When your puppy turns six weeks old, he should receive his first set of vaccinations from a veterinarian. Among these will be DHLP, Parvo and Corona. He will receive four sets of shots total at six weeks, ten weeks, fourteen weeks and eighteen weeks. On his fourth set of shots he will also receive Rabies and Bordetella (needed if you ever plan on boarding your dog).
These first sets of shots are essential to immunizing your puppy against potentially fatal diseases and should not be missed. After their shot series is completed, the veterinarian will ask that you continue to immunize your dog on an annual basis. This is to ensure that your dog’s natural immunity stays high enough to continually protect him from these deadly diseases.
There is a way to test your dog’s immunity levels annually through a simple blood test in lieu of vaccinations called a titer test. The veterinarian will draw a sample of blood from your dog and run a test to measure the level of antibodies present against each disease the vaccinations would protect them from. If the level is high enough, your dog will not require a vaccination. If the level is too low, your dog will need to receive his vaccinations for that year. It will be up to you which direction you want to go in maintaining your dog’s immunity.