Davis, Calif. -- Contrary to historical recommendation, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) now is taking the position that puppies should begin socialization before all their vaccinations are complete.
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.