Start now, don't wait. Really I'm not kidding, start now.
Train and Socialize now.
Start at eight weeks old and you'll avoid most behavior issues later. Socialization is not just dogs playing with dogs. It's getting puppies comfortable with the sights, sounds, smells, surfaces, people, animals and all the crazy things in our human society.
How it works
I come to you. Socialization comes to you and we take field trips for the rest. Pick and choose your sessions. You may be well versed at some things but would like fresh ideas on others.
Want the best dog ever?
Take the whole puppy program.
These are the basics all puppies need:
Leadership so they learn you have everything they need.
Socialization so they don't become fearful of new things.
Good behaviors to replace bad ones.
Puppy Potty Training so they learn to eliminate outside now.
Good habits so other puppy issues don't become behavior problems.
Bonding in human and dog society so they learn to live in both.
Puppy Program Options
Once a week. We meet in your home with the whole family. Each week you'll learn step by step how to teach your puppy new important life skills.
Multiple sessions. Because puppies learn so fast they can do something new each day. When schedules permit, we can do multiple sessions each week. If you have the time, go for it. You'll have a Super Puppy.
Skip a week. Every two weeks gives you more time to practice, spreads the cost out and if you choose, add a phone consult on the off weeks. This keeps you up to date while saving a bit of money.
Why it's important now.
Easier to teach a small puppy than a big dog.
Reduces the chance of behavior issues later.
I hear a version of the same story when I go into a new client's home, for almost all dog issues;
"We were told to not to socialize until 4 months"
or some other reason the dog was not socialized and trained as a puppy.
Praise your Veterinarian for embracing Safe Early Puppy Socialization! Most Veterinarians I speak with in Sonoma County are on the same page with "Safe" early socialization; that is, socialize safely in a way that does not expose a puppy to dog germs.
Not all Veterinarians agree. I understand best I can, how devastating it must be for a Veterinarian who's client puppy catches Parvo and can't be saved. Worse for the puppies humans and the puppy... well. This is a perfectly understandable reason for Vets. to advise against early socialization.
Parvo (Canine parvovirus) and other dog diseases are real and can be deadly. Here is a link to UCDavis Veterinary Medicine on Canine and Feline Vaccination Guidelines.
Who says early socialization is the way to go? All I've found, who say early socialization is accepted, also say, at least one set of vaccinations should be given 7 days before first class and puppies should be wormed. Puppies should be about the same age and have the same level of vaccinations if they play together.
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)
Quote: "American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.
Link to document Puppy Socialization Position Statement
Humane Society of the United states (HSUS)
Quote: "Skills not acquired during the first eight weeks may be lost forever."
Link to article "Puppy Behavior Basics" on HSUS.org web site.
American kennel Club (AKC)
Quote: "Socialization classes can offer excellent opportunities to properly socialize puppies, but there is a disease risk. To reduce the risk, puppies in the classes should be of similar age and vaccination history and should be examined and found to be healthy by a veterinarian prior to starting classes. The puppies' first vaccine should be administered at least seven days prior to the first class."
Link to article "Puppy Socialization and the Risk of Disease" on AKC.org web site.
How your dog's fear can hurt your wallet. To be even more clear: Fear can lead to biting. Biting leads to even more behavior work ($ ching ching $) or worse, you get taken to court for your dogs actions and or your dog goes by-by forever.
Socialization and Training is insurance against most behavior issues later.
It will reduce you're chances of being liable for your dogs inappropriate actions.
It will increase the likely hood of your dog being the exact dog you always wanted.
Trainers actually see these issues with clients who don't socialize. I'm not trying to scare you. Just giving you the inside information on what really happens in the world of dogs. Starting to see why we think risk of not socializing may be worse than risk of dog germs?