Puppies are a popular Christmas request. You might even be thinking about giving in. Before you do, here are some things to think about…
Puppies are a lot of work in the beginning. It gets better, but you have to be prepared for those first few months. Are you willing and able to put in that work so you’ll have a better dog in the long run?
The first couple of weeks, you might be taking the puppy out once an hour until it learns to tell you it needs to go out. They will squat whenever they get the urge until you train them to wait to go potty outside. As they grow, they are able to hold it longer, but that first couple of weeks will test you!
Each puppy is different. The corgi took only a couple of weeks to have completely potty trained. This little cutie took 3 months before she was completely potty trained (no more accidents in the house.)
I’ve seen a disturbing trend lately. People get a puppy, but they don’t want to take the puppy out or go to the trouble of potty training. They figure they can use those pads. It doesn’t work. These dogs are peeing and pooping all over people’s houses. Its disgusting. Don’t do it!
You need to allow an extra hour in the morning to puppy care. Letting her out, feeding, taking her out again to let her go potty an get some exercise before she goes in the crate.
When you get home, the first thing you do is let the puppy out to go potty. Then there’s an hour or two of training and play until they’re ready to settle down for a while.
In the beginning, you may have to clean the crate because they can’t hold their pee that long. It’s good to have 2 pads for them to pay on so you always have one clean and ready.
Then there’s the financial commitment. Vet bills are not cheap!
The first couple of months,they need exercise, but not walking so much. They kind of run in spurts. About 4 months you’ll want to start walking them in addition to letting them run in the yard. For many years, our corgi would run around up and down the hill, and still need a 2 mile walk. That’s every day. He’s 13 now, so he doesn’t require as much exercise.
If you want them to live a long healthy life, exercise is key!
Not to mention that a bored dog with a lot of pent up energy is destructive.
Of course, its good for you too!
After a couple of months the cute puppy thing has worn off, but you have another 12 – 15 years to go. Make sure you are ready and willing to make that commitment.
Dogs need to go out no matter what the weather. Rain, Snow, Below Zero… I would love to have a dog just in the summer so we could take walks in the evening and play in the lake. But winter here is 6 months long.
Sigh…there’s a lot to think about.
What kind of puppy?
So many times, people get puppies because they’re cute, and then they find that this breed does not fit in with their lifestyle. That’s how dogs end up in shelters.
Have you researched the breed? Is it family friendly? Kid friendly? Does it have a destructive nature? Does it have potential health problems? Is there anything that could put your family at risk? Is this breed easy to train? How much exercise do they need?
Please bear in mind that working breeds require A LOT of exercise. I’m not kidding!
Now it may sound like I am trying to dissuade you. I’m not really i think that dogs are a great addition to any family that is ready and willing to make the commitment needed to raise a good dog.
They make you get exercise.
They teach kids responsibility.
Playing with the dog and walking the dog are great family activities.
But they are a lot of work.
If you have decided that you do want to get a puppy, and the work involved is a small price to pay, there is a set of training videos that can help make it easier but they are going away 12/31/2016. You can pick it up for a song (50% off) and he tells you how to record the videos so you have them.. You will still have a 60 day refund period if you decide you don’t like it. Its a great deal.
And if you buy through that link, I do get a commission which helps keep this blog alive. I hope you think that’s a good thing!