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Hello! I'm hoping to be the proud momma of a standard poodle pup in the near-ish future, and I'm doing a lot of research and reading in preparation in the meantime.

My conundrum is how to coordinate early socialization, potty training, and vaccination schedules during the the time-sensitive period between 8-15 weeks of age when the pup needs to remain inside the home - and I'm a full-time working person (outside the home) who lives alone (no housemates to help out).

I'm planning to use Dr. Jean Dodds' vaccination protocol, and Dr. Dodds specifies that shortly after the 2nd Distemper & Parvo vaccine at 14 weeks, the pup can be in limited exposure areas outside the home (including puppy school classes). I'm planning to take my pup to work with me at that time (15 wks. of age) and s/he'll continue to be crate-trained at my work office - but prior to that, from 8 weeks til 15 weeks when s/he'll need to be at home, what do folks who live alone and work full time do to ensure adequate socialization?

I'm planning to use Dr. Ian Dunbar's crate training/ potty training protocol when I'm home, which also specifies use of a "long-term confinement" enclosed play pen for those times that I'm away from home at work. Fortunately, my work is under 10 minutes from home, so I can work my schedule to stop home for brief intervals periodically so my pup has some company.

My question is: for how long a stretch of time can a pup be in the "long-term confinement" enclosed play pen while I'm at work and there's no one else at home - before it turns into cruel solitary confinement?

I do want to be really attentive to early socialization, as the pup will eventually join me in my psychotherapy practice as a therapy dog.

Also, during those times when my pup will be home alone, do folks use music/ tv as background noise in order to continue exposing the pup to a variety of new sounds before going out into the big wide world?

Any and all feedback on this are welcome... Many thanks!
 

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At my obedience club we allow puppies as young as 8 weeks and not older than 18 weeks in our puppy only classes and we generally prefer puppies start at an age younger than 12 weeks. Although I didn't have Javelin in a class I did bring him to the club on my teaching days there from the age of 10 weeks onward. He was just fine!


I certainly hope you don't plan to have your puppy in the house exclusively until it is 15 weeks old. For a spoo the best way to house train is to start taking them out in your yard on a good schedule right away. Frankly the idea of keeping a puppy under quarantine in your home until it is 15 weeks old including house breaking training sounds almost paranoid.



The risks of infections if you are careful about where you go are really very low, but the risks of improper socialization from lack of exposure to new people, places and such is very real and much higher than the risks of illnesses. I had a conversation fairly recently with a vet I know personally where I asked her why vets are always so stern in the warning about not taking puppies out and about when they are young when they clearly know how important early social experiences are for the proper mental development of a puppy. Her short answer was that they don't want to say it is okay to take puppies places for fear people will take them to dog parks where there are really all sorts of dangers of infections, being bullied by older dogs and such.


If you don't want to put your pup on the ground outside your home and yard then carry him through as many places as you can take him starting early. One creative way a PF member got her puppy early exposure in their neighborhood was to put her in a kiddie wagon.
 

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You have gotten good advise from lillcd. The more exposure to new sights and sounds the better for your puppy. I did not do enough of that so my training has had more bumps in it and he has been scared of more things so it takes longer to get him use to things. I would not take him to dog parks to many dogs and you don't know if they have been vaccinated. I walked my guy in my neighborhood, dogs that people own in here are vaccinated. If you could find a puppy class like mentioned that would be great. I did not use a playpen, just a crate with a divider but I took him out every hour the first week, then longer each week. He never had any accidents in his crate and really only 1 poo accident in the house when I allowed him to run around before I knew his potty schedule. The first month you have him is a lot of work in potty training. Our other dog, a boxer we took more places and he is a more relaxed guy. We went to places like lower or home depot all pet friendly and even petsmart and just rode him in the cart before his shots were complete. I would not isolate him until his shots are completed, he will have some immunity anyway.
 

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We got our puppy at 10 weeks and I’ve had her outside on our lawn every day since and meeting TONS of children in our Neighborhood. Every day she has been manhandled by at least 4 kids and met many adults of different ages. I take her for 5 min sniffs up the street. I’ve taken her to town to the local dog shop for attention from the workers (and for food and treats ha ha). I’ve taken her to town and sat on a bench by a construction site for pats from people and loud noise exposure. I took her into my office at 13 weeks, we rode my commuter boat and I carried her to my office and she was around 20 interested millenials. She started puppy school at 13 weeks too ours is a 9-1 2x a week socializing class. So many ways to get them out and about.

