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There are some dog parks 1.5-2 hours away and I don't mind going to them but obviously that isn't a good idea because vaccinations... There are dog clubs, is that safer? I am not sure how to find groups of fellow dog owners to socialize with... very very rural southeast GA....
I checked and the dog club requires proof of vaccinations for puppies who use the facilities.. Although when I took my adult dog they didn't ask for any proof... could the puppy area be an OK option still?

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Couple things to add... Rowdy has been a lot of places, and there are two things that he gets nervous around (that I've noticed so far). The 8 foot stuffed bear at Bass Pro shop and garbage bags.


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This is an awesome guide. I already planned on going to parades, but now I'm going to add baseball games to my socializing.
 

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There are some dog parks 1.5-2 hours away and I don't mind going to them but obviously that isn't a good idea because vaccinations... There are dog clubs, is that safer? I am not sure how to find groups of fellow dog owners to socialize with... very very rural southeast GA....
I checked and the dog club requires proof of vaccinations for puppies who use the facilities.. Although when I took my adult dog they didn't ask for any proof... could the puppy area be an OK option still?

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Stay clear of the Dog Park until your puppy has had all his/her immunizations...it's full of germs! Eddie received his final shots at 14 weeks, and has been going to the dog park regularly ever since... he loves it - he has met all kinds of puppies and adult dog breeds, tends to gravitate towards certain breeds (and never the ones I think he'll like LOL). I am so proud of how he behaves when he's there, he always enters with respect for the dogs already there - I see so many owners let their dogs charge in totally wound up. Eddie is calm, respectful and submissive at first, then once he sniff out the right dog to play with he is super playful and full of energy, but always gentle. He is 5 months now and has been hanging out with the big dogs in the large breed section of our park - he feels super confident hanging with the big kids and clearly wants to be like them - it's hilarious to see. At 14 wks he also started basic puppy training at Petco which has allowed him to hang out with dogs his size. The training isn't the best in the world, but Eddie enjoys himself and loves coming to the store, so I'm happy. We live 2 blocks from our kids' school, during the day he goes for walks around the school and sees and hears the screaming kids in the playground, watches the school busses come and go, and says hello to the crossing guards outside the school. He's met the mailman and LOVES him. Tons of dogs live in our neighborhood and we always meet some on our walks. I love being part of his life and helping him become a sweet, confident dog - every day he learns and grows - it's just an amazing experience! We're a mile from the beach but still haven't taken him - can't wait to, though! Also excited to see how he likes Paradise Ranch where he'll be boarding a week this summer.
 

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Any thoughts on socialization that I can do without taking my puppy out places? He is 4 months and unfortunately has pneumonia. He is recovering, but we have had to delay his second set of shots until he gets a clear xray. The vet specifically said not to take him out to dog parks or classes or let him play with other dogs. I do have 2 other dogs that he plays with, and we occasionally have people over. I have also taken him around to meet the neighbors. Am I going to miss some of the critical socialization periods? Anything I can do at home to help him be well socialized?

Thanks,

Shelly
 

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Any thoughts on socialization that I can do without taking my puppy out places? He is 4 months and unfortunately has pneumonia. He is recovering, but we have had to delay his second set of shots until he gets a clear xray. The vet specifically said not to take him out to dog parks or classes or let him play with other dogs. I do have 2 other dogs that he plays with, and we occasionally have people over. I have also taken him around to meet the neighbors. Am I going to miss some of the critical socialization periods? Anything I can do at home to help him be well socialized?

Thanks,

Shelly
If he's got pneumonia or recovering I think your vet may be very concerned that his immune system is compromised while he recovers. Without those vaccinations you really do put him at risk getting him out and about. If it were a normal situation with a healthy puppy who might be in an area with a high incidence of parvo I would suggest just taking puppy out in a carrier/wagon or something so his feet don't touch the ground. A puppy owner could also take the pup to dog friendly stores in the area. Here in my area Home Depot, Lowes and many other places are dog friendly- I just kept my guy in his Sherpa carrier or in a shopping cart (with a towel) after disinfecting it with a disinfecting wipe (and after because some people are squeamish about dogs in carts). We went to Home Depot, Lowes, Academy Sports, Bed Bath and Beyond, the bank, Goodyear tires, a church school, and many other places before he got his final vaccines but his feet never touched ground. In your case, since you have a dog who is recovering, I wouldn't do it until your vet gives you the all clear.
 

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I will be getting a puppy in September :D and of course I want to introduce her to everyone everywhere. Is it safe to take an 8 week old puppy out in public? It's been almost 10 years since I've done the puppy routine and I know she won't have all of her shots yet, etc. and don't want her to catch something.
I don't think people can transmit anything to her, but could they transmit something from their own pet to her if they touched their dog first and then pet her? Probably over thinking this but I wouldn't want to subject her to germs that I can avoid.
Thanks!:wavey:
 

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Thanks to Linda (Tahnee) for sharing this on FB this morning- I thought it was very well written:

The Biggest Mistake Of All: SOCIALIZATION.

Dogs need to be socialized. That means that dogs need to SEE the world, and handle it with social grace. We need to teach them the skills and habits necessary for participating within our society. Unfortunately socialization got misunderstood as interacting and playing. While puppies do need to play with other puppies, this is a teenie, tiny piece in their education, but somehow became the only piece.

Here is a socialization list that I have been compiling for the last three puppies that I raised. This is the type of thing that I teach in my puppy class.
1) Ridden in a wheelbarrow.
2) Many, many bridges of different surfaces, widths, heights, gaps inbetween planks etc. She can now take a slippery plank over my pond at a gallop, and stay on!
3) Climbing Driftwood at the beach for footing, balance, and learning how to use her body
4) Climbing rocks at botanical beach. This rock is thin sheets, so you need to focus on your feet and balance.
5) Sooke Home Hardware
6) Pet Smart where she shopped - but be careful of overly-friendly strangers who may not heed your instructions
7) The Gorge Waterway past heavy traffic, an odd pedestrian bridge, people, bikes, dogs, joggers etc
8) Canadian Tire, with a slippery, shiny entrance that she didn't even notice
9) Many types of floor surfaces
10) Only one dog-park trip with most pass-bys done in my arms, and several on the ground with very safe, kind dogs.
11) One walk with a friend and her dog
12) Children, and sat outside playgrounds
13) Hung out with chickens, ducks, and goats. When the goats were really scary, she was on my lap being protected
14) Been tossed into a giant box stuffed full with Teddy Bears, then got covered with Teddies and had to crawl her way out
15) Had towels thrown over top of her head. We have now graduated to entire sheets
16) Been held for cuddling and kisses every night
17) Had her toe-nails worked on weekly, with a dremel
18) Been cuddled and kissed while she chews on her bones
19) We walk at a new beach, forest or Mountain every single day. We are yet to repeat a walk.
20) Got stuffed into my jacket so I was 'wearing her', and we went for a bike ride with the big dogs running beside us
21) Is crated every single day for varying lengths of times
22) Has travelled in two vehicles, in different types of crates or seating arrangements.
23) Has been to Dintner Nurseries, and made friends with all the staff inside.
24) Because she is so friendly, she has had to learn the art of walking past people without always saying hello. We walk past at least four out of five people without greeting, otherwise her friendliness with be annoying when she is big and strong.
25) Maybe one of the most important things: She can pee and poop on grass, gravel, asphalt, or cement, on a leash, or free. This makes traveling very simple.
26) Every day she is presented with small problems that she must solve... how to get her ball that rolled under the couch, how to get the marrow out of her bone, how to stay on a bridge without falling off, how to climb over a downed tree that is higher than she thinks she can climb. I help her but NEVER do it for her. And I only help enough so that she has the confidence to do the rest. If she puts in no effort, I will not help her.
27) She is learning to come running back fast on her name, no matter the distraction. If she is running with my dogs, saying 'hello' to the chickens, seeing a person that she want to run to - 'Come' means chase me.
28) The Boardwalk in Sooke. It is a walk on a raised bridge - and is a fabulous experience for puppies.
29) She is learning that scratching up at, and holding onto my adult dog's heads while you passionately kiss them is not allowed.
30) Play Dates with trusted dog-friends
31) Walk on all types of stairs.
32) Been in a boat
33) Go swimming with a slow steady introduction to water
34) gone into the petting zoo to see all the animals, and more importantly, all the children
35) Walked on the weird decks at Fisherman's Wharf and explored this fun place. Be careful your puppy does not get eaten by the seals - and no, I am not joking. Don't allow them on the edge, peering into the water, just incase!
36) Been to two friend’s houses for dinner, and met their dogs when they were calm so that they would not scare her
37) Watched an adult herding sheep. Her eyes almost popped out of her head
38) Been in a kayak, and knows how to jump on and off
39) Been in a hammock
40) Sat on my lap in a swing
41) Gone down a slide, in my lap
42) Numerous games of soccer, including me tackling the ball from her
43) Stayed in hotels, and another house, during vacation
44) This polite puppy has learned to demand what she wants from me. This will be removed when she is less polite!
45) Travelled in the child section of a shopping cart, all around Home Depot
46) Ride in an elevator
47) Go through Automatic Doors
48) Be around someone that smells of cigarette smoke
49) Walk past a person in a wheelchair
50) Ridden around on my lap on the tractor
51) Accidentally seen a bear, and gave a very brave bark!
52) Hung out at the Vets and gotten cookies

