Puppies as a Christmas Gift?

November 27, 2010

Puppies as Christmas gifts or as gifts at any time, is this a good idea?  It’s Christmas morning and the sound from your present under the tree sounds like puppies.  You open the box and out jumps the most darling, furry puppy with the cutest brown puppy dog eyes.  You scream in delight.  Everyone screams in delight.  Everyone rushes to pet the puppy.   The pup screams too, but not in delight. Fear, awesome and tremendous, intimidating fear is in the heart of this new puppy as big, strange people yelp,  grab him up to hug him tightly and pass him around the room over and over.  He’s so darn cute you yell to friends.  You put the pup outside and he goes potty so you  bring him in to allow him to run through the house to get acquainted with it all.   That’s a loving thing to do on your part, right?

Then since you weren’t prepared for this puppy, you put him in the warm utility room just off the garage on your favorite blanket no less while everyone enjoys dinner.  The pup looks around for his mother & siblings, but he’s all alone.   The puppy starts screaming in terror but no one hears him over the joyous Christmas music and talking.  After a long, scary hour the puppy is feeling needy and bored. He wonders to the end of the room and feels better after depositing a stinky poo in the corner and then begins to chew on the expensive mill work; yummy, that’s pretty good stuff, any more around?  Hey, there’s a $200 pair of shoes, much softer than mill work.  Cool. 

But again, a new puppy and what a thoughtful and generous Christmas gift.  What could be better, right?   After dinner, you wonder in to regroup with the puppy and with the unexpected odor and after discovering the events of the hour, well, things are not quite coming up roses like they were just a little while ago.  No one prepared you for this super healthy puppy who has figured out ways to occupy himself….at your expense.   As it turns out, this puppy you received is an extremely active breed and on top of that, this pup was the pick of the litter.  Exactly, what is the pick of the litter?  Well, it often means the most active, excitable puppy out of the whole litter. Actually you had been wanting a small lap dog but that’s not what you got. This pup is the dominate athletic type. You didn’t have a chance to research the breed that would be best suited for you.  No one told you in advance that you would need a fence, a crate and some baby gates. You didn’t get a chance to locate a good trainer so you could get some needed help.  It’s just too much.

Nine months later, this aggressively howling, chewing, biting puppy who won’t come when called is in the shelter hoping to get a new home but more likely awaiting his turn at being euthanized after the 100 dogs ahead of him are done.  How could this be true?   It’s certainly not the dog’s fault.  As a young puppy, he counted on you to be his leader, but when you didn’t step up, he had no choice in his mind except to take over the leadership job and the whole house for that matter.  Now in your mind, the dog is biting and out of control.  The enthusiasm you had for that cute puppy face has fizzled out.  He is a stressful dog to own and doesn’t fit into your lifestyle.   

Giving a puppy as a Christmas gift may seem exciting, but in the end,  it’s a bad idea.  It’s totally unfair to the puppy.  Also, it’s equally unfair to the new owner who is totally responsible for the training, socializing and overall well being of the puppy.

There were at least 10 mistakes made in the above scenario.  What are they?  Submit your answers to us and we’ll compare notes.  If you don’t know the answers and even if you do know, continue reading our other puppy articles.

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