Saturday, November 23, 2013


I have had mostly puppy clients lately--with a dash of reactive dogs thrown in to keep me on my toes. I'm not sure why, but I certainly can't complain. I have a puppy addiction that cannot be cured, so I'm thrilled. I'm also lucky because these puppies all seem to have people who really want to give them a proper start.

But I'm reminded often that Puppies Are NOT for Everyone. It's good to remind others again now that the holiday season is upon us (already). Lots of people get puppies while they're taking time off over the holidays. Yes, often it can be a very good time to adopt a dog--rather than the adopt-the-dog-then-leave-it-home-alone-after-two-days-and-you-go-back-to-work plan. But should your next dog be a puppy? I'd say more often than not, NO.

Having a puppy is an endurance test. How patient are you? How OCD are you? For MONTHS your home will not look the way it did. Everything that was on the floor will now live on counters and tables. Unless you're very very very diligent, something will be ruined. Count on it. How much time do you have? Why get a puppy if you're not going to be home? Or if you don't really want to play several hours a day. Or if you just want peace and quiet in your life.

Are you going to raise this puppy to be the best canine citizen possible? That means socializing socializing socializing--which means a LOT of time spent during the important first four months of the pup's life. Did I say puppies demand TIME?

Oh, and "puppy" often means until TWO years of age, depending on breed. Don't expect a lot of self-control from a pup until two years are over. Just when you think puppyhood is over, your dog will prove otherwise.

The majority of dogs turned in to rescues and shelters? Adolescents. At eight to sixteen months old, dogs have been given up on. Poor dogs. They're just being young and energetic, but humans fail the endurance test.

Have I talked you out of the idea yet?

Many people want to "start from scratch" and not deal with adult issues--but are they better qualified to raise a puppy than the people who tried and failed their dogs and brought them to rescues? Nah, not often.

There are so many dogs already in shelters--you probably should take a look at the adults before bringing home the young puppy.

Anyhow, I can go on and on about this topic, but suffice it to say, puppies are even more work than you think they'll be. Many people will NOT go through it a second time!

But if you need help, I'm so completely happy to help. Puppy kisses still are the best in the world. Good luck!