Location: Glasgow, UK
Joined: Jan 2008
Our vet and most of our experienced doggy friends told us that it was fine to let a young pup come into contact with other dogs that you know are fully vaccinated. So inviting friends with dogs to your house is a great way to socialise the pup nice and early. We had a couple of doggy parties in between the first and second injections.
Going out and coming into contact with the ground is not generally advised until after the second injections. My vet told us this time to wait a week after the second injection. This is the 'official' advise.
But when we got our first pup last year a different, more experienced vet from the same practice told us that it was pretty safe to let them out and about in safe areas earlier than that. She said that there were no known outbreaks of the viruses at that time and provided we avoided places where sick dogs are likely to frequent it would be fine. A lot of experienced dog owner friends also say the day after the second set of injections is fine. I can't recall whether the vet was saying that in practice it's *probably* safe between injections or whether she only meant immediately after the second. Now please don't act on what I'm telling you our vet said as it was a year ago and we decided to play it safe with our first pup and waited the full week. I may have remembered the details incorrectly!
We took our second to puppy classes a few days after his 2nd injections but left the park outing until the full week. He's had plenty of socialisation at home so we decided to err on the side of caution.
It's a tough decision. Early socialisation is so very important to your dog's future development, but you don't want to put him at risk. I know some puppy classes take them as soon as they've had their first injections.