Dr. Jean Dodds – Recommended Vaccination Schedule for Dogs and Puppies


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Recommended Vaccinations Protocol for Puppies

This page includes Dr.  Dodd’s Vaccine Protocol for Puppies and Dogs.  

Maternal immunity lasts until 8-14 weeks of age, so being vaccinated at 6 weeks will neutralize the vaccine and only give (0-38%) protection.

  • Vaccination at 6 weeks will also delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine.
  • Vaccinating puppies less than 4-5 weeks of age, especially with modified live vaccines, can cause severe problems.
  • Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system.
  • Dogs no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper and parvo every year.
  • Once the initial series of puppy vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity from modified live virus (MLV)
  • Most Vaccines persists for life or at least 6-8 years.  You can have titer testing done to see if you need to vaccinate again. 

Apollo 7 wks Australian LabradoodleAn antibody titer test is a measure of the concentration of antibodies in the blood, as determined by a test involving repeatedly diluting a blood sample and exposing those dilutions to an antigen. The shorthand is to refer to all measurements of antibody concentration as titers.

Three series of vaccinations may be given starting at 8-9 weeks, given 4 weeks apart, to about 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide a lifetime of immunity.

Vaccinations do not need “boosting”

Red Merle Aussiedoodle - Dreamydoodles - Labradoodles in Washington StateIn Dr. Schultz controlled studies, he found that dogs maintain immunity to CDV, CPV-2, and CAV seven to nine years after vaccination, as proved by protection against virulent challenge. He said, “The presence of active antibody response to these viruses is a clear indication of protection. There is no confusion on this point.”

Dr. Schultz noted that the canine distemper, canine and feline parvovirus, and canine adenovirus core vaccines are all modified-live virus vaccines. In general, he said, modified-live virus vaccines provide longer-term immunity than killed virus vaccines do.

“We can use titers to know whether or not the animal does need to be revaccinated, or we can simply go on a schedule and just revaccinate,” he said. While few practitioners would have thought of doing titers 10 years ago, he sees more and more titer testing today. He said, “Dr. Laurie Larson in my laboratory is running thousands of gold-standard titer tests per year, and the push is coming from owners who wish to avoid unnecessary booster vaccination.”

White Standard Poodle and Silver Beige F1B Labradoodle Friends - Vaccine Boosters - Vaccine Protocol for Labradoodle PuppiesDr. Schultz emphasized, “This is something that the owners just need to recognize: how important those core vaccines are. Every puppy and every kitten should receive them. Antibody testing assures us that the dog or cat is actually protected by the vaccine, or not, and is a very useful tool for every small animal practitioner. This is the only practical method to be certain the animal has developed an immune response to a given core vaccine.”

Read full article: “To titer or to revaccinate”

Aussiedoodle and his crate - Vaccine Protocal for Aussiedoodle puppies

Download PDF: Dr. Jean Dodds – Recommended Vaccination Protocol for Dogs and Puppies

Dr. Jean Dodds’ – Recommended Vaccination Schedule for Dogs and Puppies

Vaccine Initial 1st Annual Booster Re-Administration Interval Comments
Distemper (MLV)
(e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
9 weeks
12 weeks
16 – 20 weeks
At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only None needed.
Duration of immunity 7.5 / 15 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending.
Can have numerous side effects if given too young (< 8 weeks).
Parvovirus (MLV)
(e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
9 weeks
12 weeks
16 – 20 weeks
At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only None needed.
Duration of immunity 7.5 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending.
At 6 weeks of age, only 30% of puppies are protected but 100% are exposed to the virus at the vet clinic.
24 weeks or older At 1 year (give 3-4 weeks apart from Dist/Parvo booster) Killed 3 year rabies vaccine 3 yr. vaccine given as required by law in California (follow your state/provincial requirements) rabid animals may infect dogs.

Vaccines Not Recommended For Dogs

Distemper & Parvo @ 6 weeks or younger Not recommended.
At this age, maternal antibodies form the mothers milk (colostrum) will neutralize the vaccine and only 30% for puppies will be protected. 100% will be exposed to the virus at the vet clinic.
Corona Not recommended.
1.) Disease only affects dogs <6 weeks of age.
2.) Rare disease: TAMU has seen only one case in seven years.
3.) Mild self-limiting disease.
4.) Efficacy of the vaccine is questionable.
Leptospirosis Not recommended
1) There are an average of 12 cases reported annually in California.
2)  Side effects common.
3) Most commonly used vaccine contains the wrong serovars.  (There is no cross-protection of serovars) There is a new vaccine with 2 new serovars. Two vaccinations twice per year would  be required for protection.).
4) Risk outweighs benefits.
Lyme Not recommended
1) Low risk in California.
2) 85% of cases are in 9 New England states and Wisconsin.
3) Possible side effect of polyarthritis from whole cell bacterin.
Only recommended 3 days prior to boarding when required.
Protects against 2 of the possible 8 causes of kennel cough.
Duration of immunity 6 months.
Giardia Not recommended
Efficacy of vaccine unsubstantiated by independent studies


