A dog is for life not just for Christmas

Please don’t buy pets for Christmas presents. Instead buy all the accessories required for the planned pet, wrap up the goodies and place them under the tree. Great excitement on Christmas day without the added stress for all concerned. Then when the all the fuss of the festivities is over there is the added excitement of collecting your new family member when you have time to enjoy him.
Why not include a voucher for a home visit dog training lesson, contact me for further details.


Far from trying to stop someone getting a dog/puppy I am hoping that this short article will prepare you for what you are taking on.


Take your time to research the correct dog for you and your family. Don’t decide by the look of the dog, investigate what the breed was bred for, find out who the recommended breeders are (contact the Irish Kennel Club if you are thinking of getting a pedigree puppy). Don’t buy from ‘online’ adverts who offer to meet you half way or at the side of the road. Ask to see the mother and if possible the father (sometimes the father of the puppies is not owned by the breeder so this may not be possible). Trust your head over your heart if you feel something isn’t right about the setup, if you have doubts then walk away. Mongrels/crossbreeds are no healthier than a pedigree despite the myth. Designer breeds are not pedigrees and can come with a list of their own ‘designer’ problems. Ask questions.


Bringing a new dog into your home at any time of the year results in a great commitment on your time, your heart and sometimes your patience. So ensure that before you are going to make such a commitment that you are prepared.


Puppies are cute, puppies are sweet and puppies poo and wee everywhere until they are housetrained. This may take up to 6 months in some cases. All this can apply to an older dog should one from a rescue centre adopt you or a stray follows you home. They can also nip, cry, chew whatever they can get their little teeth into (furniture, carpets, shoes, mobile phones, skin – they’re not fussy), and dig up gardens while they are young and know no better.


However, with the correct, reward based training the puppy/dog can be transformed into a well-behaved animal. Training does not have to take long hours of your time, in fact the time you spend with your dog can be used constructively. All training should be a controlled form of play, in other words both you and the dog enjoy it. There are numerous training classes which you can attend with your dog and some trainers who will call to your home to help you with your dog. Ask your vet, pet shop or other doggie friends for someone they can recommend.


Dog can live 12 or 14 years or more, they will need feeding three times a day as a puppy, twice as adults. Physical and mental exercise, grooming, inoculations, kennelling when you go on holidays and your time when you come home after a long, tiring day at work. Apart from the initial cost of buying a puppy, basket, kennel, collar, lead, licence fee, inoculations, vets fees, insurance, toys and food there is also the cost of having them neutered/spayed (at the right time) to prevent unwanted pregnancies.


If, after reading the above you are still eager to own a dog then great. A dog can bring so much pleasure to people. There is nothing nicer than being greeted like you have been away forever and they make you feel so special. They never question your motives, or your decisions. They give you unconditional love and no matter how awful you look or feel they tell you that you are the best. Seriously though, owning a dog can be so rewarding. Just ask the person with the big smile on their face and a dog on the end of the lead!!!!

In the above article the reference to ‘he’ covers both male and female.

© copyright Julie Holmes Ch.M.I.A.C.E
The contents of this article are copyright to the author and must not be reproduced partially or fully without the author’s permission.

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