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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

Puppy will be coming home in about a month and I have some concerns on socializing and vaccinations, etc. The breeder is doing a wonderful job right now but I know this pandemic and our stay at home order is going to create some obstacles.

I need to start calling vets and see if they are going to be open for routine care. I read a thread here and someone said their vet isn’t doing routine care at this time. I hadn’t considered that.

The puppy is a service dog prospect so socializing is a high priority. I know I can play YouTube videos for a variety of sounds and things of that nature but what do I do as far as people and things?

Can I please have some tips and advice?

Edit to answer vital questions: this is a standard poodle puppy, my first puppy. I live in a semi small city in between two large metros.
 

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Congratulations on your new puppy! I assume standard poodle?

Good idea to start preparing now. It's hard to know what life will look like in a month, but I suppose you just have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Will this be your first puppy? Or first poodle? And have you trained a service dog before?

Also: What type of community do you live in? Urban? Suburban? Rural?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Congratulations on your new puppy! I assume standard poodle?

Good idea to start preparing now. It's hard to know what life will look like in a month, but I suppose you just have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Will this be your first puppy? Or first poodle? And have you trained a service dog before?

Also: What type of community do you live in? Urban? Suburban? Rural?
I have already started preparing for the puppy’s arrival, that isn’t much of a concern for me. Nor is the actual know how of training. More so of how to safely socialize, for me (since dogs can not contract this strand of COVID - 19).

This is a standard puppy puppy and I live in a city.
 

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I think being in a city will be helpful because there are going to be lots of strange sights and sounds on your walks, even with so many things closed. I didn't do any sort of structured socialization with my city girl, because every step outside of the house was an adventure for her.

You can also print off a socialization checklist and just start working through the things you CAN still do. There are lots.

As far as actually meeting people is concerned, that's tough. Someone shared a link to an article on this the other day, which suggested dressing up in fun costumes when you're at home—ones that really change your silhouette. I'm not sure who shared that link, but they'll probably pop in here.
 

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I think the trick is going to be getting vaccinations, and working around any limitations on being out of your house. Phone around vets now to ask their policy, and see if the breeder can get at least the first set done, and perhaps hold the pup for the second set. Do make sure the vaccine used in her area is available where you live, though.

Several short trips would probably be better than one long one for a young puppy - as PtP says, just being out of doors is exciting enough. In the UK there is a limit to one trip out for exercise a day, but I would expect whoever is tasked with enforcing these things to show some judgement. Go just a short distance and try to find a spot set back from the activity where you can pause and watch the world go by. There will, of course, be a problem with people wanting to greet him/her, but with luck the message will have sunk in by then that social distancing saves lives. Wave to people, tell your pup how lovely they are, and make seeing people a happy activity that brings attention back to you for a fuss, a game or a treat. You don't really want a service dog to be a social butterfly anyway, so socialising at a distance may prove a bonus. Meanwhile all the usual outdoor noises etc are still there, but less concentrated and overwhelming.

And there are lots and lots of indoor games you can play to build your relationship and your puppy's confidence. I love the ideas in this approach, for one:Life Lessons For My Puppy - eileenanddogs
 

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Dogs are amazingly adaptive creatures. And poodles are even more so. A lot is made of early socialization, but think of all the great stories of older street dogs who become the dream lap dog and perfect family pet. All this lock down is doing is postponing the socialization. But, in the meantime, there won't be any negative interactions so when you do start, you are still working with a clean slate.

My rescue Waffles was scared of strangers when I got him as a one year old. Now he is easy breezy except with some men. But we are working on that and I know he will get there as long as I keep putting positive interactions in his skills basket.

You will still get new sights and sounds with walks. I would vary the route after he gets familiar with one so he has new experiences. And look at the upside, you two are going to be super bonded as you will be home more.

As for the vet, call around and ask if any will come out to the car to do his vaccines on schedule. Explain he is going to be a service dog so it is important you take him on walks and you want him to be safe against diseases he may come across from stray dogs. Shots are quick and easy. I took my dog to the groomers today (here in Mexico nothing is shut down like it should be). The only thing in common we handled was the leash which I disinfected as soon as we got home. I emailed them my credit card info so they could charge me without us exchanging money or touching a card machine. I had more contact with the checker at the grocery store last week and that was still small.

All in all, I think it is safe to say, everything will go wonderfully. I am a nervous "new mother" every time I get a new dog - puppy or adult. This is VERY natural and while we laugh later at the things we were concerned with, it is the nurturer in us that will cause us to do the same if we ever go through the same process. You just have a few extra considerations - but in the end you will still have your new best friend in a very short time and anything you have to work through will be worth it a million times.

Congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think being in a city will be helpful because there are going to be lots of strange sights and sounds on your walks, even with so many things closed. I didn't do any sort of structured socialization with my city girl, because every step outside of the house was an adventure for her.

You can also print off a socialization checklist and just start working through the things you CAN still do. There are lots.

As far as actually meeting people is concerned, that's tough. Someone shared a link to an article on this the other day, which suggested dressing up in fun costumes when you're at home—ones that really change your silhouette. I'm not sure who shared that link, but they'll probably pop in here.
Thank you so much for your insight! That costume idea is sounds like it'd be fun, lol. This is going to be a time of creativity.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the trick is going to be getting vaccinations, and working around any limitations on being out of your house. Phone around vets now to ask their policy, and see if the breeder can get at least the first set done, and perhaps hold the pup for the second set. Do make sure the vaccine used in her area is available where you live, though.

Several short trips would probably be better than one long one for a young puppy - as PtP says, just being out of doors is exciting enough. In the UK there is a limit to one trip out for exercise a day, but I would expect whoever is tasked with enforcing these things to show some judgement. Go just a short distance and try to find a spot set back from the activity where you can pause and watch the world go by. There will, of course, be a problem with people wanting to greet him/her, but with luck the message will have sunk in by then that social distancing saves lives. Wave to people, tell your pup how lovely they are, and make seeing people a happy activity that brings attention back to you for a fuss, a game or a treat. You don't really want a service dog to be a social butterfly anyway, so socialising at a distance may prove a bonus. Meanwhile all the usual outdoor noises etc are still there, but less concentrated and overwhelming.

And there are lots and lots of indoor games you can play to build your relationship and your puppy's confidence. I love the ideas in this approach, for one:Life Lessons For My Puppy - eileenanddogs
Thank you for this advice for that resource. The breeder is going to get the first vaccine done but she prefers not to hold onto the puppy for that long because she doesn't want to disrupt the bonding with me. I will have to check with her for the types of vaccines and start calling around, puppy will be home soon. She's 4.5 weeks!

I am in the US , we have a stay in shelter order currently and businesses that are allowed to be open are really practicing social distancing. I personally have not been outside much but I am sure we can go for walks.

I just remembered that hardware stores such as Home Depot are still open so maybe I will be able to utilize them for their people, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dogs are amazingly adaptive creatures. And poodles are even more so. A lot is made of early socialization, but think of all the great stories of older street dogs who become the dream lap dog and perfect family pet. All this lock down is doing is postponing the socialization. But, in the meantime, there won't be any negative interactions so when you do start, you are still working with a clean slate.

My rescue Waffles was scared of strangers when I got him as a one year old. Now he is easy breezy except with some men. But we are working on that and I know he will get there as long as I keep putting positive interactions in his skills basket.

You will still get new sights and sounds with walks. I would vary the route after he gets familiar with one so he has new experiences. And look at the upside, you two are going to be super bonded as you will be home more.

As for the vet, call around and ask if any will come out to the car to do his vaccines on schedule. Explain he is going to be a service dog so it is important you take him on walks and you want him to be safe against diseases he may come across from stray dogs. Shots are quick and easy. I took my dog to the groomers today (here in Mexico nothing is shut down like it should be). The only thing in common we handled was the leash which I disinfected as soon as we got home. I emailed them my credit card info so they could charge me without us exchanging money or touching a card machine. I had more contact with the checker at the grocery store last week and that was still small.

All in all, I think it is safe to say, everything will go wonderfully. I am a nervous "new mother" every time I get a new dog - puppy or adult. This is VERY natural and while we laugh later at the things we were concerned with, it is the nurturer in us that will cause us to do the same if we ever go through the same process. You just have a few extra considerations - but in the end you will still have your new best friend in a very short time and anything you have to work through will be worth it a million times.

Congrats.
Yes, I am a very nervous new mother. Lol. Thank you for that wonderful idea about the vet! I do plan on utilizing the neighborhood as much as I can for puppy. I have to check if the local parks are empty so we can explore that playground there: it has tons of different textures and surfaces. I just want to be considerate towards everyone so we can get through this pandemic as quickly as possible!
 

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...All this lock down is doing is postponing the socialization. But, in the meantime, there won't be any negative interactions so when you do start, you are still working with a clean slate... I would vary the route after he gets familiar with one so he has new experiences. And look at the upside, you two are going to be super bonded as you will be home more... As for the vet, call around and ask if any will come out to the car to do his vaccines on schedule...
You don't really want a service dog to be a social butterfly anyway, so socialising at a distance may prove a bonus. Meanwhile all the usual outdoor noises etc are still there, but less concentrated and overwhelming. And there are lots and lots of indoor games you can play to build your relationship and your puppy's confidence...
Many vets now in the more affected areas will send out staff to pick up your dog, give the exam and shots inside and bring it back to you. If you live near a highly affected and the vet's office is crowded, due to so many people being asymptomatic for two weeks and not being able to tell who has it and who doesn't, I wouldn't step foot inside. It's just not worth it.

