by Mindy J Kaleta, Author of Surviving the Puppy Stage, How To Get Inside Your Dog’s Mind Without Losing your Own!
So, you want to give a puppy as a holiday gift? Or, you want to surprise your child with a puppy with a big red bow tied around his neck and sitting under the Christmas tree? Now, who wouldn’t want that on Christmas morning? Sounds like a great gift to give to someone you love, doesn’t it? But…and yes, there’s a but…there are a few things to think about before you run out to find that perfect Christmas pup!
Puppies as Gifts
There is a lot of discussion around whether puppies should be given as gifts. Puppies are living creatures and therefore, if they are going to be given as a gift, the receiver should have already carefully and deliberately decided to add a dog to their family for life. Knowing that they indeed want a dog and that the time is right for them to take on the responsibilities of pet ownership should be a first consideration before adopting a dog for someone else.
If you are giving this dog to your own children and family, it’s important that you have given it careful consideration and that you have discussed it in depth with your family and have their support with training and responsibilities before adding a dog to the family mix and schedule.
Christmas and Training Considerations
Christmas is a busy time of the year! Most families are busy enough without throwing in company coming for the holidays, shopping, cooking, school pageants and programs.
With the arrival of a Christmas puppy come the challenges of integrating your new puppy as a lifelong member of your family. There are a few things to ask yourself and your family before placing that big red bow around your new pup’s neck, sitting so cute under the tree.
- Do we have the necessary equipment, such as a kennel, toys, leashes, bowls, food, etc.
- Have we thought where we will create a safe space when family members can’t watch him?
- Who is responsible for feeding, housetraining, and teaching manners?
- Do we have a basic training plan in place to start as soon as our puppy arrives?
If you cannot answer “yes” to all of the above questions, it may be beneficial that you make those decisions and preparations before acquiring the new pup so that your answers are “yes”, or postponing getting a dog until you are certain that you have everything in place.
If You Still Want a Christmas Puppy
If you can answer “yes” to the above questions, and have definitely decided that you are adding a dog to your family and that the time is right, by all means do so! Hundreds of pups and dogs are waiting in shelters everywhere, awaiting their forever home. To be in their new home with their forever family would be the greatest gift ever!
A lot of people don’t realize that getting a puppy or a dog of any age is not a “get one and see if it works” proposition. It is a lifetime commitment. Dogs are awesome pets but can be somewhat challenging. They are canines. They don’t inherently know the rules of the house. You must teach them. But if you commit to obtaining the knowledge and training that you need, get to know and understand your dog, give him all the love, patience and understanding you possibly can, I promise you, you will gain a friend for life.
Dogs just want to have fun and to please you. They give us so much more than we could ever give them. Learning to become the best of friends, knowing why pups do what they do, giving your time, love and attention, will give you the results and friendship you are looking for.
Parents! To get a head start and in preparation for the new pup, you will want to add Surviving the Puppy Stage, How to Get Inside Your Dog’s Mind Without Losing Your Own, to your list. This book gives not only helpful training information, but also emotional support for the basic puppy problems that arise. You are not alone! And your pup will learn quickly, when you know what to do! Don’t wait until you are up to your elbows in puppy issues before you ask for help. Get the information you need now and be ready!
For the kids – Kids can help too! Get Puppy Scents, the Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care and make training a family thing!
As a holiday special, use the code TREATS at check out for Puppy Scents, the Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care and get 30% off!