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We have recently acquired a Boston Terrier. It's our first dog, but we are amazed by her capacity to learn.

We have been told to keep her isolated until her third shot (she is getting V8, but I'm unsure if the vaccine name is not local only - we live in Brazil).

But I have read that the reason for the total of 3 shots are that there is no way to know when the protection from the mother will wear off, and until that the vaccine might not be effective.

If that is the case, is she not protected, either by her mothers mild or by the vaccine?

My main reason for asking is that it's a great pain to keep her isolated. For us, but mostly for her.

Additional information on the vaccine: It's for cinomosis, canine hepatite, adenovirus, parvovirus, canine parainfluenza, canine Coronavírus, leptospirosis and Leptospira Icterohaemorrhagiae. There are 2 main vaccines in Brazil, V8 and V10... We were told Boston Terriers didn't take the 10 very well

  • By "pain to keep her isolated" I meant that we have a great space she cannot have access to. We are following what was recommended, but the one time we had access to a safe lawn space she seemed happier than any other time. – RSinohara May 8 '15 at 19:53
  • Were you instructed to keep her isolated from other dogs or from dogs and people? – Zaralynda May 8 '15 at 23:51
  • From other dogs, but not as a specific threatment. This is just the common practice for every puppy, for every vet we saw or talked to. – RSinohara May 11 '15 at 19:25
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I know that some vets recommend that, but that's actually a critically bad idea.

Can I assume she's about 8 weeks old ?

Critical period

8 weeks to around 16 week is called the critical period or critical period of socialisation. It is at that time that most of the fear / no-fear behaviours and reactions to noises, people, cars, etc. are learned and taken deep into their memory.

So you should really take her out, let her discover what her future environment will be like. Try to let her have good new experiences everyday. When my Brittany was young I actually made and list and I was checking the items: take the bus, train, car ride, moving stairway, etc.

All of this should out the risk of not being fully protected by the vaccine yet.

In addition you can take measures to reduce that risk: do not meet random dogs and make sure that the dogs she meet are correctly vaccined and not sick (puppy classes usually check that before allowing the dogs).

You can also carry smaller pups in your jacket or in a bike basket, etc.

So unless your vet has a very clear and very specific reason to suspect that she would be at risk, I would seriously reconsider the idea of isolating her.


Personal experience

Someone in my family got a Border Collie and was instructed by the vet to keep him isolated until getting all the primo-vaccines.

This turned out to be a disaster, the dog is in a really bad condition. He spends most of his days in the dark in the cellar, often stops dead in the streets and pull like crazy to go back home, etc. I described the problem in this question.

I'm very convinced that this related to the absence of experiences during the critical period. Other things might play a role here and I can't conclude "scientifically" with only one case, but for me that was definitely a perfect example of what I've read concerning the socialisation.

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    I completely agree with this answer. When we brought Peanut home she was just about that age. We took her for normal walks so that she could learn the neighborhood and peoples and noises. We were just sure to let all other owners know she was not fully vaccinated and they were very supportive in keeping their distances. – CGCampbell May 10 '15 at 15:16
  • She is now 9 weeks old. There is a park in front of our appartment, she's never been allowed to go to. We have a country house, if an (amazing) great dane she was not allowed to meet. We fear once she is cleared for it, she won't be able to do it (we'll try to introduce them slowly, but even then). She is now going through her first fear phase, for about 2 weeks now. – RSinohara May 11 '15 at 19:29
  • We really appreciate your answer, we were starting to believe this over-protection could be detrimental. We might avoid the park for a while (probable feces, chance of something scaring her), but we will start taking her out. – RSinohara May 11 '15 at 19:31
  • Excellent. If you know the great dane is in good health it would be good for them to meet: puppies keep learning from other dogs, mainly bite inhibition (learned from the mother but sometimes a refresher course is welcomed), where the limits of rough play are, etc. – Cedric H. May 11 '15 at 20:11

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