We have the Dunbar expen set up and she’s done well on pad and outside but we’re going to drop it because she shreds the faux grass and then lays in the pee tray and it’s nasty ugh. I never considered that until I had a cheeky puppy smelling of pee!

My vet wanted her starting to get to know “known” dogs (our neighbors) that were well behaved and socialized from when we brought her home. It has gone well she does great now at 14 weeks is showing more confidence and loves to see her pupy
Crew!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From what folks are saying, it sounds like I can take my pup to work with me after the first vaccination - is that accurate?

What are the chances that rolling a pup around in a wagon out and about would work for socialization prior to contact with the ground before s/he's fully immunized?
 

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Please start socializing your puppy with people way before 15 weeks. https://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/dr-ian-dunbar/why-don’t-we-adequately-socialize-young-puppies-people

Noelle started her puppy class at 8 weeks. She had her AKC Star Puppy Award at 14 weeks. We started socializing with people at 8 weeks. I took her to the local grocery store, put a blanket on the ground by a picnic bench, and rewarded her for looking at everybody. Socialization isn't just putting the puppy in lots of people's arms and hoping for the best. It's you teaching your puppy that you are the leader and the world is a safe place.

I played tour guide with my puppy. Car noises, those are worth two treats. Truck noises are worth five treats. Shopping cart rumbling is worth two treats. Lady with weird looking hat, that's four treats. I narrated what I saw, talking to my puppy as we watched the world go by.
Look at the boys, they're running. Running so fast. Fast running boys are worth 15 treats! Wow! That woman is wearing a hijab. She's so pretty. Here's five treats. That man has a beard and a mustache and a hat. That's a total jackpot for you!

I made sure my puppy saw people of every color, every possible size, wearing every type of religious clothing and clothing from different cultures. She was greeted by children, and adults, men and women. Even a man wearing a ski mask who had no face made friends with Noelle.

We went on daily outings and watched the world. Sometimes people petted her. Sometimes they did not. Looking, listening, smelling, was what we did. Puppy class taught Noelle she's a dog, and there are other dogs, and dogs are ok. Outings taught Noelle that there is an interesting world, and I am here in it with her to guide her and help her learn.

Noelle is now a service dog who can go into a loud mall, full of total strangers, watch a cart full of merchandise rumble two feet from her, hear a smoothie machine grinding fruit, walk through a crowd of people, and cope with it all. Because I started at 8 weeks teaching her the world is safe and I'm with her in everything.
 

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Mufar and Click gave you great links. If you have read Ian's puppy protocol then you know how important puppy socialization is. Click's girl is an oversized mpoo, but was small enough for quite a while to carry in her arms for those early outings. By the time Javelin was 12 weeks old carrying him would have been like lugging a small live turkey around (not fun), so the wagon was a great way to have the puppy take outings where neighbors known to the owner could greet while still avoiding contact with unknowns of the street. The pup could see cars, bikes, kids running, hear trucks backfire etc.


I think you have clearly educated yourself well if you have read up on Jean Dodds and Ian Dunbar (and I have met Ian at several seminars and workshops and think he and his scientifically well founded views are hugely important. Overall though I think Ian's work on the importance of puppy socialization trumps Jean Dodds caution about immunization (and I am an immunologist/microbiologist). I am copying the most profoundly important part of the link Click gave and highlighting with emphasis the winner take all part of this discussion.


From Dog Star Daily:


"Similarly, behavior problems may be resolved at any time in a dog’s life but of course, they are annoying and frustrating for owners and so, why not teach good habits from the outset? Temperament problems, however, must be prevented during early puppyhood because rehabilitating adult dogs is complicated and extremely time-consuming. For example, whereas It takes just a few days, or a week at the most, to resolve incipient signs of shyness, fearfulness, intractability, or aggression towards people in a two- to three-month-old puppy, it would take several months to resolve similar problems in a five-month old adolescent and one or two years to rehabilitate a fearful/aggressive eight-month-old, (provided that the dog is not dangerous, i.e., has never actually harmed a person)."



One of the important things that Ian talks about and emphasizes in his writings is a desire to not see a need for dogs to be rehomed. The real core of his mission about puppies is to prevent behavioral issues that cause their first owners to first lock them in a crate or room and then put them in the yard or a garage and then to put them up for sale on Craig's List or take them to shelters and make them some other persons mess to clean up.


