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I am writing through concern at reading very many posts AND coupled with currently raising two puppies of 10 weeks myself right now, so experiencing exactly the advice that puppy owners are getting at their vets as regards whether a puppy can go outside whilst it is having its two innoculations.

I am not a vet. I do not pretend to wish to override vet advice. But I am most concerned about the amount of panic mongering vets and vet nurses seem to be causing lately and the harm they could be doing with the advice they are giving.

I took one of my two young puppies for its first jab last week. Nwe vet nurse at the desk. There were two other little pups waiting for a vaccination in the waiting room. I walked over to one and held my pup out to sniff and she grabbed her pup and looked panic striken. 'Whats the matter?' I puzzled, it will be lovely for these to socially interact whilst we wait.... ' SHE said I mustn't and my pup must stay away from other dogs' said the woman pointing at the nurse. The nurse nodded and said 'yes, come away, we don't want these pups picking things up from one another whilst not vaccinated do we...?' I nearly screamed in fustration at such incrediably stupid shortsighted advice from a professional!

The simple facts are your puppy will need two innoculations before it is *fully* vaccinated. Thats across the board. Until those innoculations are both given AND then a few days have passed to allow it into the pups system, the puppy will be able to catch THE SPECIFIC DISEASES THAT THE INNOCULATIONS PROTECT FROM.

However we have to put it in perspective. Many of the problems being innoculated for are very rare, and extremely uncommon in your average healthy pet dog EVEN if their boosters are not kept up to date. Your puppy is ONLY at risk from coming into direct contact with a dog, or a dogs poo, that actually HAS one of these very few, very unusual diseases.

So to keep a puppy confined to your garden for possibly even up to a month during some of the most influential weeks of its life, can be extremely damaging to the dogs social and behavioural welfare.

If you think of all the creatures that come into your garden univited, cats, birds, hedgehogs, rats, mice, badgers, foxes, to name just a few, hand on heart, I am so unsure why we consider *the big wide world* a dangerous and hazardous place for unvaccinated puppies, where as the majority of pet dogs walking out and about are vaccinated AND boostered! Not a single WILD animal is! yet we are happy for them to play, chew, eat things etc in our gardens.

Now logically of COURSE, it is dogs that harbour these diseases that a puppy is protected against in its vaccinations, so therefore meeting one WITH a disease could be a disaster. but the chances are SO slim, yet, a puppy kept at home, not socialised, not taken out and about in those 2 - 4 weeks between 8 and 14 or so weeks of age, is almost CERTAINLY going to become 'infected' with a possibe longterm fear of the unknown and to one kept at home, almost EVERYTHING is unknown!

So please, don't argue with your vet of course, they have to protect themselves incase the worst DD happen, but realise staying home is the wrong thing to do for your puppys MENTAL health, and use sensible caution. Get the pup up and down your road. First in your arms, then on a lead. Just pick it up if an unknown dog comes. If you KNOW the dog and its owner and know it is boostered then it can meet your puppy absolutely safely. Let it meet people, let it SEE cars/buses/dustcarts. Let it meet dogs owned by responsible owners (and lets face it a dog with a dreadful disease is unlikely to be happily walking down your road).

Get it in gravel. Get it on grass. Get it on pebbles, sand, find it little puddles to splosh in. get it out in the rain. In the sun,. In the wind. SEEK OUT people in wheelchairs, old people, people of colour, small children, pushchairs, playgrounds with shrieking kids in...... all those things puppies at 14 weeks old may be too young to take in their stride. They may NOT, they may be fine, but usually only if they are naturally bold genetically. If there is a hint of nervousness genetically from the parents, the puppy could well not ever quite accept some of these things if not exposed in those very early weeks.

And anytime you think something might be hazardous, like an unknown dog, a pile of dog poo etc etc then just scoop up pup and walk past then put it down again!

But PLEASE don't keep them home, whilst they have and complete their puppy vaccinations.

Di
 
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Here Here Di. I hope this gets made into a Sticky. < hint hint Mods :wink: >

I have found it quite disturbing lately that not only have vets been telling people to keep their pups at home until a week or so after their last jab, but a few vets have been telling new owners not to even let the pups in their own garden 8O .

Apart from the fact this makes housetraining impossible and can put the pup back for months, it can't do the pup any good either. Pups need fresh air and to splodge around tasting the grass, leaves, mud, etc. They need to be exposed to a few germs because their Immune Systems need "exercising" to make it strong.

I firmly believe, just like children bought up in sterile surroundings, dogs bought up without sufficient exposure to the outside world can suffer an array of health problems, as well as behavioural ones.

So get those youngsters outside ASAP. Let them "absorb" the world and all it's oddities before they are old enough to question "What is it?", " Why does it do that?", because the more they can absorb before they are 12 weeks old, the fewer things there will be to question.
 

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When I took Bea in for her first lot of jabs I was told off for putting her down on the floor whilst I paid at the desk :roll:

Seconding this one for a sticky!
 

