View Full Version : Taking a pup to public areas

Ginger's Mom
13th October 2006, 06:43 PM
When will my 10 week old pup be ready to go to public areas?
I want to take her out for walk every morning and evening to a nearby park to get her some exercise. I live in an apartment so I do not have a private backyard, but this park is our apartment's private park so there aren't that many people or dogs here. The park is full of grass and dirt roads, and I know she'll come to LOVE this place, but wondering if she's not ready yet.
Another thing is that Ginger loves to go potty on grass (she prefers it over anything, good girl), and I need to do what it takes to keep that going (she hasn't come home yet, still at breeders). If I can't take her out to public, what is the best thing I should do?

13th October 2006, 06:55 PM
Comments will probably differ. Every vet I spoke with discouraged me from letting my pup have contact with any other dog until his final set of shots. We mostly abided by that because I'm in a very populated area, and there are risks here - I don't know how I'd have handled it if Lucky had gotten one of the illnesses I'd vaccinated him against and I'd been letting him out before the vet said it was okay.

That said, I was taking him out occassionally, but then he got a little bout of diarrhea and I freaked!! So, I decided then to be more cautious, but I did let him interact with pups who I know are fully vaccinated (even though I do understand there is still a very small risk with that because they might be carrying a disease on them from being outside). I decided to take that risk though because I felt that it was important to socialize Lucky as much as possible because I've read that ages 10-16 weeks is the most important to their socialization and during that time they should meet at least 100 people. Lucky's easily encountered that many, but it was hard to do. I took him out on walks a lot, but carrying him, not letting him walk until his final series of shots was complete.

Good luck. If you are in a less populated area you might be okay. I did some Internet research. One of the interesting articles I read was on one of the ASPCA's websites - it said basically that the biggest threat to dogs is not infectious disease, but inadequate socialization ... That gave me some food for thought, because the dog's social skills is a big reason so many people get frustrated with their dogs and give up on them and turn them over to agencies like the Humane Society, ASPCA and when they are lucky, then to Rescues.

Good luck. You're puppy is really Lucky that you're looking into her well being and asking for advice. I asked tons of people too and did so much research before figureing out this same issue for myself :flwr:

Ginger's Mom
13th October 2006, 07:04 PM
Thanks for your response Lani. By the way, your Lucky is so beautiful!!

I've read that ages 10-16 weeks is the most important to their socialization and during that time they should meet at least 100 people.

Wow, that sounds like a big project. I better get started with my list now :flwr: !!

13th October 2006, 09:23 PM
If by going to "public places" you mean places like the mall, pet store, etc., then I would have two concerns:

*The first would be getting diseases from walking & licking areas on the floor, (also bird poop on the sidewalk carries infections dogs can catch).
*The second would be her ability to know how & when to hold it and not "go" on the floor.
*My only concern about playing out on the grass would be the fleas & ticks.

My Vet was also very adament about not letting Charlie walk around past our property until all his shots were given.

13th October 2006, 09:44 PM
I got this pouch and walked with Lucky off the ground and away from other dogs. He got used to it pretty quickly and he got lots of attention and met lots of new people ...


That said, it is nice for them to socialize with other dogs too ... you might look into a puppy training class - he would probably meet some other dogs and people there and also it'd hopefully be a bit safer because you'd know something about all the dogs there and hopefully they'd all be required to be current on shots. Lucky hasn't started training yet, but I plan to sign him up for one that begins next Saturday.

13th October 2006, 10:56 PM
young immune systems are not as hardy as more mature ones. when my daughter was a neonate and young baby, i didn't take her to any public places. Gradually that changed, but in the beginning i was very cautious. I would be cautious with a 10 week old puppy too.

I also wouldn't want to try to rush to get as many vaccinations as possible done in a short time either because imo vaccinations can be harsh to a puppy's young immune system, and personally i prefer to space out vaccinations and to not give combinations of antigens in one vaccination. I have researched the epidemiology of the diseases in my area and have chosen not to have vaccinations for things that carry a low risk or which don't cause serious illness. As a dog matures, its needs change. to me, this is an ongoing assessment based on several variables.

I think I've heard that the most important socialization for puppies is from their mother and siblings, and taking a puppy away from its environment too early can cause socialization problems. Puppies learn a lot of good behavior from their mother and from testing and interacting with other puppies.

I agree with Lani, ginger is a lucky girl to be going to a good home, with its very own park! i'm jealous.

13th October 2006, 10:58 PM
I got Gus at 8 weeks and kept him away from other dogs, until he was about 4 months. I also live in an apartment so I did take him out to a patch of grass to potty since the breeder had already gotten him started on going outside. I would just watch him like a hawk and mauch sure he doesn't eat anything while you are out there. Also, one thing my vet told me is to make sure not to over-exercise a small pup... their joints can't take the pressure of hard surfaces.

Ginger's Mom
14th October 2006, 12:28 AM
Thank you guys!

Oh, as for the socialization concern, I found a doggy school nearby where puppies get to meet other puppies! This particular class is only for puppies that are Ginger's age and they must have had their first shots, so I think this will be a safe environment. If you live near OC/LA, here's more info about the school: http://www.wagsandwiggles.com/

I think they're a bit expensive, but sure looks like a ton of fun for the students!!!

14th October 2006, 05:45 AM
Veronica--have fun at the puppy play group, give reports on what it's like.

Lani--i love your photo! Beautiful portrait!