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  • Writer's pictureKen Lebowitz

The Holidays Are Coming! Do You Really Want That Breed Of Dog?

When you're looking to bring a new puppy or dog into your family. I can't stress it enough about doing your due diligence in regards to breed research. The holidays are right around the corner and that means pets as Christmas gifts. Aside from being at least a 15 year COMMITMENT. It behooves you to know the history of the breed you're looking to get. Know their characteristics, the pros and cons of that breed, and if you can meet that breed's needs. Just because you saw it in a movie or show or know someone else with one. Doesn't necessarily mean you need the same breed. It's the 101 Dalmatian Effect and don't fall victim to it because in the end it's the dog that suffers not the human.

It is even more difficult with mixed breeds coming from rescues or shelters. Try and get as much background from the staff that work at those kinds of places. Remember at a minimum it takes 90 days for a rescue or shelter dog to acclimate to a knew home environment. Once they do settle in. Then you may see some behaviors out of them that they did not display while they were still adjusting and out of their comfort zone. Rescue and shelter pets can be great additions to your family just as much as a purebred dog but know that they're history may be unknown and so that can present some challenges but isn't always a deal breaker.

Make sure the breeder is reputable and can show you the puppy's pedigree and allow you to see the parents. Never take a dog home earlier than 8-10 weeks old. You are stealing important time from them that is spent with the mother and litter. There is a pecking order that gets established in the litter and the mother can correct the puppies in ways we never can. For toy breed size dogs it's even best to wait until the puppy is 12 weeks old before you bring it home.

There are five critical stages of puppy development and you end up getting your puppy around the fifth stage which is also the beginning of the first of potentially two fear phases that a puppy can go through the second being later on in adolescents around 6-9 months old. Between the weeks of 8 to 16 weeks you must highly sensitize your puppy to being out in the world around people, other dogs. All different sights, sounds, and smells both at home and in public.

If you think dog training can be a bit pricey for a good trainer for just obedience you should see the cost when you don't have a well socialized dog. So I encourage you to seek out a trainer usually before you even plan to bring the puppy or dog home. Make sure you ask questions about how the trainer implements training. A trainer that wants to use tools right away to train your dog is probably not the best choice. Meaning teaching basic obedience using prong collars or e-collars right away without the dog first learning basic obedience on a flat collar and leash with food or toy motivation.

If a trainer cannot explain to you in detail as to why they want you to train a certain way with your puppy/dog. Then RUN the other direction. They are not the trainer for you. Read their reviews and tall to some of the previous clients if you happen to know them. Ask how long the trainer has been training dogs and if they have any experience already with the breed you're looking at getting. Doesn't mean they can't help you but gives you some idea about what they know about the breed. Which can help you coexist with your new companion at home and in public, however that is not an excuse to not do your own research before getting a dog.

It's not my intention to scare anyone out of getting a dog by writing this post. It's just to inform you. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and best of luck in the future if you are looking for a new puppy or dog.

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