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I think you are right, Di. I have seen, and responded to, several posts recently where some breeders and/or vets had even advised against pups being allowed to go into the garden to begin toilet training, thus meaning that they would initially learn to toilet in the house and then have to be retrained later. :? :roll: Pointless. We should start as we need to go on.

When we go out and about ourselves we bring home a fair assortment of general dirt and germs on our clothes and shoes. You cannot help exposing pups to that, and mostly it does no harm, just helps build the immune system up (much the same as with human babies there).
 

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Thanks for posting this Di, you have saved me the job of writing a very similar and lengthy post to the same effect.

Just to add though, it is ABSOLUTELY FINE for non- or part-vaccinated pups to meet and socialise with other pups and older dogs who are fully inoculated and it is VITAL that during the age of 8-12 weeks that they do so.

During these few weeks, social 'imprinting' takes place in the pup's brain. This is the 'species recognition' stage of social development, so learning the shapes of other species (shape recognition) and the way that they move, and importantly whether or not these species are part of the pup's social world or not. This means that it is also VITAL that the pup is taken out of the house - even if this means carrying it (which I have done individually with three pups) - so that it can see and encounter other beings and species in the world that it needs to be socially accepting of, so cats, livestock, and all the phases of human development - the pup doesn't have to physically meet all these new beings, it just needs to be given the opportunity to observe and know, through neutral encounters, that they are part of its social world.

A pup that has not been socialised in this way during these few weeks will, when placed in a social situation with a socially unfamiliar being (which can just mean seeing that being, not necessarily meeting it or interacting with it) it is very likely to show extremes of behaviour in proportion to what would be a normal reaction, so either fear, over-excitement or aggression.

And don't assume that because your dog is a dog it will recognise other dogs as dogs. It comes down to species and shape recognition again - a dog that has only ever seen small dogs is very likely to over-react with large dogs and vice versa - same goes for long-haired dogs, dogs with pointy ears, etc, etc. The different stages of human development also represent different species to a dog - a baby being a different species to a toddler, to a teenager, to an elderly person - because they all look and move differently.

IMPO, the behavioural implications of keeping a pup in the home between 8-12 weeks are huge, and getting it out of the house during this time for this reason far outweighs the risk of picking up parvo, distemper, etc, so long as you are careful which dogs the pup gets to physically meet.

Lizi, Tilly & Beau
 

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Great post Di :wink:

Met two new pup owners this week and they scooped pup up when they saw me coming as had been given the advice don't let ANY dog come near their pup :roll:
 

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Absolutely spot on Di!

I belong to a US dog forum, on there some dogs are not fully vaccinated until they were 16 weeks! 8O The owners don't take them out of the garden until then and, surprise, surprise, a lot of these pups then display nervousness.

They were absolutely appalled when I said I took Cadbury out socialising before he had had his second jab and that his puppy parties began when he was only 10 weeks.

Next pup along I fully intend to do the same and I shall even take them to training club where I know the dogs so pup can meet pleasant adult dogs in those vital first weeks.

I do despair of vet nurses... :(
 

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I was quite lucky with my vet, he said it was a balance between socialising the pup and keeping it safe but if it was his it would be out and about doing what dogs need to do. But definatly avoiding high risk areas and not deliberatly putting the pup in the situation where it could come into contact with diseases. Luckily he gave the first jab because the second jab was done by a different vet in the practice who was insistant that we waited another week until we took the pup out. We kept very quite at this point and just nodded at her and didn't mention the pup had been out and seen the world and all the excitment, noise, poeple, dogs and smells since it's last jab. I'm just glad i didn't have her for the first one or we would have missed so much time and opportunity to socialise.
 

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here here! Make it a sticky!

All of my puppies have always been out on walks with other dogs, dogs I know that is, dogs that are vaccianted from day one. Being carried and having a little potter about.

I must say that my old vet stopped giving the lecture to me after we had a long discussion over whether or not booster's were necessary and actually he realised that I knew what I was talking about.

Get them out, get them socialised.

Kerry, Lyra and Evie
 

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" We kept very quite at this point and just nodded at her and didn't mention the pup had been out and seen the world and all the excitment, noise, poeple, dogs and smells since it's last jab "


Exactly the right move.... smile, nod, look interested and then go your own way... ;-)

I know its a difficult thing because its easy to be persuaded either way. I'm sure what we have all written above makes complete sense when read by a new puppy owner. THEN they go to the vet and the sterness and importance of keeping home gets drummed in, or given as an absolute matter of fact, and they would think of our posts and get very doubtful that we were being very cavallier and reckless....and had probably just been *lucky*.

So thats why i say, i don't *want* to override vet advice, *but* there are very good reasons for ignoring it on this occasion, or exhibiting the knowledge that they may get sued if they tell you otherwise and then something terrible happened to your pup. So they tell you this advice for a reason, but its not a reason that is in the best interests of your puppy, possibly just their desire not to get sued!

