Isn’t that a great picture of a Christmas puppy? What an amazing Christmas Fantasy.
There is nothing more magical then receiving a puppy at Christmas time. Opening that box and realizing there is something moving inside. Those first happy puppy kisses. The look of joy on your loved ones face. A puppy can make the day ‘extra special.’ Until about 2am boxing day, and then things start going wrong.
I won’t bore you with all the negative hype. You wouldn’t be reading this article unless you had ignored the potential problems and made up your mind to ‘take the plunge.’
Picking the Puppy
The first thing you need to realize is that professional breeders who socialize and train their puppies, breed only healthy adults, and are willing to invest in your puppies lives ‘DO NOT’ breed around Christmas time. It is hard enough finding good puppy owners. They don’t want the hassle of people who want to give a traumatized and neglected puppy back January 20, AND get their money back.
Don’t answer Christmas Puppy ads. This is the last place you want to go. These puppies were bred for cash, and anyone who breeds for profit will put minimal care into the puppies.
Puppy Mill Puppies in disguise. There are a lot of people who buy puppy mill puppies and pass them off as ‘home raised.’ They may have an older dog around and pretend it is the mother. Can you pick them out? Probably not. They are professionals at deceiving new puppy owners.
What problems can happen? The main one I’ve seen over the last 3 decades is the people who take your deposit and promise to drop the puppy of Dec 25, or 26 – and the puppy never arrives. Your texts and calls are not answered. And no one ever heard of Mr. Nice at the phone number you call.
Start looking for your puppy in September. Don’t fall for emotions or hype. Find a good breeder and ask for references.
Think about putting a puppy kit under the tree and letting the ‘loved one’ pick up their puppy boxing day, or a few days after the ‘crazy’.
If you do get the puppy Christmas day realized that the puppy’s routine, and training needs to start the moment it is ‘unwrapped’. Potty training, manners, and rules need to start ‘right away.’ Puppies do not understand ‘let’s just let the puppy be a baby for awhile’ or ‘awe, let the puppy have fun. Its Christmas.’
Giving The Puppy
- There are a few things you need to take into consideration.
- Does the person know they are getting a 10 year commitment?
- How do you know this is the puppy that person would have chosen?
- Children want to play, not raise a puppy? Will your child get up at 6am every morning to let the puppy out?
- Are you giving a puppy because YOU want the puppy?
- Is the ‘loved one’ a dog person? Do they know what they are getting into?
All off these can cause a puppy gift to back fire. I once heard a saying, ‘The best way to exact revenge on an enemy is to give them a puppy.’ It is a lot of work. Make sure they want a puppy, and are ready to take care of one.
Look at their lifestyle. If they are more into social life than sports, then they might not be a good match for a puppy. Are they home a lot? Do they go for walks? Do they normally get up early? Most people will not change their lifestyle for a dog. We cannot magically make people change into ‘dog people.’ When we try – you end up with a puppy who has learned a lot of bad habits.
Reasons Not to Give a Puppy
- To teach children responsibility – it never works
- To give to someone you are dating. If you break up you may end up fighting over the dog.
- To make someone who is depressed happier. Puppies are not a ‘happy pill’ they are a ‘chore’.
What Age To Get a Puppy
A puppies major development stage is between 8 – 12 weeks. Its temperament is set in this time. If it hasn’t learned that obedience is a lifestyle, and that ‘all’ people are good, then it will become withdrawn, reactive (aggressive), and may even learn to bully its owner. We see it all the time.
Sometimes the best dog to get at Christmas is an older dog from a ‘breed rescue’. Don’t go for the ‘easy’ rescues because 99% of dogs turned in were surrendered because they had behavior problems. You don’t want to adopt problems.
An older dog doesn’t need to be trained. It doesn’t need to be let out every 4 hours to go potty, and it can sleep through the night.
The Nightmare After Christmas – Puppy Obedience Training
Christmas puppies cannot go outside and get the same mental stimulation as summer puppies can. First thing January you need to start attending an off leash puppy socializing class, and puppy obedience ‘mind and manners’ type of class. These will help shape your puppy’s temperament and behavior so s/he grows up to be a well mannered pleasure, and a constant reminder to the ‘loved one’ that you love them…not be a problem they are forced to live with for 10 years.
Think before buying
And before I get hate mail – “No, we do not promote or suggest that giving puppies at Christmas is ethical, or humane, for the puppy or the person receiving the gift.’
Christmas Puppy Giving – REALITY