Dogs make the most wonderful family members, but they require work, especially when they are puppies. Receiving a dog for Christmas is a wonderful gift. Sadly, many end in shelters by summer. That is a heartbreaking reality. To ensure you make the right decision this season, here are things to consider before asking the jolly, big guy to bring a puppy to your home on December 25.
Expose your family member to the breed of dog or the actual dog you want to adopt before they move in. Spending time with the puppy beforehand ensures no one in the home has an allergy (including the hypo-allergenic dogs). Your holiday surprise could turn into a disaster if a member of the household is allergic and the puppy is returned.
Everyone in the household should understand that puppies nip. Often the nipping is constant, aggravating and it hurts. It takes time and patience to teach the puppy how to live in a human household. Some children are frightened by puppy behavior. Clothing and toys are always destroyed in the process. It is important to take the romance out of living with a puppy and help everyone understand the reality of puppy behavior.
Owners with older dogs tend to forget about housebreaking issues, chewing, nipping, stealing and other challenging behaviors. Don’t believe anyone who says their puppy was easy. Puppies are hard work. Time and hard work spent on your dog early on, sets you up for a wonderful life with your older dog. Try not to compare your dog to other dogs. Each is an individual that has its own personality and strengths.
Dogs cost money. They require food, medical care, vaccinations, grooming (even the short-haired dogs), monthly medication, pet insurance and dog training to ensure your dog is well adjusted. You need to make arrangements for the dog when you plan a vacation. Unexpected injuries and illnesses do come up. Welcoming a dog into your family is costly. Make sure financially it is possible to care for this dog for the next 14 – 16 years.
If you haven’t done so already, please do research on the breed of dog you have selected. Learning the facts about the breed will help you decide if the dog with the adorable face is a good fit for your home. AKC.org provides the following information for every breed of dog:
grooming needs * Exercise level * full-grown size * Temperament * Health * Training * Nutritional needs
Bringing the puppy home after the holidays may be a better idea if you face the following situations:
Christmas gifts always include games, dolls, toys with small pieces, new clothing and electronics. Having a puppy in the home that morning, means having a canine who finds the gifts and wrapping paper exciting! Consider the consequences of a young child playing on the floor with new toys and a puppy who destroys them.
Will you have visiting family members staying in your home throughout the holidays? Entertaining guests and caring for a new dog is a ton of work. Sometimes you receive more advice from well meaning relatives, than you can handle.
Have plans for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and day trips in between that will keep you away from home for hours at a time? Puppies require care and frequent bathroom breaks. They can’t spend more than a couple of hours home alone. No one wants to be alone in an unfamiliar environment.
Parents reluctantly agree to add a dog to their home when their children (young, teens and even twenty-something year olds) beg for one. In 99 percent of those cases, the parents take care of the dog with no help from the kids (even the grown kids). Don’t give in unless YOU want to care for the dog for the next 14 years.
It is never too early to train your puppy. Dog training early on, gets you and your dog on the right track to a happy life together.
Get started before your puppy arrives by learning how to housebreak them. Our step-by-step guide helped thousands of our clients overcome housebreaking issues. In an attempt to help people all over the United States, we now offer the written program online. The difference between our program and others found online, we provide you with one free email conversation on housebreaking with our certified dog trainers. You can ask us all of your housebreaking questions in that email conversation. The cost is $2.99.