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I found a great website: http://www.perfectpaws.com/pup1.html
and I am copying their article here, in case the site goes down in the future.

Puppy Socialization Do's and Don'ts
Socialization and puppy training are of utmost importance as puppyhood is the most important and critical time in your dog's development. What you do and do not do right now will affect your dog's behavior forever.

Puppy Socialization
A properly socialized dog is well adjusted and makes a good companion. It is neither frightened by nor aggressive towards anyone or anything it would normally meet in day to day living. An un-socialized dog is untrustworthy and an unwanted liability. They often become fear-biters. Often they like to fight with other dogs. They are difficult to train and are generally unpleasant to be around. Unsocialized dogs cannot adapt to new situations and a simple routine visit to the vet is a nightmare not only for the dog itself, but for everyone involved. Don't let this happen to you and your dog. Start socializing your new puppy NOW! The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine agrees that the socialization period lasts up to about 12 weeks (3 months) of age. However, at 12 weeks, the puppy must continue socialization to refine its social skills. Socialization most easily occurs before the puppy is 3 months old. Any later than that and it becomes an excruciatingly difficult and time-consuming process that very few owners have the time, energy, money or patience to cope with.

Socialization Do's
Make sure that each of the following events are pleasant and non-threatening. If your puppy's first experience with something is painful and frightening, you will be defeating your purpose. In fact, you will be creating a phobia that will often last a lifetime. It's better to go too slow and assure your puppy is not frightened or injured than to rush and force your pup to meet new things and people.

-Invite friends over to meet your pup. Include men, women, youngsters, oldsters, different ethnic backgrounds, etc.

-Invite friendly, healthy, vaccinated dogs, puppies and even cats to your home to meet and play with your new puppy. Take your puppy to the homes of these pets, preferably with dog-friendly cats.

-Carry your pup to shopping centers, parks, school playgrounds, etc; places where there are crowds of people and plenty of activity.

-Take your puppy for short, frequent rides in the car. Stop the car and let your puppy watch the world go by through the window.

-Introduce your puppy to umbrellas, bags, boxes, the vacuum cleaner, etc. Encourage your puppy to explore and investigate his environment.

-Get your puppy accustomed to seeing different and unfamiliar objects by creating your own. Set a chair upside down. Lay the trash can (empty) on its side, set up the ironing board right-side up one day and upside down the next day.

-Introduce your puppy to new and various sounds. Loud, obnoxious sounds should be introduced from a distance and gradually brought closer.

-Accustom your puppy to being brushed, bathed, inspected, having its nails clipped, teeth and ears cleaned and all the routines of grooming and physical examination.

-Introduce your puppy to stairs, his own collar and leash. Introduce anything and everything you want your puppy to be comfortable with and around.



Socialization Don'ts
-Do not put your puppy on the ground where unknown animals have access. This is where your puppy can pick up diseases. Wait until your puppy's shots are completed. Do not let your pup socialize with dogs that appear sick or dogs that you don't know, that may not be vaccinated.

-Do not reward fearful behavior. In a well meaning attempt to sooth, encourage or calm the puppy when it appears frightened, we often unintentionally reward the behavior. It's normal for the puppy to show some signs of apprehension when confronting anything new and different.

-Do not allow the experience to be harmful, painful or excessively frightening. This can cause lifetime phobias in your dog.

-Do not force or rush your puppy. Let your puppy take things at his own pace. Your job is to provide the opportunity.

-Do not do too much at one time. Young puppies need a lot of sleep and tire quickly. It is much more productive to have frequent and very brief exposures than occasional prolonged exposures.

-DO NOT WAIT!! Every day that goes by is an opportunity of a lifetime that is lost forever. You can never get these days back. If socialization does not happen now, it never will.
 

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Hi Giorgy, thanks for the great article!!! There are some really good ideas there.

I must laugh though - are you expecting many of these sites to go down in the future? ;)

Vierka
 

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You do not have to wait until all vaccinations are completed.
Training in my areas requires that the first round it given.
Anyway, most folks only do 2 sets.
You will be required to have a negative fecal test.
 

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It's been shown that the 8 week vaccine gives full immunity for about a year, so I would be too worried, I do the 16 week also to compromise between the 3 rounds which I feel is excessive and 1 round


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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So would you wait until all your puppy's vaccinations are complete before you'd begin puppy class?
It depends on the area of the country you are in (if parvo is epidemic, do not start classes until shots are complete), your vet's recommendations, the trainer's recommendations and the trainer's liability insurance requirements. Parvo and distemper are a real problem in my area of the country. As a result our trainer (and her liability insurance provider) required proof of all vaccinations before we could start classes. We hired her to come by to get us started at the house so we practiced before formal classes started. It's all worked out fine.
 

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hoping to revive this thread - i'm trying to socialize my 4 month old puppy and want to bring him to different places (stores, malls, etc) but my area has a lot of no dog policies. Does anyone, especially in Central NJ, know any dog-friendly places that I can bring him?
 

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I'm not in NJ, but one thing I found surprisingly effective was walking Bailey down a busier street in my town. He encountered a lot of different people, but also trucks, fire engines, and a lot more car and foot traffic than we encounter in our neighborhood. He was tentative about the street noise and first, and now he doesn't care. We also had lots of opportunities to practice not jumping on people. :)
 

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It's been shown that the 8 week vaccine gives full immunity for about a year, so I would be too worried, I do the 16 week also to compromise between the 3 rounds which I feel is excessive and 1 round


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Realize this is an old thread but this is some awful misinformation here. If you only vaccinate an animal at 8 weeks of age and think that is good for a year, you will be wrong more than 60% of the time. The antibodies from the mothers Colustrum will not necessarily(more than 60% of the time!) fade by 8 weeks. I agree, you do not need to vaccinate 3 or 4 times, but not doing so a second time at 16+weeks is foolhardy given the current scientific evidence. If you plan to vaccinate your dogs then this is medical fact not open to interpretation or debate. If you are testing for titers then great, but if you are just guessing then your risking both your dogs health and any other unprotected animal with which it comes in contact.
 
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