All About The Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol

At A Glance

Vaccines can prevent common diseases from infecting our dogs.

A sound vaccination schedule like the one detailed in Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol can protect our canine companions from autoimmune diseases, unnecessary vaccinations, and their side effects.

Dog vaccines stir up controversy and with controversy comes confusion. Keep track of what should ideally be practiced by referring to Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol for dogs.

Dr. Jean Dodds is a renowned and trusted veterinarian who spent over 50 years as a clinical research veterinarian.  She is responsible for a vaccination schedule for dogs that is followed by dog owners and breeders everywhere.

Her vaccine protocol operates on the principle of giving dogs minimal vaccinations and is particularly recommended for dogs and dog breeds that are vulnerable to or affected by immune dysfunctions or any kind of immune-related diseases.

Dog at the vet

Vaccination Schedule

After birth, puppies receive maternal antibodies through their mother’s milk for 8 to 14 weeks. Puppies should not be vaccinated during this period.

According to Dodds’ protocol, the first vaccine for distemper, parvovirus, and MLV should be given at 9 to 10 weeks of age. This should be followed by the first booster shot a year after. If administered to puppies before 8 weeks, this vaccine can have numerous and undesirable side effects.

Rabies vaccination should be given at 24 weeks or older. This vaccination should be scheduled at least 3 to 4 weeks apart from other vaccines. This vaccination is followed by an annual booster dose a year after and readministered after 3 years.

A few more things to consider when scheduling vaccinations for your dog:

  • Vaccines should be given 3 to 4 weeks apart.
  • Booster shots or vaccines administered a year after helps ensure lifetime immunity.
  • Dodds’ protocol also states that female dogs should not be vaccinated when they are in heat, during pregnancy, or while lactating.



Titer Tests and Your Dog’s Antibodies

Titer tests are lab tests that are designed to check for and measure the number of antibodies a dog has against a particular virus.

They allow you to check if certain vaccines are still in effect for your dog so that you don’t have to keep vaccinating them. If your dog is prone to experiencing side effects and is at high risk for certain viruses, titer tests should not be skipped.

Ideally, you should measure antibodies against infections like distemper and parvovirus once a year. 

Dog getting vaccinated

Vaccines Omitted in Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol

There are certain vaccines that are not recommended under Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol for dogs. These are coronavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, bordetella, and giardia. Here’s why:

  • Coronavirus is a rare disease and the efficacy of its vaccine is not entirely reliable. It is also a self-limiting disease that dogs can recover from without treatment. Hence, a vaccine is unnecessary.
  • Vaccination for leptospirosis has several side effects and the disease is quite rare. Its vaccine has more risks than benefits.


If there is a high risk of contracting the disease then only these vaccines for bordetella, coronavirus, leptospirosis, and Lyme disease are recommended.

dog getting vaccinated

Dr. Jean Dodds Vaccine Protocol for dogs is neither compulsory nor universal. Your dog may require a different vaccination schedule as prescribed by your vet. In the end, it’s best used as a general guideline that should be tailored to the specific needs of our canine companions.

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Paul Andrews

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.