Vets are wonderful, but nowadays they have to act with extreme caution and its damaging puppies!

Their owners spend the first month after they can *start* going out picking up the pieces rather than stretching them and continuing to open their eyes.
Di
 

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I am eternally grateful for the advice on LF - Huxley went out from his first day at home - in my arms where necessary but on the ground where possible. He came to the puppy class I help at, from 9 weeks - and watched proceedings from his crate on the stage. He also came to all of Zadie's classes too - and joined in for elements of one class from 11 weeks. When he needed a loo break, I took him to the least used areas, away from where most dogs were taken.

On balance, I felt that it was worth a small risk in order for him to gain hugely in terms of socialisation.
 

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there is also the line of thinking that puppies have a degree of "natural" immunity from mum. I believe the research showed that the majority ogf puppies from vaccinated mothers maintained a level of immunity until approx 12 weeks, as such puppy vacc's were just topping them up if you like.

Kerry, Lyra and Evie
 

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Thanks Di, a very well written post.

When Poppy had her litter, when they got to about 7 weeks, I used to put all the pups in the car and take them to visit a friend who worked in the town centre. I used to park outside her office, open the tailgate (I have a tailgate guard) and let my friend and her collegues come out to say hello to the pups. They had their first experience of traffic - the noise of cars and buses, taxis tooting their horns. Once I got down to just Martha I took her all over the place and she went on her first LF GT at about 11 weeks old. I carried her for most of the time, obviously couldn't have her walking far at that age, but I felt that even though she had 4 other dogs in the household it was important that she socialised with ones she didn't know so well.
 

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I'm glad somebody has finally said something about this...eva is my first dog so when the vet told me not to let eva socalise with other dogs untill a week after her last jab, i did exactly that! but i'v always wondered why the my pup was allowed to go into the garden with cats that have gone out and with foxes going in to the garden but eva wasn't allowed to go for a walk down the road.

once eva was allowed to go out i started taking her around the block and she was sooo scared of people, buses, cars and the wind and big dogs, and i think she missed out on the early days of socalising....don't worry we made up for lost time now.

now eva isn't scared of anything any more she loves loves loves people, other dogs big and small (her fav dog to play with is a 7 month old great dane), she doesn't think twice about a loud motorbike going past!!!

i think the early socalising is one of the most important factors within a young pups life :D

i def think this should be a 'sticky' aswell!!!!

estelle and evaxx
 

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Couldn't agree more.

I lived right in central London when I first brought Basil home, our vets said he could go out from day 1, being careful of antisocial and un-vaccinated dogs.
He accidentally came face to face (ok well a metre or so away but still a shock) with his first fox at 10 weeks of age one bleary eyed morning on wee wee visits 8O But we all lived to tell the tale with no disease.
The vet said he could have a complete free for all the day after jab two.....and so we took him on a ferry as we moved home to Guernsey.

He had his rabies shot in Guernsey (for his passport) at 12 weeks and we got a real lecture from the vets and subsequently virtually every dog walker we met for the first few weeks as the main vets there (at the time) did 3 vaccines and said not to go out.
We stood out like a sore thumb and I got tired of explaining why he was out :roll:
 

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Excellent thread Di. :D I've made it a 'sticky' folks. :p

My two lads (18 months apart) were down in the yard mixing with the hens, ducks and sheep as soon as they got home and trying to climb the muck heap. :roll: The only thing I didn't let them run near was the horses, they were introduced though.
Perro was riding in a JCB at 10 weeks old.
I carried them both to the end of the lane to see the traffic and walked them back.
As already said, it's very important they get to know different sights and sounds as soon as possible.

:D

Edit: they also played with my mother's three dogs. :p
 

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Good post Di.

On speaking to my vet about Parvo this week he said that 9 times out of 10 once results are back from a suspected parvo case, it turns out not to be parvo anyway.

I know a lady who is only letting people look at her 6 week old cocker pups through a window, whereas I am getting everyone, young and old to handle my lot.

There was a lady at training last week with a 10 week old Sheltie, I asked why so young and she said far more important to socialize and everyone is vaccinated at class anyway.

Trace x
 

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It does all seem part of the 'elf and safety culture these days, "More than me job's werf gov!"

My Amy, and before her Anna, and before her, and before her, :wink: were all at dog club from 8 weeks old, sitting on my lap taking in the sights and sounds. And I've never waited the full week before taking them out on the lead. Yes I'm careful WHERE I take them, but I'm convinced the risks of a poorly socialised pup are greater than the risk of illness.

Regards, John
 
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fab post, i REALLY wish i'd read a post like this when i had Alfie :( I didn't let him out of our garden until a week after his second jabs and i do sooo regret it :(
 

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Thanks for this post Di, the best bit of common sense advice I have seen for ages. I fully support this to be being high on the Sticky list.
 
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