I have read that it is very important to socialize a puppy early on, especially during the socialization period, but can my puppy safely meet other dogs at this age. I will be getting my puppy at 8 weeks of age and the vaccinations will not be complete for several weeks after this. Do I just keep him away from other dogs (such as neighbors' and friends' dogs) until the vaccinations are complete? I am just concerned because I kow that socialization is very important and I want my dog to get along with other dogs.
if you know your neighbor's and friend's dogs are vaccinated, it's okay to have him be with them. a puppy kindergarten class is a great way to meet other puppies; the puppies in the class will have to be vaccinated. otherwise, you can take him to places you go such as just filling up the car with gas or to pick up a child from school and things like that. they have a fear period starting at 8 weeks till about 11 weeks, so avoid loud scary places. just do the best you can. socialization is an ongoing thing that can expand once the puppy has all the vaccines.
In my opinion, I would wait until all shots have been given. Right now your pup can catch anything because their immune system isn't built up yet. If you know your neighbors and know shots are current, that shouldn't be a problem but stay away from pet stores where you can take the puppy for now. What kind of puppy are you getting? If you do start puppy classes you, as well as others, will be required to show that all shots are up to date.
I am getting a terrier mix so I wanted to be sure that I socialize him will because I have been told that terriers can be dog-aggressive. The puppy class is a great idea, thanks for the suggestion. I knew that all puppies had to be vaccinated and I am planning on taking my puppy to classes but I didn't put the two together. : )
I didn't know PetSmart had a puppy play group. I know they didn't have it back in 2000 when I took my rottie to basic school. My boxer will be going to school once her shots are done. She is 10 weeks old and loves playing with my rottie. PetSmart does have a lot of classes to offer. Puppy school, basic and advanced school and training for their CGC (Canine Good Citizen). Just don't stop at puppy school, continue on, your puppy will get alot of socialization there. Dog parks are also a nice place to go if they are well taken care of and have set rules for owners of the dogs.
Your puppy will need to get all of his shotws before you can expose him to other dogs safely. I suggest you wait until you get the vaccinations. In do feel it would be safer to keep him away from all other dogs until the shots are complete. Your dog will be fine if you don't start socialization immediatley. Just start socializing at 16 weeks when he has all of his shots. But, if you know your friend's dog's have all current vaccinations, it would be alright. But, I would wait until the shots are given. Most Terriers that I have seen in my clinic are fine with other dogs. It's the Briards, German Shepherd Dogs, Basenjis, Oulis, and Cardigan Welsh Corgis that are the aggressive ones. When your dog has all of his shots, I suggest going to the Petsmart puppy playgroup or obedience classes. If you don't have many Petsmarts areound you, then you can always find a dog park, obedience group, or dog day care. Petsmart really is the best though. Some Petcos have puppy playgroups and training.
Thanks to everyone for their advice. I think that I will wait until my puppy has all of his vaccinations complete at 16 weeks because I would rather not risk his health. I am going to try to find a puppy playgroup near me to socialize my puppy.