The first few months of your puppy’s life are hugely important. They will receive their puppy vaccinations. They must also learn proper behaviour and become socialised.
Advice about your puppy’s vaccinations should always be provided by your vet. Generally, puppy vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age. Boosters are given at 4 to 6-week intervals until your puppy is about 18 to 20 weeks of age. It is important that your puppy receives the necessary vaccinations to protect them against infectious diseases like Parvovirus.
The importance of socialisation
Socialising a puppy properly means providing a safe, social and positive environment, like a puppy school, for your puppy to learn how to relate well to other dogs, animals and people.
The Australian Veterinary Association recommends that socialisation of puppies should take place between 3 and 12 weeks of age.
Puppies who do not receive enough exposure to different people, other animals (including other dogs) and new environments during this critical time for socialisation may develop irreversible fears, behaviourable problems or anxiety which, in turn, can lead to aggression.
Puppy vaccinations and puppy school
Does your puppy need to be vaccinated before it goes to puppy school?
The Pet Professional Guild of Australia recommends socialising your puppy while your puppy is completing their vaccination schedule. They say start socialising your puppy before they’ve finished their vaccinations.
Even the Australian Veterinary Association states that Puppy school conducted in a clean environment should not pose a risk to a puppy that is yet to receive its full course of vaccinations. We encourage puppy owners to take their puppies to puppy classes as early as possible, before their puppies have completed their full vaccination schedule. Puppies must be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout their puppy school program.
Well-run puppy schools provide the foundation for happy, healthy dogs and happy owners. Of course, always think about the risk of infectious diseases. The risk of surrendering a badly behaved, unsocialised dog is higher than the risk of your puppy getting an infectious disease.
How to protect your puppy
To protect your puppy from infectious diseases, avoid dog parks and other high-traffic areas altogether like walking tracks. Carry your puppy whenever in a high risk area. Especially from your car to the vet clinic, and talk to your vet for specific advice in your area.
We cannot stress enough the importance of properly socialising your puppy during their critical socialisation period. It is okay for your puppy to socialise and play with other vaccinated dogs and puppies before they’ve received all their vaccinations. Your family or friend’s dogs could come to your house, or you could go to theirs. Make sure the other dogs are friendly, healthy and up-to-date with their vaccinations, and always supervise your puppy.
At Fur Get Me Not, we offer a free 30-minute private training session for anyone who introduces a puppy to their family. Click here to book your free private training session.