When you get your puppy, please do not isolate it like it is a fragile doll to be handled with kid gloves. Get that puppy out and about in sensible ways on gotcha day and every single day thereafter. I don't mean to come off harshly about this but you initial plan sounded like a good way to make a shy anxious dog out of a puppy that came with a clean slate for all of the great things life has to offer.
 

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My puppy came with me to work, as a dog groomer, since he was 9 weeks old. I did spend a good bit of time before I got him bleaching the area I was going to be keeping him in and didn't allow any contact between him and the grooming dogs until after his shots were complete. He still got to see a lot of dogs and be in a noisy grooming salon. I also took him for walks around the neighbourhood and such and to handling classes.
 

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Please start socializing your puppy with people way before 15 weeks. https://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/dr-ian-dunbar/why-don’t-we-adequately-socialize-young-puppies-people

Noelle started her puppy class at 8 weeks. She had her AKC Star Puppy Award at 14 weeks. We started socializing with people at 8 weeks. I took her to the local grocery store, put a blanket on the ground by a picnic bench, and rewarded her for looking at everybody. Socialization isn't just putting the puppy in lots of people's arms and hoping for the best. It's you teaching your puppy that you are the leader and the world is a safe place.

I played tour guide with my puppy. Car noises, those are worth two treats. Truck noises are worth five treats. Shopping cart rumbling is worth two treats. Lady with weird looking hat, that's four treats. I narrated what I saw, talking to my puppy as we watched the world go by.
Look at the boys, they're running. Running so fast. Fast running boys are worth 15 treats! Wow! That woman is wearing a hijab. She's so pretty. Here's five treats. That man has a beard and a mustache and a hat. That's a total jackpot for you!

I made sure my puppy saw people of every color, every possible size, wearing every type of religious clothing and clothing from different cultures. She was greeted by children, and adults, men and women. Even a man wearing a ski mask who had no face made friends with Noelle.

We went on daily outings and watched the world. Sometimes people petted her. Sometimes they did not. Looking, listening, smelling, was what we did. Puppy class taught Noelle she's a dog, and there are other dogs, and dogs are ok. Outings taught Noelle that there is an interesting world, and I am here in it with her to guide her and help her learn.

Noelle is now a service dog who can go into a loud mall, full of total strangers, watch a cart full of merchandise rumble two feet from her, hear a smoothie machine grinding fruit, walk through a crowd of people, and cope with it all. Because I started at 8 weeks teaching her the world is safe and I'm with her in everything.

Boy I feel like I've missed out for my pooch on not hitting her with treats in some of these situations! Lawn mowers currently bug her and we sit outside and watch but she gets freaked sometimes, DEF going to have treats on hand for some of these! The puppy class my pup goes to a few days a week does the things like crazy hats, ski masks etc which is great.

I also wonder people think I'm nuts when I want her to meet as many older men as she can, she runs to them and loves them.
 

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Boy I feel like I've missed out for my pooch on not hitting her with treats in some of these situations! Lawn mowers currently bug her and we sit outside and watch but she gets freaked sometimes, DEF going to have treats on hand for some of these NOPE FOR ALL OF THEM! The puppy class my pup goes to a few days a week does the things like crazy hats, ski masks etc which is great.

I also wonder people think I'm nuts when I want her to meet as many older men as she can, she runs to them and loves them.

My neighbors most certainly thought I was nuts when I was walking younglings. I sometimes took 30 minute to go no further that one house away with tons of halts and direction changes to teach loose leash. Eventually I could go as far as stop sign intersections where we sit before crossing. One house had a crazy reactive GSD that Lily did not like to pass and would dig her heels in against continuing over. We spent tons of time counter conditioning near and eventually right in front of that house. She got so confident that she actually got the GSD flummoxed because he couldn't scare her. My neighbors may think of me as that crazy dog lady but none of them worries about having their kids say hello either.
 

