How to Socialise Your Puppy Before They Are Fully Vaccinated

It's critically important to get your puppy vaccinated but the need to keep them away from exposure to disease is in direct conflict with the need to socialise them. This is a problem every puppy owner faces. 


Why is Socialisation Important?

Socialisation is the means by puppies learn to sort experiences from safe to potentially dangerous. When dogs come across something they were not exposed to when they were a puppy in later life they are more likely to interpret it as dangerous and respond with fear and/or aggression. 


Can Socialisation Wait Until After Vaccination? 

Unfortunately not. Puppies go through a critical socialisation period in the first 12 weeks of their life. The experiences they have (or don't have) in this time are weighed much more heavily than after 12 weeks. 

That's not to say you can forget about socialisation after 12 weeks. Just that the first 12 weeks are the most important. 


How Can I Socialise My Puppy Before They're Fully Vaccinated? 

There are dozens of ways to expose your puppy to new situations with minimal risk. Here are a few ideas; 

- Take them to new places but carry them or use a fabric crate they can see through. Avoid places with large amounts of dogs. 

- Invite people to your house to meet your puppy. 

- Take your puppy to friend's houses that don't have unvaccinated (or unfriendly) dogs. 

- Take your puppy to cafes and pubs and sit indoors away from any other dogs.


Can My Puppy Come to Class Before They're Fully Vaccinated? 

 Absolutely, in fact we think well-run puppy classes are by far the best socialisation opportunity available. However we do insist that all puppies have had their first vaccination.

This is in line with WSAVA guidelines and the most up-to-date science


Find out more about our puppy classes in Bristol here. 


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