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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search a found a bit on this subject but not a whole lot, and I'm hoping for some opinions!

The breeder from whom we're adopting our puppy next weekend says I should wait until the puppy finishes her shots to take her to any classes. The trainer I talked to (she's very, very highly-regarded and experienced) says that's old-fashioned and that the purpose of puppy kindergarten classes is to socialize puppies during the sensitive time between 8-16 weeks -- that if I wait, I am missing a very important step in having a well-socialized dog. She claims that being in an area with unknown dogs is different than being at a puppy kindergarten where the other dogs are all being vaccinated.

Any thoughts? I don't want to take any chances but I really want a well-socialized dog, not to mention a well-trained one. If I decided to keep her out until she's finished her shots, are there any great ways to socialize her safely and/or books to begin her training at home?

Thanks!

Traci
 

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I think it's good to take them earlier. We started Sadie at 14 weeks or so BUT we didn't get her until 12 weeks. I think the earlier, the better.
 

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I waited until Puddles was vaccinated before taking him to doggie day care to play with other dogs. We socialized him by taking him everywhere with us, like school, all around the neighborhood to visit neighbors, and around lots of kids on bikes and scooters. Pretty much any kind of outing we could think of. He absolutley loved all the attention. He goes to doggie day care 1-2 times a week and does great with the other dogs. We started him at about 16 weeks. My vet also said not to have him around dogs until he was vaccinated, but to socialize him by getting him out and about...worked for us :D
 
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I didn't start Maya in school until she was fully vaccinated. I waited just in case. I took her to Petsmart for training so that is a little different in that all dogs are welcome in there and there was no way to know who was current on shots. I would think that if you were going to a dedicated facility that only does training then I would think there would be less risk as the trainer would make sure (hopefully that all dogs were utd on shots). I got Maya at 3.5 mos and did not take her anywhere there were "public" dogs until a week after she was fully vaccinated. Just to be sure.
 

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We waited until Dexter was fully vaccinated (16 weeks). We took the class at Petsmart and did not take him in public (except to the vet) until his shots were complete.
 

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We waited with Uma until she was fully vacinated and spayed so that classes wouldn't be interupted. Juno's previous owners took her to puppy class before her vacinations were complete.

Both dogs are well adjusted and healthy so I don't think it really matters. Whatever you prefer to do. I can't image a doodle NOT being social, it's their nature.
 

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There are definitely 2 schools of thought on this issue. I took Quincy to puppy kindergarten and I think it was a great for both of us. Most puppy kindergartens require the first set of shots and make sure the area is sanitized before and after the class. The "new school" believes more dogs are given away because of social/behavior issues than dogs who are lost due to disease. It's amazing how much they can learn as early as 8-9 weeks. And letting them blow off steam by playing with other puppies is a godsend for the owners. Supervised play tones down the bullies and gives confidence to the shy ones.

It was engrained in Quincy very early to come when called (for his treat of course) and I must say it is his best command. It's great knowing that if I walk away or call him, he comes running (not like my previous dog).

As long as there are safeguards in place for the puppy class, it can be a marvelous thing.
 

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We started puppy kindergarten at 14 weeks but there was another puppy in the class that was 12 weeks. Our trainer is also our vet tech. As long as the puppy is up-to-date on the vaccines and the other puppies are also in the process of vaccination - the risks of disease are very low. The class was held in doggie daycare center with strict vaccination requirements as well. I think socialization at an early age is very important. It helped us ALOT at home with the nipping and biting because she learned bite inhibition from the other puppies and it was a great way to tire her out.
 

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We got cacao around nine weeks old. We didn't take her out till she had all her vaccination. (well only to the vet) I just didn't want to get her sick. And then we went to Petsmarts for Puppy Classes. And Cacao did so well she was ahead of her classes. You know doodles are so smart. :D :D :D
 

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Matey started puppy class at 11 weeks. Our vet approved. It was a great way for him to play with other puppies and begin to learn the basics.
 

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MountainDoodle said:
I did a search a found a bit on this subject but not a whole lot, and I'm hoping for some opinions!

The breeder from whom we're adopting our puppy next weekend says I should wait until the puppy finishes her shots to take her to any classes. The trainer I talked to (she's very, very highly-regarded and experienced) says that's old-fashioned and that the purpose of puppy kindergarten classes is to socialize puppies during the sensitive time between 8-16 weeks -- that if I wait, I am missing a very important step in having a well-socialized dog. She claims that being in an area with unknown dogs is different than being at a puppy kindergarten where the other dogs are all being vaccinated.

Any thoughts? I don't want to take any chances but I really want a well-socialized dog, not to mention a well-trained one. If I decided to keep her out until she's finished her shots, are there any great ways to socialize her safely and/or books to begin her training at home?

Thanks!

Traci
I agree with Richard Wolters that play training should start at 7weeks. I would not hesitate to enroll in Kindergarten.
 

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I did all early OB at home from a class i did in past with a previous dog and didn't enroll our doodles till they were older.

either way whether it's a class or you start at home....early training is good for both you and your doodle

good luck :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, lots of different thoughts on this! Needless to say I'm still confused! :) I'm going to talk to the breeder about it some more and see what she says. I believe she off-handedly mentioned waiting but I'm not sure (there was a lot of info that day and I had overload!).

Here's the link the trainer provided to me in case anyone is interested: (I hope adding this link is allowed... I have to admit I haven't read the forum rules yet -- oops!)

http://abrionline.org/article.php?id=75

Thanks all!

Traci
 

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Denver startd at 12 weeks in puppy kindergarten
Because all the puppies were the same age and had
the same vaccines my vet said to go ahead.
We did not walk him around any older dogs or take him to dog parks
until he was fully vaccinated, as per our vet.............
 
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It really is a personal choice. I had Maya around my friends dogs they day after I got her. I know them so I know their dogs are vaccinated. I would not take her in public though until she was fully vaccinated. Not all people treat their dogs like we treat our doodles!!!
 

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i had never heard of keeping pups out of public until they're 4 mos until i moved to san francisco. i've had dogs all my life but out in the country on a farm where things are a bit looser i guess. anyhow, the school of thought around here is to keep them away from other dogs until their vaccinations have kicked in (usually 4 months after all the parvo vaccines, etc) BUT puppy school is ok since they are all on the same page. also in SF we have puppy socialization hours at various daycares specifically for the purpose of socializing a young pup who can't play with the bigger guys. this worked WONDERS for shaia. i worked hard to properly socialize her since our area is so dog friendly and the classes and "yapee hours" really helped. i think we started her first puppy class at 12 weeks or so? all the other pups were the same age. then we did advanced training at 5-6 months.
 

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Ou pups started puppy preschool at 8 wks. The place where it is held is safe
from general dog traffic and no dog can start unless it has had it's first vaccination 7 days prior.
We are in Australia and a lot of the things you vaccinate for don't occur here.
Our dogs loved puppy preschool. The socialization aspect is great, they are close to
heaps of new people and dogs and are having heaps of fun.
We have kept up the OB training since puppy preschool which includes lots of socialization
with things they come across in their daily lives like leaf blowers, mailman motorbikes,
fireworks, scary dressed people etc not just learning to heel, drop, stand etc.
This best thing is we love going as much as the dogs.
 
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