As we are all in a lockdown, I wanted to highlight something that has been brought to my attention and if you have a puppy at the minute or are due to get one this will affect you……
Many vet practices are offering just a few visits to the vets to cover all vaccines, before the COVID Pandemic these would be split up, so your puppy would have their 1st vaccine with the breeder, then the second with you 2 weeks later, then a 3rd for the Lepto cover. This meant that puppies were able to go out and enjoy their first walks at 11-12 weeks of age- giving us a little bit of time before their sensitive period is over.
Puppies have a very small window of opportunity to experience the world and not allowing them outside sooner may prevent their socialisation and may change the way they see the world. This window is known as the sensitive period and happens between 3 weeks and 12 weeks of age, one study conducted on this suggested if there was no contact with puppies before 14 weeks then it will impact the future relationship between dog and human. This highlights the importance of contact with humans and exploration in a positive manner.
Previous vaccine protocols catered for this and often we were able to take our puppies out at either 10 or 11 weeks depending on when the vaccines were done, with Corona and vets limiting visits to surgery this is no longer the case and we are now not able to safely get our dogs out until they are 12-14 weeks of age. This is outside of this window above and means we have even more work to do in terms of socialisation for our puppies. The vets are now giving the lepto vaccine and the Dhppi second vaccine in one stop- to prevent so many visits to the surgery, however,
this may be very detrimental to the adult dogs of the future.
What can you do to help?
*Ask your vet to split the vaccines up
*Attend puppy classes online
*Get in touch with a local dog trainer or behaviourist and get advice and help
*Carry your puppy to places for the first few weeks
*Use a longline to allow them to explore and be more social during the first few walks