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Should You Get a Puppy for Christmas?

puppy for christmasAre you adopting a puppy/dog (kitten/cat?) for Christmas?

Well it’s that time of year again. Our wonderful holiday season is in full swing. And Santa is getting requests from great kids everywhere for a puppy for Christmas. So here’s my thoughts from years of training and observation… I believe the biggest argument against bringing a new pet into the house is the amount of energy surrounding the holidays.

We basically have three stressful scenarios:

1) Puppy, right now with his litter-mates and mom

2) Dog at the pound

3) Dog with a rescue group or in a foster home

Let's take a look at these three scenarios separately...


#3 Foster Pet

In my mind, #3 is the option most likely built for success. The dog is already in a home and loving situation.  It is used to the hustle and bustle of a home.


#2 Pound Puppy

Any dog that is in a pound of any kind is under stress, period. It is NOT a loving, stress-free environment. I know shelter workers don’t work there to get rich and have a great heart for pets in general and they do the best they can with limited budgets. But if you’ve ever been to the best pound or shelter, 36 dogs barking is a very stressful environment.

We don’t know where that dog was last week, running in a field or allotment, hungry? Were the neighbors throwing stuff at the dog, yelling at it to go away? Then they are taken to a pound with a concrete (cold) floor and walls… you get the picture. STRESS. What is the dog’s medical condition? Were they EVER an inside dog and you want to make it one?

I always remind people that the dog they see at the pound is NOT the dog they’ll have in three weeks when the dog is more comfortable in their home, could be better, could be worse. So, look carefully at the situation. Will bringing that dog into your house on Christmas morning be a recipe for success?


#1 A Puppy from a Breeder

Taking an 8 week(?) old puppy from it’s warm, comfortable place by his mommy and bringing him into your home on Christmas with screeching children, loud video games and 1000 things that would scare the fur off a well-adjusted dog may be an overwhelming for a puppy.


Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Pet:

  • WHY are you getting a dog?
  • Will your kids play with the new “toy (dog)” for 20 minutes until they open the X-Box /Wii/game console with the newest game and forget the dog? (Billy for the 10th time, take the dog out!! But mom, I’m almost at the next level!!)
  • Have you had a dog before?
  • Do you REALLY understand what you’re getting into? With the puppy, remember you’re also taking on potty-training (going into winter), chewing on most anything and more.
  • Have you considered the extended costs of pet ownership? Kennel for in the home, toys, food, flea-tic meds, vet visits, bowls, etc.
  • Have you considered shedding and the type of dog best for your family?

No perfect answer: Please consider waiting until the blast of energy from the holidays is over, THEN bring your new pooch home. Contact a trainer like Perfectly Pawsible Dog Obedience to help that transition and know what to do. Perform research. Best advise I can give you is to be conscious about what you’re doing! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Grant Holmes, Owner/Master Trainer, Perfectly Pawsible Dog Obedience


About the Author:  Grant has been training dogs all his life, professionally for over five years. Most accurately Grant is a former corporate trainer and true gift is in training people, which is the whole point! A well behaved dog IS PerfectlyPawsible!  Like us on