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Socialization:  should I socialize my puppy before all vaccinations are done?

Early and continuous socialization is extremely important. Some Aussies are reserved by nature so it must be introduced to many new people (all ages), situations, environments and activities  We give you a 2 page checklist to be sure you expose them to all kinds of things.  The first few months is the most important.  Most times it only takes 1 exposure at a young age but if you wait until they are older it may take a lot of exposures to get them over the new experience/person.  An obedience class is highly recommended from a positive reinforcement trainer (clicker training preferred). Take the puppy with you as often as possible.  Take the puppy to your vet (if not fully vaccinated, you may not want to let him down but hold instead) just for a visit - no pokes or prods...

Ian Dunbar has helped the world decide it's smarter to get your puppy out for socialization than waiting for all immunizations to take effect.  They need to see as many people, pets and places as possible in the first 4 months, starting at 8 weeks old.  They will learn their environments and other animals are safe.  If you wait the puppy may become fearful of new things.  He may defend himself through growling, barking or even biting if he's afraid.  Take proper precautions for their safety, however.  Walk your puppy in neighborhoods where most dogs are vaccinated and stay away from parks, especially dog parks where other dogs are known to frequently visit.

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