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Old 21.10.2020, 12:17
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Parvo concerns in Switzerland?

We just got our new puppy and unfortunately weren't able to schedule a vet appointment until next week.

He has had his first set of vaccines with the breeder at 8 weeks. Since he's only 9 weeks old, it will be a while until he can get the second set of shots.

Is it okay to take the puppy out in public? The vet secretary said it's okay but I'm still so nervous. All my family in the USA wouldn't let the puppy's feet touch the public ground until fully vaccinated...
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Old 21.10.2020, 12:37
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Re: Parvo concerns in Switzerland?

I would just avoid the dog parks where there will be a high likelihood that s/he might step in something. It will be up to you to ensure that s/he does not start eating things off the ground. You can also wash the feet when you come back from the walk.

I think it is important for the question of socialization that the dog gets out and sees things, meets people etc. at this young age.

Last edited by Verbier; 21.10.2020 at 14:20. Reason: typo
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Old 21.10.2020, 13:34
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Re: Parvo concerns in Switzerland?

Finding a balance will be key here.

You have two competing needs: Critical socialization phase, and the need to protect against disease.

What advice has your breeder given in this specific situation?

Your puppy needs to be gradually and positively exposed to people, sights, sounds, experiences, including other dogs. You are in a critical learning phase, so this is something that should not be postponed. Seriously! If your breeder hasn't given you a socialization plan, here is one from Dr Sophia Yin:


(There are many similar plans out there drawn up by positive-based behaviourists. Just make sure whoever you choose to follow that you are using only positive, reward based methods. Avoid any trainer, behaviourist, or internet poster who uses the language of dominance. Seriously!)

However, meeting other dogs does pose a bit of a risk, especially as vaccination is not required in Switzerland and there are unfortunately some people who do not vaccinate.

Do you have a private garden? If so, here's what I would do:

Take your puppy outside in your garden, work on learning to navigate different surfaces. Work on positive exposure to birds, neighbourhood noise, planes flying overhead. Work on bonding and recall.

Do you have friends whose dogs are up to date on vacs and known to be good with puppies? If so, you could do a quick meet and greet, a walk by really, where you still keep distance. Practice sitting calmly while the other dog walks by, practice bonding with you while another dog is in the vicinity. And practice washing paws - this is a very useful life skill!

Obviously do this only with friends you can trust to have fully vaccinated their dogs.

Even if your usual vet is not available now, is there another in the area you could visit for advice? You want to understand what the parvo risks are in your immediate area.

As you are in ZH, is your puppy list 1 (Adult weight over 15kg, height 45cm)? If so, you need to enrol in Welpenforderung classes, so I would contact your Welpenförderung trainer now. He or she should be able to advise you how to safely introduce your pup to the world in this situation. Even if not List 1, I would get my pup into Welpenförderung asap, it really is a great way to provide safe, positive socialization.

Remember that at this age walks or intense exercise should be short. The general rule of thumb is 5 minutes at a time for every month of age. So at 8 weeks, that's ten minutes of activity, then quiet(er) downtime and sleep, then 10 minutes exercise, rest, etc. Obviously only a general guideline, follow your gut instinct as you get to know your pup's character and needs.

You have another puppy socialization challenge in these COVID times. We are all supposed to keep distance, yet you need to socialize your pup to people, not doing so now during this critical learning phase can result in problems later. Here are some good articles addressing this situation:


Good luck with the socialization - and may you and your new best friend have many fun filled adventures together.

One more thing: We always love puppy pics here.
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