Thursday, December 22

Puppies for Christmas!

Each year right after the new year my phone begins to ring a little more, my business has a little boost, all because of the puppies people get for Christmas.  I love the increase in business, especially because I get to work with so many puppies.  But the down side is that not all these people end up keeping their pups.  Many call me half way through the training and say they can't take it, the sleepless nights, the potty training, and the chewing or biting.  So, I wanted to focus my blog today on puppies and what it is to have a puppy.  My goal is to help you make the right decision about whether to get a puppy for yourself or someone else.

We all can agree that puppies are one of the cutest things ever, their eyes, the cute yawns, the clumsy way they walk around, all of it equals a big ball of cute!  But these cute little things have another side, they chew, they bite, they cry and usually don't sleep all through the night.  And on top of all of that, they need to be potty trained.  Assuming, of course we are talking about a 3-4 month old pup.

Many people buy puppies because of their cute looks and some get pups because they want to have the dog their entire life, especially if they are buying it for a child.  No matter what the reason, there are some things you should keep in mind as you make a decision on what age of a puppy to get and where to get them.

Some things you should know about a young pup is that it is similar to bringing home an infant child in the sense that they will wake you up mid-way through the night.  They can not be left in a room unsupervised as they may chew on a cord or get into something that could hurt them, so they should always be with you, in a crate or playpen.  Let's not forget the potty training, they will need to be taught how to potty outside or on a potty pad, remember puppies don't know how to control themselves at a young age.

If you are a person that works all day and you cannot take your pup with you and you cannot afford a dog walker, getting a puppy may not be the best idea.  To achieve successful potty training you need to take your pup out consistently on a schedule for them to learn what to do.  Also, you don't want your pup to get bored, that is where a lot of the destructive and bad behaviors develop. 

If getting a young puppy doesn't fit your life style, you may want to consider getting an older puppy around 7-9 months.  This is a great age to introduce the dog to your life and they will still have that puppy energy, but likely they will be potty trained.  Though you may still have to teach them not to play bite, chew and of course obedience.

No matter what age of puppy you get, remember that getting a dog means your life will change.  There are walks you will have to fit into your schedule, especially first thing in the morning and late at night, which may require you to get up earlier and go to bed later.  Exercise is a key part of any training, if your dog is not getting a proper amount of exercise they may be difficult to train or exhibit a lot of bad behavior due to an excess of energy.

Lastly, when you look for where to get your puppy, my suggestion is to start at the shelters and rescues.  Their are a lot of puppies that get turned in and they need good homes.  If you go through a breeder, just make sure that they are not a puppy mill.  A legitimate breeder will have no issues with you coming to their facilities to look at the puppies and check out their environment.  The facilities should be clean and the dogs should all be in good shape and healthy.

If your gifts for Christmas include a puppy, I hope this blog has helped you decide what age is best for you.  I know for certain, no matter what age you get your pup, they are fun!

For training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  BARK!