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I wouldn't let little puppy feet touch the floor in a Petsmart, but then again, I don't bring dogs of any age in there, on the rare chance that *I* go there. Wayy to many stupid customers with dogs rounding corners on flexi's, and way too many annoying employees (just getting asked what kinds of dogs I have at the register bugs me - they all look at me like I'm a lunatic if I say "flat coated retriever" anyway!).
I would never recommend that a pup that young be taken to a pet store - or at least walked ... is that they should be 16 weeks old), and these people have always been informed of the risks they're taking.

I lecture my students on this all of the time, yet they continue to do it. OTOH, I start puppies at 8 weeks in my classes, with proof of vaccinations being on schedule. It's a non-public environment though, so that's very different from a questionably-clean petstore floor, or a public park where random dogs are defecating.
Janet Boss
Best Friends Dog Obedience
"Nice Manners for the Family Pet"
Voted "Best of Baltimore 2001" - Baltimore Magazine www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
PetsMart starts them at 10 weeks.

Really? I'm surprised. Is it a good idea to take puppies who haven't completed their vaccine series and put them on potentially germie infested surfaces?

We've started pups as young as 8-9 weeks, and so far I don't know of any problems. Anyone who brings a dog into the club building has to show proof of vaccination (rabies and distemper) except puppies under 3 months (they need to show proof of distemper vacc. only). One case of kennel cough that I know of (in 5 years or so), and that might have been picked up elsewhere.
This is a somewhat different situation than a PetsMart or the like, though.
Mary H. and the Ames National Zoo: Regis, Sam-I-Am, Noah (1992-2001), Ranger, Duke,
felines, and finches
Wayy to many stupid customers with dogs rounding corners on flexi's,and way too many annoying employees (just getting asked what kinds of dogs Ihave at the register bugs me - they all look at me like I'm a lunatic if I say"flat coated retriever" anyway!).

Try getting asked that with a *LABRADOR.*
Sorry, but if you can't identify a Lab, should you really be selling pet supplies?

Emily Carroll
Dealing 80s Toys - Rainbow Brite - My Little Pony - More Fluttervale Labradors: www.geocities.com/diamonds in her eyes/dogs/ CPG: www.geocities.com/cyberpetgame/
4-H Club: www.geocities.com/woofsandwiggles/
I totally agree. Though it was sort of the downside of Blade as I waited until he had completed his ... But there is NO doubt there is risks to puppies being exposed at such a young age. Especially to Parvo.

And there's the conflict. The younger the pup, the more the risk of illness. But the younger the pup, the better the socialization.

We only require that the dogs be up to date with their vaccines, for their age.

PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.
And there's the conflict. The younger the pup, the more the risk of illness. But the younger the pup, the better the socialization.

Exactly Leah. If I had it to do over, I so wish I did, I would certainly have taken the risk. I wouldn't have gone to PetsMart but I would have searched for a facility and taken him ASAP from day one.
We only require that the dogs be up to date with their vaccines, for their age. PetsMart Pet Trainer My Kids, My Students, My Life: http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.

Problem is dogs can get Parvo, puppies especially even if they are up on their vaccines. Parvo isn't a 100% vaccine unfortunately.

Gwen
And there's the conflict. The younger the pup, the more the risk of illness. But the younger the pup, the better the socialization.

Socialization does not require that you take your pup to places frequented by dogs whose disease/vaccine status you don't know about or cannot control. In order to socialize with other dogs, you take your dog to meet dogs owned by friends or have other people's dogs come and visit you at home. Heck, when we hold our adoption days at Petsmart, we put the pups up in a shopping cart that has been cleaned out thoroughly and lined with blankets.
We only require that the dogs be up to date with their vaccines, for their age.

At 10 weeks, they may have had only one set of shots, and their immune system is still quite immature. IMO, that's a huge risk these people are taking with their pups' lives.
Suja
And there's the conflict. The younger the pup, the more the risk of illness. But the younger the pup, the better the socialization.

Socialization does not require that you take your pup to places frequented by dogs whose disease/vaccine status you don't know ... take your dog to meet dogs owned by friends or have other people's dogs come and visit you at home.

I did that all the time Suja, it had no effect on how Blade reacted to new dogs in new situations that weren't inside of homes.
Heck, when we hold our adoption days at Petsmart, we put the pups up in a shopping cart that has been cleaned out thoroughly and lined with blankets.

We only require that the dogs be up to date with their vaccines, for their age.

At 10 weeks, they may have had only one set of shots, and their immune system is still quite immature. IMO, that's a huge risk these people are taking with their pups' lives. Suja

I agree. And it was a dilema. My choice was to not expose but it did cause Blade to have issues. And then I didn't help by taking him to several trainers that IMO only made him worse.
Especially the one lady at this Agility field. Not where I currently go. Who actually pulled and pulled on his leash, which of course only made him want to get at all the other dogs all the more. I stood there knowing it was wrong but didn't walk out right then and there. I even went
one other time. Thankfully I never went again. But that was more than enough. Which is why I have such issues with inexperienced trainers, especially when it comes to high drive GSD's.
Gwen
(piggybacking)
We only require that the dogs be up to date with their vaccines, for their age.

define "vaccines," please?

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
I did that all the time Suja, it had no effect on how Blade reacted to new dogs in new situations that weren't inside of homes.

So, he started acting that way by the time he was 4 months old? Most of my dog park friends who started off with puppies basically took this route, and haven't seen any ill effects because of it. A few people even brought their puppies to the park and allowed them to sniff other dogs, but safely perched in the human's arms.
I agree. And it was a dilema. My choice was to not expose but it did cause Blade to have issues.

I don't know, Gwen. If he is a generally reactive dog, this problem might be deeper than inadequate socialization.
And then I didn't help by taking him to several trainers that IMO only made him worse.

That's probably the biggest culprit. Are you continuing to work on this issue?
Suja
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