Santa Got Me A Puppy: What You Need To Know Before Gifting A Dog

Thinking about getting a dog or gifting one? Read this first!

Tis is a great article that I found in Huffington Post. It repeats a lot of things that I have written in my blogs. Breeders and rescue are the way to go. Marisa got lucky as did my husband and I. It’s really gambling to buy a dog at a pet store. I wouldn’t change a thing about our Boo. He’s almost eight and no problems. Like I said – We got lucky!  Here’s my take………

Remember Your Puppy Will Grow Up Someday

 Chocolate brown eyes, a warm nose and eager licking are classic images of an adorable puppy. From children to burly men, a puppy can level the playing field fast. There’s something soothing about a little puppy who just wants to snuggle in your arms.

What dog owner hasn’t thought, “I wish he would stay a puppy forever?” In less than a year, that tiny fur ball could weigh more than your teenage son and eat more than he does, too!

If you bring home your puppy at a very young age, you have the opportunity to train him to function within your environment. You also get to enjoy those hilarious moments when a puppy makes discoveries like chasing his own tail or catching a ball.

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These times are so memorable. If you believe the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” then you definitely want to start with a puppy and raise him the way you want him to mature.

As dogs age, they take on more of the natural characteristics of their breed. Even ferocious guard dogs were once cuddly puppies with looks that could melt hearts. Once grown, that same dog can stare a hole through an intruder instantly be prepared to rip his hearts out to protect his territory (and his owners).

Show dogs may be gentler, but they require intense, repetitive training. If you want the show dog to perform on command, you can’t confuse him with occasional babying behaviors. Dogs who have roles to play take those roles seriously.

To keep a sense of the puppy pet for a lifetime, you can choose a small lap dog. Some breeds are content with frequently being held and petted. They have the patience to sit with idle owners for hours in front of the TV.

Actually, they have more patience with inactivity as adult dogs than they have as puppies. The nature of being a puppy is like that of being a toddler – it’s a time for exploring, running and making mistakes.

Puppies are so excited about every new thing – whether it’s a toy or a butterfly floating in the air – that they quickly forget the command you gave. They wander around, even outside the protective boundaries of your yard.

Life with a puppy can be both wonderful and exhausting.  A puppy desperately wants your love and approval, so you have to correct it without being harsh. You can’t compare one puppy to another, even if they are the same breed.

Each puppy has its own personality and abilities, so he’ll progress with training at his pace, not the same pace as his siblings or the dog you owned previously. Dogs, like humans, can be charming babies and irritating adults – or just the opposite. So be prepared to love the dog you have for a lifetime.

 

Marisa Sanfilippo Journalist turned award-winning marketer. Freelance writer. Twitter chat junkie.

Last year, Santa got me a puppy.

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Zoey’s 2016 Christmas picture

For two years I had been telling my retired father he needed (we, really, so that I could play with it when I visited) to get a dog. He wasn’t ever ready until last November.

We worked with different rescues, looked into breeders, and considered our local pet shop. I had my heart set on adopting and insisted there was no other way. The truth is, you don’t pick a dog – he or she picks you. Rescuing is amazing because there are so many dogs that need a home but sometimes it does not always end up like so.

In mid-December 2015, we walked into the local pet store just to better scope it out, myself fully committed to rescuing a dog from a shelter or rescue group. My dad had been doing his research on this pet shop for several weeks and went in to look at the Frenchies, a dog he was convinced would be the breed for him unless we could get the “Obama Dog.” (This shop specializes in Frenchies and we hadn’t seen any available for adoption.)

And then… there she was in the upper right cubby, a tiny, little, white furball known as the Maltichon (Maltese Bichon mix). I pointed to her and said, “Dad, that’s the kind of dog mom would like – small and fluffy; mom would not want a Frenchie.” (Side note: We had let mom know we wanted a dog but she didn’t think we were serious and she didn’t want the responsibility, especially not around the holidays.)

We asked to meet the Maltichon and it was all over. This little furball stole our hearts instantly.

heart-stolen Me this time last year, recovering from a cold. Heart stolen by baby Zoey holding her for the first time.

“I want this one,” I said. “If you get her I will babysit for you.” My father was curious. “You’ll watch her? We can have joint custody.” “Yes.”

My dad was hesitant because when I was a kid they got me a cat that I was supposed to take care of and Fluffy ended up being my mom’s responsibility. We both knew having a dog would be a much bigger responsibility. This little bundle of joy who we named Zoey was supposed to be his dog. To make a long story short, she ended up being my Christmas present and due to my work schedule, splits her time between our two houses (which the vet advised is okay because she is comfortable with both of us). We got lucky in that Zoey and my mother, who she would be spending so much time with, had an instant connection.

I was not fully ready for a dog at first. We were looking for my dad. But there was little Zoey and she has been the best present in the world who in many ways has changed our lives for the better.

However cute they are, fight them temptation to give a dog as a gift without doing your homework. Don’t just walk into a pet shop and pick out a dog like he or she is a Starbucks Latte. Dog ownership is a ton of work with sometimes steep price tags.

Planning for Puppy: What You Need to Know for a Happy Adoption

Don’t be that person who returns a dog – it’s not healthy for the dog. Approximately 3.9 million dogs nationwide enter shelters every year notes the ASPCA. According to the dodo, many shelters report an increase in abandonment following the holidays. Way too often I see posts in Facebook groups of dog surrenders, sometimes after only being in a home for a few short weeks or months; it’s heartbreaking. The last thing that dog or a shelter needs is a stupid person bringing them a Christmas dog that was not planned for accordingly.

While I was all about adopting and WILL be adopting my next dog, some people prefer not to adopt, bringing me to my first tip.

Read next installment….Part Twq

 
 

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