Download PDF: Dr. Jean Dodds – Recommended Vaccination Protocol for Dogs and Puppies

Download Easy to Follow Graphic:

Immunization Schedules For Dogs

Note: There are two types of vaccines currently available to veterinarians: modified-live
vaccines and inactivated (“killed”) vaccines (more info below).

Chocolate Multigen Labradoodle Puppies - Maddie - Puppy Vaccinations

There is a great deal of controversy and confusion surrounding the appropriate immunization schedule, especially with the availability of modified-live vaccines and breeders who have experienced post vaccinal problems when using some of these vaccines. It is also important to not begin a vaccination program while maternal antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the mother’s colostrum. The maternal antibodies identify the vaccines as infectious organisms and destroy them before they can stimulate an immune response.

Many breeders and owners have sought a safer immunization program.

Modified Live Vaccines (MLV)

Modified-live vaccines contain a weakened strain of the disease causing agent. Weakening of the agent is typically accomplished by chemical means or by genetic engineering. These vaccines replicate within the host, thus increasing the
amount of material available for provoking an immune response without inducing clinical illness. This provocation primes the immune system to mount a vigorous response if the disease causing agent is ever introduced to the animal. Further, the immunity provided by a modified-live vaccine develops rather swiftly and since they mimic infection with the actual disease agent, it provides the best immune response.

Inactivated Vaccines (Killed)

Inactivated vaccines contain killed disease causing agents. Since the agent is killed, it is much more stable and has a longer shelf life, there is no possibility that they will revert to a virulent form, and they never spread from the vaccinated host to other animals. They are also safe for use in pregnant animals (a developing fetus may be susceptible to damage by some of the disease agents, even though attenuated, present in modified-live vaccines). Although more than a single dose of vaccine is always required and the duration of immunity is generally shorter, inactivated vaccines are regaining importance in this age of retrovirus and herpes virus infections and concern about the safety of genetically modified microorganisms. Inactivated vaccines available for use in dogs include rabies, canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, etc.

Charlie - 1 year Chocolate Multigen Labradoodle Cake - Puppy Vaccinations BoostersAfter 1 year, annually measure serum antibody titers against specific canine infectious agents such as distemper and parvovirus. This is especially recommended for animals previously experiencing adverse vaccine reactions or breeds at higher risk for such reactions (e.g., Weimaraner, Akita, American Eskimo, Great Dane).

Alternative to Booster Vaccinations 

Chip as an adult Red Merle Aussiedoodle MaleAnother alternative to booster vaccinations is homeopathic nosodes. This option is considered an unconventional treatment that has not been scientifically proven to be efficacious. One controlled parvovirus nosode study did not adequately protect puppies under challenged conditions. However, data from Europe and clinical experience in North America support its use. If veterinarians choose to use homeopathic nosodes, their clients should be provided with an appropriate disclaimer and written informed consent should be obtained.

What Is A Nosode?

In homeopathy, there is a special type of remedy called a nosode. A nosode (from nosos, the Greek word meaning disease) is a homeopathic preparation made from matter from a sick animal or person. Substances such as respiratory discharges or diseased tissues are used. It sounds repulsive, but the preparation, using alcohol, as well as the repeated dilution and succussion, essentially renders the substances harmless, while producing a powerful remedy. The use of nosodes in a prophylactic manner, for preventing disease, has been employed in veterinary and human homeopathy for many years. It is supported by various holistic veterinarians and authors.


I use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3-4 weeks. In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.

Mini Chocolate Aussiedoodle Goose with her balls - Puppy Vaccine Protocol

Vaccines Not Recommend for Dogs and Puppies

I do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are an epidemic in the local area or specific kennel.

Furthermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.

I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation.

Note by W. Jean Dodds, DVM – HEMOPET: This vaccine schedule is the one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.

For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or affected with immune dysfunction, immune-mediated disease, immune-reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease (e.g., thyroiditis, Addison’s or Cushing’s disease, diabetes, etc.) the above protocol is recommended.

Resource written by one of the premier vets on Vaccinosis in this country..

Dr. Jean Dodds.: W. Jean Dodds, DVM – HEMOPET

Another Great post I recommend on Vaccines and Your Dog is
Vaccinosis – Do Your Research Before You Vaccinate! by Ed Frawley“.

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