Puppy Class & Socialization – When to start?


The Late Dr. Sophia Yin

The truth is that puppies need to start vaccines as early as possible  so they can begin a group class as early as possible. Training at home should start even earlier – the moment you bring your new bundle of joy home.

Socialization goes hand in hand with dog training. Do note that socialization does not simply include meeting dogs or a visit to the PetStore. It means very carefully evaluating if you puppy is afraid of something and addressing it with a Certified Trainer. This key socialization period is about 8 to 14 weeks. You can see why its important to get that first set of shots as early as possible! Please view this link to Dr. Sophia Yin’s excellent socialization checklist!  It’s an oppurtunity to explore the things that you not realize you needed to socialize. Remember that phobias and fears frequently escalate. Don’t hesitate to call me to address the issue.

But what happens when your vet says that your puppy needs all 3 rounds of shots and rabies before leaving the house? Just in case, print out the linked articles for your vet. Ultimately make being an advocate for your dog is the most important part! If you live and are seeking a vet, in Lake County, IN, I highly recommend St. John Animal Clinic in St. John. Their contact information follows.

The real problem is your veterinarian may not be aware of the guidelines from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). The AVSAB “encourages veterinarians to recommend puppies be socialized before the vaccine series is complete.”

Shockingly they go onto say “While veterinarians are appropriately concerned about infectious disease in young puppies, the fact is that behavioral issues—not infectious diseases—are the number one cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age, according to the AVSAB. Veterinarians contribute to these behavioral issues when recommending pets be kept away from possible germs until their vaccine series is complete, the AVSAB stated.” Here’s a link to this article Early Training and Socialization from the AVSAB. Here is yet another link from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Remember socialization and training are for life!

St. John Animal Clinic


8661 Wicker Ave.
St. John, IN 46373

Phone: (219) 365-8531
Fax: (219) 365-1032


Monday: 7:30am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 6:00pm

Saturday: 7:30am – 12:00pm
Sunday: Closed

Closed New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.