Puppies for Christmas?

Is giving a dog or puppy as a gift for the holidays a good idea, or bad?

Personally, I believe that choosing a canine companion is personal, as you want to be able to have a connection with the animal and that isn’t always possible if someone else picks it out on our behalf.

However, I understand that there will always be those who have no problems and think it’s a great idea, so here are my tips for making it an enjoyable and long-term gift that keeps giving:

• Make sure the person you’re giving the puppy to is ready, willing and able to care for a dog (the puppy will grow up quickly!). The financial investment is only a small part of actually being prepared to care for a dog for the next decade or decade and a half.

• Consider helping with training (costs and/or going with them to training classes if permitted – if and when it’s necessary).

• Research their chosen breeds and take their lifestyle into consideration when choosing a puppy. A busy professional won’t want a high energy dog as much as an active family won’t want a couch potato for a dog.

• Research breeders. Not all of them are GREED-ers nor are they in it solely for the money. Choose a breeder with a contract, all reputable breeders will want or require that their dog be returned to them no matter what age if things don’t work out.

Parents: Be prepared to pick up the slack when the novelty of the puppy wears off and everyone is back to their busy routines.

Common reasons people re-home their dogs:

  They don’t have time/unfair to the dog

  Behaviour issues

  Mismatched energy levels

Alternatives to giving a pet for the holidays:

  Pet themed items such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, or wall art.

  Stuffed dog in the shape of their favourite breed.

  Trip to the shelter to volunteer with walking and/or cleaning cages.

  A donation in their name to a shelter or breed specific rescue organization.

  A training voucher or gift cards to pet store to help with costs when they’re ready to get a dog or puppy (be sure to read the expiration policy with the issuer as some are only good for one year after purchase).

Be sure to follow me on Social for more tips!


You can also email me at ineke@ptbodogtrainer.ca