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Here's another vote to not waiting! Although my girl was 16 weeks old when I got her she had had only one puppy shot and Parvo here in S. Calif is very very widespread! Molly was well socialized to indoor life with people, big and little, but had no experience in the big LOUD world around her, so my solution was my small mall just a few blocks from home. I'd take a baggie full treats, buy myself a cup of Starbucks, and find myself a bench for me and Molly to sit on, where of course everybody wanted to visit with the fluffy puppy, the noise of cars, trucks, and motorcycles coming from the parking lot were duly noted and learned that she was safe from them, and strollers and skateboards usually carried the little people she adored. We did this several times a week and stayed only as long as it took to drink my cup of coffee..........today she is pretty bombproof and if something startles her she recovers immediately, or will put herself at my feet, onboard my mobility scooter!

P.S. Lowe's and Home Depot were the best for loud scary machinery (fork lifts and big lumber carts!) Mine locally are dog friendly but I heard that it is a managerial thing in each store..........
 

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Lawnmowers are loud and scary. Makes sense to me. Noelle was beyond terrified of garbage trucks. Here's what I did. We watched garbage trucks approaching. I screamed in mock terror, while laughing, "Poodle eater! Run!" And we ran away from garbage trucks together and watched together from a distance. I gave her a treat. "Do you think it's safe to take a step closer, Noelle?" We'd take a step closer, and I gave her a treat for being so brave. One more step, another treat. If she refused the treat, I'd laugh and say, "Poodle eater! Run!" And we ran away again. We did this until we could walk past a garbage truck and Noelle did not care.

If she was afraid of a display case with scary balloons waving, I'd say, "Aliens, run away!" And we ran away from aliens. "Oh, Noelle, I don't want you getting abducted by aliens again. Should we look and see if they are still there?" One step closer, treat. Two steps closer, treat. Refusing a treat is a sign of stress. Uh oh, too close to the aliens! Run! Now, remember, I am cracking up laughing as we play this game. My laughter signals to my dog that all is well.

If anything in our environment stressed her, I'd make it into a game. Honor the dog's natural desire to flee, but flee with them. Be with them in their hiding place. Watch with them. Encourage tiny steps of bravery. Flee again if you need to. Be with your dog.

Noelle and I are together in everything. I chase squirrels in the park with Noelle. I sniff bushes with Noelle. No, not on my hands and knees, but I stop and ask if that was a good smelling bush. "Is that opossum pee again? Oh, it's raccoon this time." I join Noelle in her adventures and games and she joins me in mine. I socialized her with the world, but her heart belongs to me.
 

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Oh, and yes, the neighbors must think I am completely out of my mind. But if the neighbors think I'm the crazy dog lady, that's just fine with me.

Count me in too!
 
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Another crazy dog lady here - I sing silly songs and chant rhymes as we go along, play daft games, and chat and giggle with my dogs. The neighbours have more or less got used to it, but I did get a startled and rather worried glance from an unknown young chap when I called out "Come along, honey-bumpkin!" in his direction. Fortunately Poppy appeared from behind the wall beside him just in time to save my reputation!
 

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I’ve been following this thread & hope it’s ok to jump in with a question. I won’t be getting our standard poodle for over a month but- any tips for those of us who live on a less populated street/neighborhood? There is only one small child who lives on our cul-de-sac and the little development where we live is kind of “quiet”. Is going to the park a no-no at 10 weeks?
 

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I would avoid dog parks, and look for other places to hang out. Take a rug for the puppy, choose a bench somewhere not to busy, and play Click's game of watching the world go by while dispensing chat and treats to your dog. I used to borrow children from friends and neighbours for carefully orchestrated puppy play sessions, and would encourage well behaved children who asked to stroke my dog (with children in particular I explained the dogs prefer not to be chased or grabbed, so please sit down and let the puppy come to you).

Find a good puppy class, and set up play dates with compatible puppies. Even better, make dates with anyone you know to have a friendly well socialised adult dog - pups learn a lot about how to behave from adults!
 

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I’ve been following this thread & hope it’s ok to jump in with a question. I won’t be getting our standard poodle for over a month but- any tips for those of us who live on a less populated street/neighborhood? There is only one small child who lives on our cul-de-sac and the little development where we live is kind of “quiet”. Is going to the park a no-no at 10 weeks?

I hope you don't mean a dog park (I absolutely don't do dog parks at all). If you have a park where you can sit on a bench and watch all sorts of people and kids on bikes and skateboards go by then yes. Carry your pup or put the baby in a wagon so you can keep feet off the ground and give the puppy some elevation to watch things without feeling overwhelmed by everything being so tall. Take tons of treats. If children want to approach give them some instructions so they don't overwhelm. Have all kinds of people offer tasty treats.
 
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