Originally Posted by joey1967
I guess what makes this so frustrating for me is that I see NO puppies being walked by my house and dog traffic is high in my area, just older dogs which is weird. Addtionally my situation is different, parvo is a problem and has killed puppies and adult dogs in my community which is about 100, 000. The situation with parvo is so bad the major media outlet has done stories on it. It is everywhere. I worry about socializing her but I have to out weight the fact that this crazy parvo situation is a major hinderance to this and she is only 9 weeks still, just turning ten. Now I do have people coming in the house, take her on car rides, but the vet seemed wary on the question. They themselves are caught in giving the right answer, they don't know what to say they realize parvo is an issue but also realize you need to socialize their dog. Has anyone here socialized their dog at 16 weeks with success. I've socialized and older dog at 16 weeks with no problem but then again she had a very outgoing temperament and was great around people, and all kinds of situation. But then again I've never owned a poodle before and am not sure how they mature. I really would like to hear from anyone who socialized later rather than earlier, I am socializing in small steps.
1. Socializing later is going to make things harder, period. Your dog is much more likely to end up in a life threatening situation due to inadequate socialization (and ending up rehomed/in a shelter) than due to parvo, which is avoidable if you manage socialization correctly and is highly treatable if caught early.
2. If parvo is such a big problem in your area, you really need to be careful about not wearing indoor shoes into your house/apartment because you could be tracking it indoors where your puppy is playing.
That said... I also live in a high parvo area because we have a lot of tourists coming through in the summer, and the area is quite "dog friendly" so it's a melting pot of pathogens for dogs from out-of-state. I got Ari during peak parvo season, and she never came down with it despite being off of the property daily.
I still managed to socialize Ari extremely well, but it took some creative thinking and planning ahead.
Check out my picture thread of Ari and my thread about Ari and her Sleepypod Air.
Ari was out and about from the day I got her... in a bag or on a blanket. Her paws didn't touch the ground in public spaces until 12 weeks old. She went to the store with me, went on short walks downtown, sat with me at restaurants, and even saw a dog parade. She was allowed to romp in my yard at home where I knew the only visitors for the past several years did not have parvo, but I never let her in the grass in spaces outside of my yard.
If she had to potty, it was done on a pad in my car's trunk until she was 12 weeks old and had her second shots. Grass and areas where dogs have defecated are the most likely places for a dog to be exposed. She wasn't allowed to walk around downtown until 18 weeks, which was 2 weeks after her rabies/final parvo shot.
Since yours is also young and smallish, I'd look into getting a large sherpa bag or similar and see if you can take her around in that. Once she gets comfortable you might even be able to zip it open a little so that she can poke her head out and get a clearer view of things. Carry a blanket in your car for times when she must be on the ground, and have a designated "dirty" side that touches the ground and one "clean" side that touches her paws. Fold it carefully after each use so that the clean side doesn't touch the dirty side.
The bag is also nice because if the dog recognizes it as a safe sanctuary, they will feel secure even in stimulating environments. Obviously don't take your dog to a rock concert, but a grocery store or park with other dogs should be manageable if your pup is happy in the bag.
Edited to add: At your pup's age it's going to be near impossible to walk on a sidewalk on a leash anyway because she isn't going to understand how. You don't really want to start the socialization process with leash walking. The leash should be introduced in a boring environment at first and then gradually work up to sidewalks and other busy places. The easiest way to get around this is carrying or using a bag. I like the bag because it's discreet, so Ari could see without being seen which made her feel even safer.