(Note-This is a running Blog. Please scroll to the end to see the most recent images added each week.)
Socializing your puppy before completing vaccine protection has always been a balance between safety and healthy behavioral growth. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) asserts that "eventual dog behavior problems stemming from lack of puppy socialization are of much more concern than the chance of your puppy contracting a disease from a public place." The "window of opportunity" for socializing your puppy is from birth to 12 weeks of age. This stage can be the most powerful time to shape his future. Socializing your puppy/dog to new environments continues for a lifetime. Awe Border Collies gives our puppies a great start, with introducing them to lots of safe stimulation and socialization. Your job is to keep up the socializing and exposure to new things every day and to always introduce your puppy to the world in a positive way. Everything that they will see as adult dogs should be introduced to them as puppies.
There are many safe ways to socialize your young puppy before complete vaccine protection (usually by 16 weeks of age). Controlling your environment is the easiest way. Invite a friend or neighbor for a “play date” in your yard. Older dogs that are well socialized can be a great experience as well as another puppy. As long as you have protected them both with at least the first 8 week Parvo combo vaccine. Never take your puppy to a dog park. The environment can be dangerous on two levels: Unknown actions from other dogs and unhealthy contagious diseases. Save those places for when your puppy is socialized and vaccinated completely.
Awe Border Collies has started a “100 Day Project” of taking Dreamer (now a little over 1-year-old) to one new socializing exposure experience a day for 100 Days. Of course, Dreamer has had lots of puppy socializing from birth, but he’s eagerly agreed to be our Demo Dog for this project. Toward the end, we will be challenging Dreamer to some new experiences which will show just how much confidence he’s gained with #100DaysOfSocialPuppy!