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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so I have done tons of research and this is such a grey area, so I thought I would throw it out.

What do you do for socialization before pups are fully vaccinated? We have been avoided bringing people over because Kota is fearful of strangers, especially in his own home. With him not liking the puppy in the beginning we don't want to stress him out and have him redirect onto Aayla. So I have taken her over to my mother's had her meet the cats and my family.

I know the obvious of avoiding dog parks, pet stores, or areas of high dog traffic, but what about elsewhere?

Would it be okay to take her to a cafe and let her sit while I eat breakfast? I carried her around Home Depot yesterday but was too worried to let her on the ground to walk around.

I want to have tons of strangers pet her but am unsure where to find them. Finding kids for her to socialize with is another ordeal, no one I know has toddlers. Could I take her to a 'normal' park and hang out around the playground to let her see and hear kids screaming and running around?

Or do I just wait? I am have seen the consequences of puppies with parvo and distemper. There have been a few cases of parvo in the area this year, but no distemper from what the vet has said.
 

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I'm always careful, although I was way more relaxed with Heidi. Probably more relaxed then I should have been, but no parvo, so yay.

I would definitely let her hang out while you eat. If another dog approaches, you can always just pick her up, and let them know you're being cautious of diseases.

I took Levi and Heidi to the mall, sat outside on a bench with a bag of treats and let the socialization happen. Plus, during the day at the mall you meet a lot of people with mental disorders, physical disabilities, and A LOT of old people (read: wheelchairs, canes, walkers etc.)

For children, Levi and Heidi both seem to have an innate love of children (they certainly didn't get it from me), but we started sitting near a school during recesses. Then we graduated to standing across the street during pick-up, and then eventually meeting the kids.
 
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I would be weary of taking her out anywhere before she has finished her shots. Honestly I would worry that nothing is safe. But I am a worry wart. As far as socialization and people, honestly when you start taking her out your bigger problem (I have found) will actually be getting the people to stop saying hi. Everyone loves a cuddly aussie puppy and honestly I find they are usually mobbed anything people see them.
 
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I would be weary of taking her out anywhere before she has finished her shots. Honestly I would worry that nothing is safe. But I am a worry wart. As far as socialization and people, honestly when you start taking her out your bigger problem (I have found) will actually be getting the people to stop saying hi. Everyone loves a cuddly aussie puppy and honestly I find they are usually mobbed anything people see them.
So true! You've got to really watch her body language and make sure she's comfortable, because people don't know when to stop.

My biggest problem was that people were ALWAYS just scooping him up or letting him jump all over them.
 

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Next time I'm at an outdoor cafe I may take her with me then. I never thought about hanging out outside malls, so that would be a great idea. I will probably wait on the school thing though. All our local ones have huge parks right next to them and there is always a lot of dogs that go there. I know that this is such an influential age and I just want her to be super friendly! We do start puppy socialization classes in another week so that should be good for it too. I do have a few friends with friendly dogs that I'm trying to planning meeting with. She has shown that men make her nervous. Little woofs and moving backwards when they approach but gets super wiggly and happy when they get down. Luckily my brother is tall and unbelievably loud (his voice and I swear he stomps when he walks) but was willing to help give treats and make Aayla feel comfortable.

I have actually noticed that about people unable to help themselves when I was a dog walker. I used to walk some fearful/reactive dogs that people were drawn to pet. I pretty much had to say "she will bite you!". I know convincing people that even if they are okay with a dog jumping up on them, that I don't want it, is a huge pain.

Once she does get all her vaccines than I will have tons of opportunities for her to meet strangers and others dogs. Working at a grooming salon/pet store has its benefits!
 

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Personally I started taking my guy out and about with me right away. I shot for 3-4 new locations each week. Plus he started coming with to training classes right away. Each new location offered new experiences...

Different people, different environment, etc. so in the end really helped cover a lot. It was much easier for me to just pick a new spot to explore rather than try and find specific people or dogs. We just went out and eventually a lot of our bases were covered. :)

I used common sense and certainly didn't take him to dog parks or anything like that but we did (and are still doing) a whole lot of stuff...
went to public parks
easy walks on some trails
watched some sports (basketball, football, etc.)
walked downtown to get used to city sidewalks and traffic
played at the edge of the lake and river
got comfy with docks and boats
people watched at gas stations and other busy places with lots of people coming and going
had picnics/ate outside at restaurants
watched trains at a park
''visited'' the horses and peacocks up the road (really just checked them out on the other side of the fence)
met the neighbors
Visited pet friendly stores in the area (TSC, small pet supply store, Feed stores, a shoe store, greenhouses)
Family gatherings
Plus other stuff I'm not remembering atm.

