It?s The Worst Possible Time For A Puppy
Your child?s nagging and the incredibly precious holiday commercials have finally broken through your defenses ? you?ve decided to relent and get Junior a puppy for Christmas.
Don?t do it.
Not for Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or any other occasion. Acquiring a puppy is an event on its own. Don?t even try to cram it in with other celebrations.
A wonderful holiday gift for your child is the promise of a puppy. Set a date; spring vacation, when school is out, when you get back from camp; a date when you?ll have time to devote to acclimating your new family member. For the holiday, give your child some tangible puppy items with that promise: a bowl, a toy, and most important of all: some books about dogs; training dogs, caring for dogs, dog breeds.
Finding the perfect puppy for Junior should be Junior?s project. Give him the tools to research different breeds. Every breed of dog was developed for a specific task and that instinct lives on ? even if most dogs? only jobs today are to be wonderful companions. Dogs come in sizes from tiny to huge, with fur from non-existent to plush. Help your child assess your situation and decide on the right dog for your family.
If Junior isn?t old enough to do the work ? Junior isn?t old enough to have a dog of his own.
If the puppy is supposed to belong to Junior, then Junior should understand what?s involved in caring for her dog. The cuddling and playing fetch may sound great ? but is she aware that scooping poop is also part of the deal? Check with your local dog training facility ? is Junior old enough to participate in a class with her puppy?
Dogs and children can be a wonderful pairing. With the right preparation, a dog can be a child?s best friend.
About the Author: Hope Saidel is the co-owner of http://www.GollyGear.com, a bricks-and-mortar and online small dog shop featuring fun, affordable and practical products for small dogs. She has trained and competed in Obedience with small dogs for over a decade and is on the Board of Directors of the North Shore Dog Training Club.