So, you think you want a puppy for Christmas?
A Puppy for Christmas – Making the Best Choice – Let’s first consider this scenario. When we are car shopping, we spend days, often weeks, researching our next vehicle and waiting for the right one to come along. We are expecting and looking for something that is going to be reliable transportation for many years, so we make our decision carefully and thoughtfully.
Now let us consider a dog.
You are considering adding a living, breathing being to your family. One that will be with you for, hopefully, 10+ years, one that you will have to live with day in and day out. A dog is a huge commitment and should not be an impulse buy, nor should it be a decision that is taken lightly.
With that out of the way, the next point to consider is where to get your new puppy.
Pet stores, Craigslist and high-volume breeders who have puppies year-round are most people’s first choice because they are easily accessible and will sell to anyone with money. However, they rarely have the dog or the person’s best interest in mind. They are breeding primarily for money and have no interest in the dogs they produce beyond eight weeks. They also don’t care if the dog is a good fit for your family. We hear a lot of people who claim to be “rescuing” dogs from situations like these, but in reality, all they are doing is funding the cycle and opening up a spot for the next poor dog.
I am a firm believer in obtaining my dogs only from 3 different sources – someone who is rehoming their dog due to reasons beyond their control, reputable breeders, and reputable rescues.
Good breeders and rescues care about all the dogs and puppies they place and offer lifetime support and guidance. A good breeder is going to health test all their dogs and will show you proof.
By health testing, I do not mean “vet checked,” I mean x-rays and genetic testing.
They will only breed sound, stable dogs with good temperaments. Separation anxiety, fearfulness, reactivity, general anxiety, aggression — what if I told you that the majority of those things are genetic, meaning they are passed on from the parents to the puppies? Good breeders do not breed dogs with those traits, and good rescues will make you aware of them and place those dogs in homes that can handle them. For example, a family with four small children may fall in love with a young adult dog because he is cute, but a good rescue would not approve that placement if the dog has severe behavior problems.
The last thing to consider with a Christmas puppy is that, although a new puppy is adorable and the surprise of everyone involved will be wonderful, the cuteness will only last for so long before the chewing, jumping, and biting needs to be addressed and the training begins.
Are you willing to change your lifestyle and commit to hours every week to meet the training and exercise needs of a new pet? Also, dogs are expensive – food, toys, treats, crate, vet bills – are you prepared financially to handle all of that?
Every year between January and May, shelters and rescues are flooded with Christmas dogs and puppies who were surrendered when the cuteness and novelty wore off. Don’t let your impulse decision become another one of those statistics.
A Puppy for Christmas – Making the Best Choice – We, at Big Times Kennel, are happy to assist you in finding a new family member.
We have resources in many different areas of the country, so please reach out! Give us a call at 937-885-3427.