Socialization means teaching life skills. I exposed them to every possible skill that she might need to be a functional adult. With all of the exposure and success comes a level of confidence and bravery; they will get to the point where they believe they are invincible. Even when they get into trouble, they know I am right there behind her to help her with her difficulties.

When they feel overwhelmed or scared, we do the experience in my arms, rather than on the floor. By not asking them to brave it, they watch from up high, and then starts wriggling like a mad things wanting to get down and do it themselves. Rather than asking them to try it, by taking that option away and making them feel safe they have to then demand that they be allowed to try it. Because it is their choice they are then brave as soon as they are put down on the ground.

My last puppy never did have one 'bad' experience. Unfortunately, it will happen, and even when it does, they will know that I am there to protect and help them. As they go on their adventures in the world, both good and bad, we are a team, and I have their back.

Monique Anstee
Victoria, BC
See this post on Facebook (source) under the Facebook name: The Naughty Dogge
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I've noticed with my dogs at least that even though I tried to have them experience all sorts of things when they were younger there are still things occasionally that we might come across that they've never experienced before since we travel a lot with them. But since they've experienced such a wide variety of things as puppies they handle the new things like champs. No hesitations because I helped them build up their confidence as puppies. I am super grateful for that.
 

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Well we can scratch carnivals and carnies off our list!
And how do you do it, get them comfortable with these sounds - especially things like air-nailers, gunshots, loud large trucks, etc?

DO you hold them? cuddle them? or just keep doing things naturally like try to make them heal and not pull on the leash?
 

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at what age should socialization start? immediately following final vaccinations?
My breeder starts it as soon as the pups have their eyes open. Her grandkids play with the pups, she puts mini agility equipment into a ex-pen, introduces the cat to them, etc, carpet, tile, wood floors, lots of handling.
There are different beliefs about what exposures are safe before final vaccinations. That would be a whole different thread. But I didn't wait - I continued Chance's immersion into new experiences from the day he came home at 8 weeks.
 

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My breeder starts it as soon as the pups have their eyes open. Her grandkids play with the pups, she puts mini agility equipment into a ex-pen, introduces the cat to them, etc, carpet, tile, wood floors, lots of handling.
There are different beliefs about what exposures are safe before final vaccinations. That would be a whole different thread. But I didn't wait - I continued Chance's immersion into new experiences from the day he came home at 8 weeks.
goldy1,

When you socialized your puppy, did you carry the puppy everywhere or did you let it walk on its own?

Thanks,

Jason
 

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Yes as a to-be puppy mom I am also interested in this question.
Hi Topher,

We ended up hand carrying Ramsay (who is now 19 weeks old) everywhere until about 17 weeks (1 week after his last shot). It is definitely a health/convenience/practical trade off you have to make.

From the moment we got Ramsay at 8 weeks, he never touched any surface where other dogs might've touched. We will carry him to the location we want him to experience then let him roam about. For example, we took him to an ice rink and the owner built a mound of snow for Ramsay to walk on and play in. We also took him to a woodsy area that's on a private property and off the beaten path to walk on (and of course, to our best efforts, Ramsay ate anything and everything he can get his paws on -- including a rock). Similarly, we also took him to busy shopping malls where he's easily greeted by 50+ people each time we go.

Hopefully this helps.

Jason
 

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Hi Topher,

We ended up hand carrying Ramsay (who is now 19 weeks old) everywhere until about 17 weeks (1 week after his last shot). It is definitely a health/convenience/practical trade off you have to make.

From the moment we got Ramsay at 8 weeks, he never touched any surface where other dogs might've touched. We will carry him to the location we want him to experience then let him roam about. For example, we took him to an ice rink and the owner built a mound of snow for Ramsay to walk on and play in. We also took him to a woodsy area that's on a private property and off the beaten path to walk on (and of course, to our best efforts, Ramsay ate anything and everything he can get his paws on -- including a rock). Similarly, we also took him to busy shopping malls where he's easily greeted by 50+ people each time we go.

Hopefully this helps.

Jason
Thanks Jason, this helps A LOT!
 
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