If buying a puppy is on your Christmas Wishlist this year, there are essential considerations and things to do beforehand. First and foremost, owning a dog is a massive commitment, so please make sure you’re able to take on this huge responsibility.

Dog Ownership Commitment Checklist

Every pup deserves a forever home and not be relinquished to a shelter months later. So, before this purchase, ask yourself the following:

  • Are you ready for a 10 to 15 year commitment for a dog?
  • Are you financially ready (up to $4,500 or more per year) for a dog to include quality food, supplements, medical care, medical insurance, training, grooming, dog walker, and supplies such as a crate and more?
  • Are you ready to care for a puppy which includes potty training, frequent potty breaks throughout the day and night, and puppy-proofing the home?
  • Are your living arrangements suitable for a dog so that they can receive proper exercise and not disturb neighbors if there is barking?
  • Are you ready for that cute puppy to turn into a defiant teenager?
  • Are you willing to take the time to train your dog and stick with the training protocol?

If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, then seriously reconsider getting a dog for now. If you’ve answered yes to all the above questions, then keep reading.

How To Choose The Right Breed

The most common mistake potential pet parents make is to select a dog based on personal aesthetics rather than researching the dog breed.  For example, if you’re attracted to an Australian Cattle Dog, do know that its courageous instincts to herd or nip may surface at some point. 

Categories of dog breeds include a handful of the following:

  • Working Dogs are mostly high drive with protective and guardian instincts (i.e., German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Doberman).
  • Herding Dogs have a working mentality with drive and speed (i.e., Border Collie, Cattle Dog)
  • Sporting Dogs are obedient and loyal (i.e., Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Pointer, Setter, Labrador)
  • Terriers are feisty and always on the hunt for scents (i.e., Russell, Rat, Norwich, Welsh)
  • Common family dogs include breeds such as the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Labradoodle, Poodle, Beagle, Pug, and Boston Terrier.
  • If adopting a dog is on your Christmas list, please visit your local Humane Society or visit sites such as GoodDog.com or PawsLikeMe.com for pup matching options.

Training Is A Lifetime Commitment

Training starts the first day your little ball of happy pup fur comes to your home, including crate training, potty training, socialization, and more. Look into programs such as the Yappy Puppy Program to help with these formative puppy weeks. 

Obedience classes are not only crucial for your dog, but they are just as crucial for the pet parents to help improve their dog handling skills and reading the signs of their dog.

“How many hours a day should I train my dog?” is the most common question asked by pet parents. 

The answer to this is it’s all day long — it’s about living with your dog and finding that harmony with them. Enjoy the training process because it will offer an opportunity for bonding and countless memories.

Here’s to a Happy Holiday Season!