Many of our students have questions about vaccinations and safety to their pups in classes before they are “fully” vaccinated. Based on our knowledge, we feel your puppy is safe coming to our small classes if he has received his first two vaccinations against parvovirus and distemper. Your pup will not be ready for rabies vaccination until he is at least 4 months of age; however, puppies are able to attend class before they reach that age. The chances of them being bitten by a rabid puppy are about 0 to none. 🙂
Many veterinarians and behaviorists believe that early socialization is so important that getting it in a safe environment is work the small risk involved. Without this critical socialization period they can develop many behavioral issues which cannot be fixed later, and can result in injuries and eventually to an early demise for the dog, after a short, unhappy life.
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) in 2009 released a position paper outlining the importance of early puppy socialization, preferably before the puppy reaches 12 to 16 weeks old. Four veterinarians with extensive experience discuss early puppy socialization in a roundtable format. The article below will help you to make your own decision about your puppy’s safety:
Other Considerations on Puppy Safety
In our puppy classes, we warn people with very young, potentially under-protected pups not to walk their puppies in the park. Always consider, when taking your young puppy out and about, what other dogs are using those locations to eliminate.
When you travel with your puppy, look for places to take him out to potty or take a break in places less traveled by dogs – like bank parking lots, libraries, obscure parks, etc. Avoid rest stops, gas stations, and other popular stopping places. And be sure to pick up after your dog!
And As Your Puppy Grows…
And here’s food for thought, as your dog matures: There are many concerns about over-vaccination of our pets. Many of our dogs have sensitivities to certain vaccines and reactions to the rabies and other vaccines are almost commonplace. Here’s a discussion of a holistic approach to vaccination as compared to the conventional approach: