I have a 10 week old puppy, but since she is too young she doesn't have all her shots. Should I wait till she's 16 weeks old to introduce her to new puppies or should I just introduce her to adult dogs with all their shots?


No, no, don't wait!!!! There are critical periods of brain development for a puppy that end around 12 weeks for socialization, so it is very important to have your puppy meet many other dogs. That being said, you want to be careful where you do this: Avoid dog parks, for example, where you do not know all of the dog owners. A great place to meet multiple dogs is a puppy kindergarten training class. If you have friends with dogs and know that they are vaccinated, then by all means introduce your puppy to them. Just be careful to introduce them slowly, as some dogs might be less tolerant of a puppy's energy and bad manners.


I'm curious as to why she does not have all her shots yet. In Australia, the standard of vaccination is the first ones at 8 weeks, then 12 weeks and the third at 16 weeks then when they are 1 year old. I would be cautious about introducing her to vaccinated dogs as she may have something and give it to the vaccinated dogs. Vaccinations are not a barrier against the diseases but merely a preventative measure. I would speak with your vet about any dog owners who would be happy to have your pup playing with them. I completely agree with @jalynn2 about no dog parks.

  • she was given to us with her 6-8 week shots and we have a appointment set with a vet to update her vaccines @furreal training
    – olga s
    Dec 16 '16 at 15:42

This sounds like you don't have access to other puppies whose history you know, so I wouldn't do this. In less interesting times, you could potentially find a puppy class where at least the instructor has verified that all puppies are appropriately vaccinated and the floors are disinfected before each puppy class. That can potentially also have pitfalls, but because it's likely not available to you at all right now, those don't matter.

You can socialize puppies to lots of things without necessarily putting her in contact with other dogs right now. The important thing is to expose her to a lot of different stimuli, so that when she's older she will take new experiences in stride. Here are some things it's a good idea to do with puppies regardless of whether you have access to other known, trusted dogs. Note that it can be better to use adults that are known to be good with puppies if you have access to them.

  • Play dress up. Put on hats, overcoats, those weird hair bands with springs and hearts or balls on the top, whatever you can think of. Masks are really popular this year.
  • Get the puppy to make noises that might otherwise startle her. For example, a buster cube can be kind of noisy. Put it in the bathtub to create positive associations for bath time. Hide treats in a stack of bowls and let her knock them over to find the treats. Start with maybe heavy plastic, then move to metal as she gains confidence.
  • Take her off your premises at least twice a week. Even watching the world go by from your open car window or door is helpful. If she's confident, walking her around a parking lot where there's a decent amount of activity (hopefully not too much, for your safety) will also help. You can make some of these outings to places like pet stores and, again, your puppy can watch from your arms or your car. Parks are also a good place to watch people and animals go by. If park benches are open in your town, you can sit on one and watch the activity (disinfect first!)

Good luck! I know you will really enjoy your puppy.

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