I'll add that the NY Times has a Covid-19 map by state, updated multiple times daily. Scroll down to see the case count for number of reported infections and fatalities. Unless you live far, far away from cities and major travel routes in the currently lowest affected states, heeding social distance advice is paramount for your safety. You do not want to be hospitalized for a week or more and away from your new puppy b/c you took him/her to a socialization class, a crowded vet office, or were too polite to tell a feely-touchy stranger or kid while on a walk to back away from your puppy. Best wishes.
 

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Yes, I am a very nervous new mother. Lol. Thank you for that wonderful idea about the vet! I do plan on utilizing the neighborhood as much as I can for puppy. I have to check if the local parks are empty so we can explore that playground there: it has tons of different textures and surfaces. I just want to be considerate towards everyone so we can get through this pandemic as quickly as possible!
Be careful of the surfaces that you bring a puppy on before they are fully vaccinated. We’re warned against parks in general in my area because of parvo. The hard surfaces, tennis courts or parking lots, may be okay. A local vet will be able to advise. My vet was okay with us walking on roadways but not on grass.
 

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If you can find a bench to sit on with puppy. You sit at one end and bring a longish leash (8-10 feet) and some hand sanitizer plus a bunch of treats. Offer a puppy pet session in exchange for hand sanitizer. Although dogs aren't susceptible to this coronavirus if people wash up then they can't leave anything infectious on the pup's coat. Have the social helpers give treats to the baby dog who shows confidence around new folks. And do set up what will happen with the vet well in advance. I hope they would let you come in with baby dog if you wear PPE.
 

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You might want to find out before hand what the travels rules are, my neighbor wanted to go o South Carolina, found out she'd have to self quarantine for 12 days I didn't ask specifics but you should figure out what you have to . I live in NY sooo
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you can find a bench to sit on with puppy. You sit at one end and bring a longish leash (8-10 feet) and some hand sanitizer plus a bunch of treats. Offer a puppy pet session in exchange for hand sanitizer. Although dogs aren't susceptible to this coronavirus if people wash up then they can't leave anything infectious on the pup's coat. Have the social helpers give treats to the baby dog who shows confidence around new folks. And do set up what will happen with the vet well in advance. I hope they would let you come in with baby dog if you wear PPE.
Thank you so much for your advice! I do hope they let me go in with her for the shots. I want to make sure she is fine.
 

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You might want to find out before hand what the travels rules are, my neighbor wanted to go o South Carolina, found out she'd have to self quarantine for 12 days I didn't ask specifics but you should figure out what you have to . I live in NY sooo
good luck
Oh goodness, I didn't even think about travel restrictions. I am in Southern California, going to Northern California, so far we have none but I will keep an ear open for that. Fingers crossed that any restrictions happen after.
 

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Hello all,

Puppy will be coming home in about a month and I have some concerns on socializing and vaccinations, etc. The breeder is doing a wonderful job right now but I know this pandemic and our stay at home order is going to create some obstacles.

I need to start calling vets and see if they are going to be open for routine care. I read a thread here and someone said their vet isn’t doing routine care at this time. I hadn’t considered that.

The puppy is a service dog prospect so socializing is a high priority. I know I can play YouTube videos for a variety of sounds and things of that nature but what do I do as far as people and things?

Can I please have some tips and advice?

Edit to answer vital questions: this is a standard poodle puppy, my first puppy. I live in a semi small city in between two large metros.
Lexi we are in exactly the same place. I'm waiting to pick out my puppy in a couple of weeks and she will be coming home with me the 2nd or 3rd week of May. Thanks for asking these questions the answers are solid gold. I do haev a trainer lined up and I'm uncertain how that will work.
Best,
Cathie Sue
 

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Things to consider during COVID: Your guide to getting a dog during COVID-19
General puppy prep advice: D and D Standard Poodles

How are things going for you? I may also be in this situation (if all goes well, puppies will be ready in November), and I'm hoping not to be blindsided by anything.

I'm also worried about potentially flying instead of driving; first, are 8-10wk spoo puppies small enough to fit comfortably under a plane seat? My last seizure was too recent for me to be allowed to drive, but it may not be an issue anymore in November (it would be an 8hr drive though, which is too much to ask of friends imo).
 
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