04-17-2012, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Here in Ontario puppies usually recieve 3 sets of vaccinations.
8 Weeks: Distemper Adeno-2 Parvo
12 Weeks: Booster of DAP and at this time non-core vaccines like Bordetella, Lyme and Lepto are discussed
16 weeks: Booster of DAP, non-core vaccines and Rabies
Veterinarians may vaccinate a puppy as early as 6 weeks of age for its first set. My girl happened to be at 7 weeks so her sched is 7, 11 and 15 weeks.
You can introduce your puppy to healthy dogs of KNOWN vaccine status. These could be family or friends. Its common practice here that puppies can attend puppy classes after their second vaccinations at 12 weeks of age where he or she can interact with other healthy puppies and learn proper behaviors. For more inexperienced dog owners these classes can be very helpful. For my girl I have chosen an excellent facility to do one-on-one classes and she will join a group class after her 3rd set of vaccines (more so due to dates of classes then anything). These facilities should have proper disinfection protocols, require proof of vaccinations and be knowledgable.
Should you let your puppy that only has first or second set of vaccinations run loose around the dog park or public areas or walking trails? No. I don't agree on that, especially if you are in an area that is popular for parvo or kennel cough. However, that does not mean you need to isolate your dog until its 16 weeks old either. You can socialize your puppy and do so safely. You can attend puppy classes and not put the dog in harms way if you did your research on the facility. There are some pretty important developmental stages that you'll want to meet. If you have a shy puppy, socialization is going to be even more important.
Talk to your veterinarian about when to start puppy classes. See what the "norm" is for your area and what diseases you need to be worried about most. Some areas are higher risk for parvo then others. You can even get recommendation of knowledgable trainers in your area.
Of course I respect LynneMarie's views and I do give her credit that she is keeping the health and well being of the dogs in mind. However, I think there is a way to do things a little earlier as long as you are aware and careful.