AVSAB position: Puppy socialization should start before vaccinations
Socialization is critical when puppies are 3 to 4 months old. More deaths in dogs under the age of 3 are attributed to behavioral issues than they are to infectious disease, the AVSAB says.
The group's official statement recommends that veterinarians routinely advise that puppies begin socializing, perhaps in a puppy class, as early as 7 to 8 weeks old. Only one set of vaccinations is important before socialization can begin, but puppies should show no signs of illness and stay up-to-date with follow-up vaccinations, says the AVSAB.