A dog who is well-socialized is oftentimes a happier, easier to be around, and better-behaved kind of dog. However, did you know that most of a dog’s initial socialization comes at a very early age, and the time where socialization can have the most impact on a dog’s well-being happens when the dog is still a puppy, still quarantined away from the world on a routine shot schedule. It’s true.
Veterinarian shot schedules, which are three scheduled vaccination periods given usually every three to four weeks beginning the time the puppy receives his or her first round of vaccinations—usually at seven or eight weeks—and ending at the completion of the three rounds—usually between weeks 13-16 in the puppy’s life.
This time in the puppy’s life is when the puppy is at his or her most vulnerable to experience the world, to understand how to behave around other dogs, and around people with whom they are not familiar. But, the problem, obviously, is that the puppy cannot leave his or her initial quarantine until his or her body is ready to handle the dog diseases of the world (many veterinarians today believe that a puppy is not fully vaccinated until days after his or her last round of vaccinations—up to two weeks in some places where diseases like parvo are rampant—so consult with your vet as to the required time before they will consider your puppy safe).
So, what’s the answer? There is no definite answer that applies to everyone, except to be mindful that your dog needs adequate socialization at a young age. You can bring over dogs to your home, dogs whom you know are clean and vaccinated, dogs who won’t behave overly aggressive toward your puppy. You can invite friends and family members over to meet the puppy. If your puppy is in training for obedience teach your friends and family members how to react to the puppy if he or she jumps up barks. Give your puppy the best chance at socialization, while also keeping him or her safe from the possible dog diseases of the world.