Puppyhood is an important time to get your new dog off to the right start. It is important to introduce a puppy to all the new things that you can including people, places and other animals. Puppies that are not exposed to new things can have problems with social development. This can lead to aggression with other animals, aggression with strangers, and fearful behavior later in life. Socializing is vital to ensure your puppy grows up to be a “good dog.”
Remember, your puppy is at higher risk for contracting diseases from other dogs until vaccination series is complete, which does not occur 3-4 weeks after the last vaccination which is given at 16-18 weeks, so around 5 months of age. Puppies that are not fully vaccinated should not be taken to dog parks, dog events, or uncontrolled social settings until vaccines are complete. However, this does not mean that your puppy should be kept in a “bubble” and never leave your house. Plan safe outings such as: puppy classes, meeting your friends healthy and fully vaccinated dogs (that are not coughing or have diarrhea), meeting cats, and all sorts of people. Give praises for bravery and friendly behavior, don’t coddle your pup when he is afraid.