As for people being too forward... ugh.
It's hard, but just remember you have every right to say no to petting (aka someone manhandling your puppy). It's just as important for puppies to learn how to behave around people without greeting as it is the actual polite greeting. And frankly many kids and adults need the same lesson. :p
 

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Hmm all good ideas to take into consideration. Thank you for all those ideas @kmes

I am really wanting the type of dog that is going to enjoy going into crowded breweries as much as quiet hikes alone. So I really want to work her up to being very confident around people/loud noises.

I'm going to have to work on saying no. I'm not very good at it, I hate offending people and confrontation. I have a hard time with that, but I guess with anything my dog's training and comfort I have always been the most firm on.
 

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I regret not doing more socialization for Tessa with more of a variety of situations. I did what I could, but was WAY too careful regarding parvo with her. Next dog will go to a lot more places.

I also regret a few negative interactions she had with some little dogs - here's looking at you Max the neighbour's yorkie, you little jerk. I can pin point most of Tessa's dog reactivity to that first interaction with him running at her off leash and hanging off her face. I also regret sending her to the doggy daycare, which I'm sure didn't help it as well.

The thing I did do with her was take her to Costco a few times. We didn't go in, we just waited outside near the entrance while my mom got off work. I credit this to why Tessa loves strangers - unless she gets a vibe, man she has a good sense of character lol.
 
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I took my puppies lots of places as long as they'd started their vaccines. Not dog parks and heavily dog trafficked places, but hiking, the barn, walks. I do worry some, but they need socialization early. Diseases happen sometimes no matter how careful you are, so i tried to be as safe as i could but not paranoid. It paid off, because my dogs aren't fazed by much of anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay so it sounds like I need to just take her out more then.

We have done dinner outside one of our regular places, lots of people walking past the fenced patio, kids running, bikes and so on. So It was a pretty good experience. Half way through she laid down and just slept. She got to say hello to a few people so that is good as well. I've also carried her into my work twice to get her used to the sounds of the dryers and smells of other dogs around.

Tomorrow I might try and take her somewhere in the morning, maybe out to breakfast, Wednesday she gets her second set of vax from the Vet, then we are considering going to a brewery sometime this week and she has a playdate with a co-worker's dog on friday. So I think I'm going to aim for 3-4 new places a week. Then next week she starts puppy socialization classes. So I think she will be getting her fill of exploring.
 

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One nice way to take puppies out without exposing them to any germs is to have them hang out in your car. It's easiest if you have some kind of car where the dog can hang out inside and still have a good view outside (like a hatchback), but do-able with a sedan if you put a rubber-backed mat on the hood so it's not too slippery (you'd be right there with her on leash, of course, so she can't leap off!). Then play a game like Watch the World (https://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/watch-the-world-changing-fear-or-reactivity/). Just avoid situations where your puppy will be overwhelmed, since she's stationary (easier to feel trapped than if she's frolicking about).

When we got our new dog, she had her shots but found the world a bit overwelming. I'd take her to parking lots outside a variety of different places and feed her whole meals -- sit at the quietest end of the grocery store lot and get dinner while watching people carry bags & push carts; sit across from the physical therapy office and watch people on crutches or wheels while enjoying breakfast; park in the street across from the elementary school and watch kids running around, with lots of little bites of chicken; that sort of thing. I have a hatchback, so I'd just have her lie in her crate inside, sometimes with the crate door open, sometimes closed, which was also pretty good practice for relaxing in the car. And if people came straight at us to pet the pretty puppy, I could just shut the car door and walk a few steps away to head them off. As she got more comfortable, I'd have her hop out of the car and we'd do the same thing in the parking lot or at a nearby area...it's a pretty low-key way to expose a dog to a variety of things without forcing them into close proximity to potentially scary stuff.

Have fun with the new puppy!
 
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