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Tuesday Training Byte: Getting a puppy for Christmas?

It sounds like a great gift idea, right? Well yes and no. There are several things to consider. First, does the giftee really even want a dog? Are they able to physically and financially care for a dog? And do you think they would prefer to pick out their own dog or puppy? If adopting an older dog, all the commotion can be upsetting to arrive right at Christmas. An adult dog, especially those coming from a shelter, may need several weeks to decompress, and all the holiday festivities can make the new family member fearful. If adopting a puppy, the crate training and house breaking needs one's full attention, plus you wouldn't want that new fur baby to accidentally get into something toxic (because about everything will make its way into the pups mouth)! Giving a gift card saying that you will take them to pick out their dog after Christmas works out better for the dog. Also, if you are getting a puppy, keep in mind that it is against the law to sell or give away a puppy before 8 weeks of age. Many breeders will insist that you wait until 10 weeks. Here is a partial list of some of the behavior problems that can creep up at any time if the pup is taken away from mom and siblings prior to 8 weeks:

  • Stress / anxiety.

  • Incontinence.

  • Separation anxiety

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Aggression.

  • Fear when walking.

  • Possessiveness.

  • Destructiveness.

  • Distrust of strangers.

  • Difficult behavior around other dogs.

Early separation can be very traumatic. Training will be much easier with a quiet place to adjust and not having to train to overcome the trauma.


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