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Hi! We're on day 2 with our 10 week old black Labrador Retriever called Molly :). It's our first dog and I've done a lot of reading up on what to do and when, etc. There's plenty of info about housetraining...you know...in the house...as the name suggests, but the books also say that we need to take her out and about to socialise her asap, and before/between her vaccinations we need to be carrying her when we're out and about. So my question is this, if we're carrying her around here and there to socialise her, what's the toilet etiquette? How do we know when she needs to go while we're holding her? If we do figure this out, do we put her on the ground to go? Isn't that a risk if she's not had her vaccinations yet? Please help!
 

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How do we know when she needs to go while we're holding her?
She'll let you know, puppies pee a lot but you'd really have to take her to the absolute limit before she pees in your arms. Just giver her the opportunity on a regular basis.

If we do figure this out, do we put her on the ground to go? Isn't that a risk if she's not had her vaccinations yet? Please help!
Its not risk free but you can minimize the risks by keeping her away from walls, grass, other dog's business etc. Basically anywhere where an unvaccinated dog is likely to have stuck their nose.
 

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Vaccinations work on a threshold model. This means that some dogs can "free ride" on the other dogs being vaccinated without risk of sickness breaking out in epidemics. These free-riders SHOULD be puppies and dogs that are unable to be vaccinated for health reasons. In neighborhoods where most dog owners are responsible and dogs are vaccinated, puppies can interact with relatively low risk of contagion. In areas with higher populations of unvaccinated dogs, interaction becomes riskier.

You know your surroundings better then we. If it's common practice for dogs to not be vaccinated or to roam uncontrolled (off leash) in public spaces -- I'd be more cautious with your pup. If you live in a relatively controlled area (dogs on leash in public spaces, responsible owners around you) -- letting her have a little more freedom in exploring her surroundings is probably better for her in the long run.

She'll squirm and let you know when she needs to go. Just keep an eye on time between "business" -- once you're getting close to the 2 hour mark, let her roam a bit on the ground every 15 minutes until she goes. Typically a pup will pee within 30 minutes of drinking.

You can even let her meet other dogs, just confirm with the owner that the dog is fully vaccinated and friendly/gentle with puppies (some dogs don't like pups). Also, if you do let her meet other dogs, and the older dog corrects her (growls, snaps, etc)-- don't interfere. This is what socialization is (young dogs learning social manners from older dogs)
 

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Ask your vet about the risk in your area.

In some places, vaccination rates are relatively high, so there is low risk for pups who may not have complete immunity. In other areas, diseases are common and you will need to be creative when socializing your pup.

With my puppy, I took him out for short times and / or took a potty pad that I could lay on the ground for him.
 
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