Puppies are Hard Work; at Best!!!
Tis the season, puppy season that is!
Although it is not recommended, many people get puppies at Christmas time and during the holidays.
I personally, have no problem with pets being gifts, as long as everyone in the family is in agreement.
One of the biggest things I have noticed as a problem with “holiday” puppies, is that winter and the weather in January is really not conducive to raising a puppy!
It Sounds Silly, Weather Matters
It sounds silly, but weather is a big part of how puppies are raised and treated.
I have had puppies during, all seasons, and I for certain like spring puppy raising best!
I don’t mind getting up at 4 a.m. when it is 80 degrees outside.
I find it distasteful to get up at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning when it is 20 below zero outside.
I have to find my socks, my shoes, my coat, my leash and head outside only to be jarred awake by the bitter cold, as I hope my puppy finds the motivation to go potty, and not just play in the snow.
One of my former puppies would scream with joy and excitement when he saw snow and would rather play for hours than getting down to business.
In spring and summer, I slip on my flip flops and can usually even go back to sleep fairly easily!
I am a Professional
I am a professional dog trainer.
- I KNOW what has to be done to raise a puppy successfully.
- I KNOW that I have to go outside with my puppy no matter how cold it is, even if I have a yard.
- I KNOW that skipping these inconveniences set me and my puppy up for more difficult times.
- Because of that I make no excuses!
A few weeks toughing it out in the below zero freezing cold, will set me up for later and later mornings, less accidents, and a rapidly potty trained puppy.
But ignoring the puppy, letting him sleep in bed, releasing him to pee and poop in the house, or just shoving him outside alone (I don’t care how cold, wet, or windy it is!) will prolong the process and create bad habits. And, let us admit, that bad habits are hard to break!
The Truth is….
The truth is; puppies are work!
No matter the puppy, all puppies are work!
You can’t sleep in, in the morning, you probably won’t get naps on your day off or much extra sleep for a year or more.
- They need to be constantly monitored so they don’t have accidents and so that they don’t eat your things or get an obstruction swallowing things like underwear or socks.
- They need to go outside about every two hours.
- They often prefer to play with bugs, leaves or butterflies than going potty or attending to business.
- They are easily distracted.
- They can’t sit still for long.
- They play hard and sleep harder, but that stage doesn’t last long.
- Soon they are playing hard, and then playing harder without sleeping for long intervals.
- They need exercise.
- They need training and mental stimulation as soon as you bring them in the door.
Everything about a puppy is work!
They cease to be AS much work usually a year or two later.
But come on, 2 years is a long time! I like sleeping in on occasion; but puppies don’t understand and usually can’t wait.
That is why so many puppies end up in shelters at about 9 months to a year old.
There is no way around it.
There is no magical cure for “puppiness”.
It takes training, time and patience to have a well trained dog!
I Wouldn’t have a Puppy
I wouldn’t have or get a puppy, if I had a full time job.
I know it would be nearly impossible to go out at 3 a.m. and make it to work by 6, without wanting to murder someone (I’m not good without sleep).
I wouldn’t be able to get my puppy out every 2 hours if I was at work.
And, I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time training and teaching as they need in order to feel and be fulfilled.
Sometimes having a puppy is unrealistic!
That Doesn’t Mean I Wouldn’t have a Dog
But, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have a dog.
I can’t imagine not having a dog.
I will always have a dog!
No matter how old I am, or what I am doing in life.
I accept, not being able to travel, because I would rather have dogs!
But if I was working full time, or didn’t have time for a puppy; I would get an adult dog.
There are all kinds of adult dogs that need homes.
And, adult dogs don’t take nearly as much fundamental time!
They can be crated longer, and many of them enjoy sleeping in as well as you do!
Plus, I LOVE senior dogs!
I love giving a home to a sweet, older dog, who just wants a comfortable place to nap and a lap to cuddle.
After all, not everyone is set up to meet the needs of a puppy!
And, skipping some of the fundamental things puppies need, only sets them and you up for frustration and failure.
So if you don’t have the time or desire to devote to a new puppy; consider going to the shelter or a local rescue and finding the perfect adult dog that will fit into your needs!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.