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Discussion Starter #1
At what age did you take your puppy off your property. I'm reading breeders who are almost all in agreement that 16 weeks is optimal unless parvo is in the area?
 

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I assume you mean walk your dog off your property because you can certainly take him off the property by car and if you are carrying him, or if you are going to an area where other animals/dogs do not frequent.

I went with my vet's recommendation, which was 2 weeks after his rabies shot which he got at about 4 months. Some people say you can walk your dog freely after his second booster, but it takes a while for the vaccinations to be effective. So I waited until about 4-1/2 months to walk him in the areas around my house.
 

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I waited until 16 weeks to take him to my favorite dog park -- a place with lots of dogs. But I think it is important to socialize your puppy from the moment he leaves his mother and littermates. Going places and doing things and interacting with other people and dogs is important for the development of a stable happy temperament. So I tried to give my puppy a lot of interesting happy experiences, while protecting him from anything scary or dangerous. I took him to the houses of friends who have dogs, invited them to my house, and took him out in the car from the time he was about 9 weeks old. Starting at maybe 12 weeks (I forget exactly when), I walked around the neighborhood and took him to a park where a few neighbors walk their dogs and let them off lead. I know just about all the dogs that go there and am confident that they are up to date on immunizations.

This is certainly a controversial topic, but I am surprised to hear that you have found that breeders are advising waiting until 16 weeks. In my experience most breeders are aware of the need to socialize young puppies, but vets often focus only on preventing disease and not on the need to socialize. My vet initially recommended waiting until after the pup gets the 16 week shots, but when I asked more questions, he acknowledged that the risk of parvo was extremely small so long as I avoided dog parks and other places with high dog traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't know I feel very conflicted, parvo is a problem where I live, breeders recommend 16 weeks, I need to socialize my dog, but I want to take breeders advice, my vet said it was ok to go in my area but my area is a high traffic area around a dog area and he had two parvo cases in a week the week before I got my pup her shots, she needs one more booster on the 16th, I think I'll wait till then. A vet reported to the media/news that people aren't vaccinating there dogs so I don't feel safe going anywhere really since people are forgoing their vaccination schedules and getting parvo and spreading it in the dog community.
 

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In the UK the advice is that it is safe for pups to go anywhere two weeks after the second puppy shot - the first is usually at 8 weeks, and the second at 10 weeks. Until then precautions are recommended - which doesn't mean not taking the puppy out, which would play havoc with essential socialisation, etc, but does mean avoiding high risk areas and high risk dogs. Most puppy classes check vaccination status and disinfect the premises appropriately, and friends' houses with vaccinated dogs should be safe. These days in developed countries more pups suffer because of inadequate socialisation in the crucial early weeks than because of infectious diseases - if you miss that window of time when their response to new stuff is to welcome it and explore it you are likely to be playing catch up for a long time to come.
 

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I started taking Polly everywhere with me as soon as I brought her home (7.5 weeks). With her being so naturally timid, I knew the risk of having a nervous/reactive dog was higher then our risk for disease.
So, she went to carmax to help us pick our our van, to the feed store, to Petsmart (in arms until 10 weeks when she started puppy classes), to the high school where my husband works, to as many friend's houses that we could visit, etc. She was in the car with me every single time I went anywhere and if she wasn't allowed in, she waited in the car (she was an early-spring pup). We started at the dog park at 4 months after her final shots. We started with occasionally doggie daycare at 7 months but I wish we'd started earlier. She was nervous at first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

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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.
 

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At what age did you take your puppy off your property. I'm reading breeders who are almost all in agreement that 16 weeks is optimal unless parvo is in the area?
The safest is after once the puppy has had all of it's vaccinations. Before that, the pup can go for car rides, or if you hold onto him outside. But personally, I wouldn't take the pup where other dogs have been until you know that he's fully vaccinated. You just never know what other dogs could have. Parvo can be picked up really easy, so don't risk it. Having him out in your own yard is probably okay unless you live in an area where there are rodents around, raccoons, or coyotes, etc. Your puppy will have a lifetime of being outside, so if you're unsure, then it's best not to risk it.

My motto is, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
 

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I took Javelin many places starting right after I brought him home. I brought him to my obedience club but did not let him greet dogs he didn't know there, just people, until after 2nd round of shots. I took him to Petsmart and other stores, but put him in the cart or carried him to avoid unexpected face to faces with other dogs. I started walking him in my area about a week or two after his 2nd set of shots, but made sure I did it at times when I knew dog traffic was slow and also stayed away from puddles and bushes and the like. He is now 20 weeks old, had his rabies and final puppy shots a while ago and is now fully street legal.

