Step. Away. From. The. Puppy!
I am one of only two certified dog behaviour consultants in Ireland, and I have been working with dogs for almost ten years now, through Creedons Doggie Daycare, and teaching dog behaviour through Creedons College. Every December I shout from the rooftops to people not to purchase a puppy for Christmas, and every January I have to bite my tongue as I am inundated with requests from new dog owners, looking for help and advice with their new puppies. Head! Brick wall!
It seems that people believe that the phrase “a puppy is for life and not just for Christmas” is simply just a catchy phrase, so I believe it’s important to educate you all on the dark truth behind Christmas puppies.
Where do Christmas fluffy clean puppy’s come from?
First and foremost. You are almost guaranteed to be lining the pockets of irresponsible breeders, most probable puppy farmers. We all know the horror of the lives of dogs that are kept in dirty cages living a similar existence to a battery hen. These are the parents of your fluffy clean puppy. “But the breeder told us they were family pets?” Of course he did. It’s not part of the business model of puppy farmers to disclose the fact that the parents of fluffy clean puppy are neglected, unloved, uncared for, and unhappy.
Perhaps you think you’ve hit the jackpot and found a responsible breeder for your fluffy clean puppy? Hate to burst your bubble – but it is pretty much impossible to find a responsible breeder that a) schedules their pups to be born in time for the Christmas market, and b) allows one of their pups – which should be their pride and joy – to go to a new home during the crazy Christmas market. You may have found someone who does have a family pet, and has decided to get a few litters out of their pet to make a bit of cash. Pimp my pet, anyone? Yes you might get your hands on quick cash, but it costs a fair whack to have a healthy litter, between veterinary costs, specialist food, taking time off work, and of course the medical risk to their own dog to have this litter. Trust me – with responsible breeding there is no money to be made.
I have friends that are responsible breeders. They specialise in one breed only, show their dogs to ensure they are the very best specimen of their breed, and avoid mating around July / August to avoid the risk of their pups going to a home as a Christmas puppy.
In fact, most responsible animal rescue organisations pause rehoming pets in the month of December.
Why is it so bad to bring a dog home at Christmas?
Ok. Lots of reasons. Firstly, in most households, Christmas means fancy electric lights, Christmas trees, presents on the floor, delicate ornaments, boxes of chocolates and many more lethal items around your house that your fluffy puppy will eat, break, choke on, be poisoned by, or destroy. Christmas decor is a war zone for puppies.
Next up – Christmas Chaos. For most households we have up to four weeks of mad craic. Guests arriving and leaving, long days out of the house shopping, parties, visiting, and present opening. Two things either happen. You are out of the house all day and your fluffy puppy gets neglected in all the chaos, and the vital early weeks of training and socialisation is pushed to the bottom of the list, or the opposite – your fluffy puppy is inundated with fussing, attention, and madness which, come January, all stops and your pup that is now used to constant care and cuddles is now left in an empty, silent house with no one to hear their crying – again, this is where many problem behaviours begin.
There are so so many costs involved with having a new fluffy puppy, and we all know penny pinching happens every January. There are vaccinations, microchipping, pet insurance, beds, leads, collars, puppy classes, worming and flea preventative treatment, food, and that’s just the start of it. Plus if you get an unhealthy pup which is quite common with puppy farm fluffy puppy’s you have the trauma and massive costs of lots of veterinary treatment.
And finally, getting a puppy as a gift for a loved one could be an unwanted gift. We all know those who adore puppies, but don’t have one. Why? Because they have made the responsible decision to not get a dog for their own personal reasons. If they truly want a dog and are ready for the responsibility and commitment, they would have one by now!
Most kids would love a dog, and swear they are ready for one. However, a fluffy puppy under the tree, with the newest video games, dolls, karaoke and selection boxes very quickly becomes one of many new toys. And we all know the vast majority of Christmas toys get tossed aside by New Years. A fluffy puppy should be part of the family, not found under the tree.
So what WILL I allow you to do?
You really are ready for a fluffy puppy, or really want to gift one to someone who you know will be an amazing fluffy puppy owner? Get them the next best thing. Feel free to drop hints about fluffy puppies, and lead them on. Then Christmas morning present a book on fluffy puppy care, along with a lead and collar. Once you see the look of confusion and disappointment, you can reveal that once they have read that book from cover to cover, they can fill that collar with their own fluffy puppy of their own come spring. This means you will have your pick of the Christmas fluffy puppies that have been dumped in shelters up and down the country , or you can take the time to source a responsible breeder who loves fluffy puppy as much as you will!!
Lots to share !