has strenghtened.
I have seen pups leave Vets offices and end up acquiring Parvo even though the Vet's office santized their facility.
So if you want to run the risk, but I won't. My last dog was healthy and I let her do anything. But when she was a pup I used great caution. She was a highly socialble gal too. Even when I was a breeder I was cautious of people who came to my place to look at pups before chosing one to eventually take home. Who's to say they were not carrying disease on their person.
I guess some people don't take their beloved pets seriously and take everything with a grain of salt.
Oh, I need tell people that my former furry baby was my service dog and my new pup will be my service dog. They go through rigorous training to be service dogs for me. Do I want to jeapordize their health because of people who do not take their pets health seriously?
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 16, '13 7:43pm PST 
It's all a lot of fretting for no reason, IMO. In this day and age, no one should be taking an 8 week old puppy home. They are vulnerable to disease, in a fear imprint, and are missing out on critical and irreplaceable socialization time with their litter. I take mine at four months.

And for all the logic you state, bringing a puppy outside at ALL carries the same risks. Taking your pup to the vet carries that risk.

Receiving a puppy at the proper age negates all of this. I have adopted out a lot of shelter pups, never before twelve weeks, and have not lost one.
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