Here is a link to an article about the risks of parvo vs. the risks of not doing early socialization. 5.06 Parvovirus vs. Insufficient Socialization | Dog Star Daily
 

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I think Sophie Ann and Lily Cd gave you the best advice. Find something (a carrier you hold or a wheeled carrier you push) and take your dog with you. I used to put the carrier in a shopping cart at pet stores and took Dakota there before he was fully vaccinated. Take the carrier to the parks and let him meet children. You get the idea. Find whatever carrier works for you and take him out and about. No waiting necessary.

Also, let him start dragging a leash around the house to start getting used to it. Sophie was also right about not starting out with a leash outside for the first time he is attached to one. I used to tether Dakota to me inside so he was quite used to a leash when we started walking outside. That doesn't mean he didn't pull, but being leashed was not a problem in itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
She's fine on the leash that's how we take her outside otherwise she be eating stones, weeds, etc. we have her on a long retractable, the leash isn't the problem. Needless to say, I think people would find it strange her going around in a stroller, so I"m not too kean on that idea, I know of someone in the area who did that with a multi something and it looked very odd....afterall how does her mind connect the experience in the stroller with the experience if that makes sense. I'm happy that worked with you but i don't feel its practical for me. I guess I'm going to have to go with my gut on this and just wait it out. She gets her last booster at 12 weeks and then a few days after that, she should be able to go out so I'll have to get a lot in in 4 weeks but it can be done...
 

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Me thinks you give up easily. So a wheeled carrier is not your thing. That's fine. How about a soft sided carrier you can use in the car, at the vets, and open the top and put in shopping carts? You think your puppy smelling someone's hand in a store or at the park while sitting/standing in a carrier is still not exciting to her? She has to have her feet on the ground to be socialized? I think not but it's your dog.
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Here's the advice I always give: get a stroller! You can take your pup most places--and safely--in a stroller. Maizie graduated to walking on a leash in public places 3 weeks after her final puppy shot (she also outgrew the stroller by then), but 2 weeks after the final shot is usually safe.
 

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Me thinks you give up easily. So a wheeled carrier is not your thing. That's fine. How about a soft sided carrier you can use in the car, at the vets, and open the top and put in shopping carts? You think your puppy smelling someone's hand in a store or at the park while sitting/standing in a carrier is still not exciting to her? She has to have her feet on the ground to be socialized? I think not but it's your dog.
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Agreed, MiniPoo!

If you are worried about people making fun of you, well, that's pretty much par for the course with a puppy (or kids!). You've got to just do what needs to be done in the dog's best interest.

Your puppy will undoubtedly be better off if she sees more of the world at a younger age. She will not be untrainable if she doesn't, but it will make things harder if you don't take advantage of this developmental window.

We've offered a lot of solutions here and you seem to have dismissed every one of them. Do what you think is best, and try to think creatively.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've taken everyone's advice and I do appreciate it, because I'm a nurse I probably err on the side of caution, but I was hoping there were other people out there who may have and a parvo epidemic in there area and was wondering how they handled the situation and what they did with advice they received from both vet and breeder. I think my problem is that my city has an outbreak, persistent problem with parvo that is actively killing dogs and precautions are being put in place to protect pups and the like. Hence the need to put off socializing to a little later. I was hoping to hear from someone who may have gone through something similar with parvo and the situation of socializing a little later than normal. Thanks for all the advice I really do appreciate it.
 

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You really don't have to socialize later. I live in an area where Parvo is rampant. I took Misha to Lowes, Home Depot, mom and pop type stores, and brought a blanket from home and lined the cart with the blanket. Then she rode in the cart on my blanket and got to meet all sorts of people. I took her to friends houses and relatives houses that have dogs that I know are vaccinated.
 

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I've taken everyone's advice and I do appreciate it, because I'm a nurse I probably err on the side of caution, but I was hoping there were other people out there who may have and a parvo epidemic in there area and was wondering how they handled the situation and what they did with advice they received from both vet and breeder. I think my problem is that my city has an outbreak, persistent problem with parvo that is actively killing dogs and precautions are being put in place to protect pups and the like. Hence the need to put off socializing to a little later. I was hoping to hear from someone who may have gone through something similar with parvo and the situation of socializing a little later than normal. Thanks for all the advice I really do appreciate it.
Sounds like you are afraid to take your puppy out early even if you are carrying her because you think the risk of parvo is too great. Sorry you feel this way but we each have something we are paranoid about.
 
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