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PLEASE NOTE:  I DO NOT SELL PUPPIES FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!

(courtesy of Evergreen Golden Retrievers)
Why a puppy is not a good idea for Christmas
It may come as a surprise to you, but that cute puppy with a big red bow around its neck is not the perfect Christmas present. Don't be suckered into letting the idea of a Christmas puppy solve your shopping chores - a puppy is not an impulse purchase - it's to be part of your family for 10 to 15 years. A puppy should not be confused with a toy or any other material possession. It's not something to be enjoyed or used when you want to, and then set aside until you want to play with it again.

The holiday season is a very busy time of year. For most people, it's far too busy to take on the additional responsibility of selecting a puppy. The selection process should not be done with haste, emotion, or impulse. It takes time to assess exactly what type of dog you want and how you will care for its needs, and additional time is involved in interviewing breeders to learn about their dogs' qualities, temperaments, and health clearances. For the ideal puppy, one often waits several months. Remember, the selection process is extremely important since a dog is a long term commitment. One of the worst decisions you could make is to purchase a puppy shortly before Christmas just because it's cute and available at the time.

A Puppy's needs
When a puppy comes to a new home, his needs must be met. He needs regular feedings (4 times a day), he needs the companionship of his new family, and he must have time for rest. He must be taken outside frequently and regularly. He needs constant supervision. You may not have anticipated how much of a change in your daily routine this will be. Think about the changes that occur in a family when a new baby comes home from the hospital. A puppy in the home is just the same - a living creature depending on you for all of its care. If you bring a new puppy home for Christmas, either your Christmas festivities will be compromised to accommodate the needs of the puppy, or the puppy's care will suffer while you celebrate Christmas in your traditional manner. How will it hamper your Christmas fun when "accidents" have to be cleaned up because everyone was too busy to take the puppy outside (about twice an hour while he's awake). What about when the puppy chews a hole in a new Christmas garment that was left under the tree - clearly your fault for not supervising a puppy who naturally chews everything until taught what is not acceptable. And how will it feel when your puppy is sick because children or guests played too long and too rough with it, or out of kindness fed it Christmas goodies? (Do you know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs?)

Christmas Puppy caution
Most reputable breeders will not have puppies available for Christmas presents. A good breeder takes extra effort to produce healthy happy puppies and wants these puppies to have healthy happy lives. You should beware of any breeders advertising litters to be ready for Christmas. It could be they care more about raising money for their own Christmas needs than they do about raising healthy puppies.

A better idea for Christmas
If you really must get your children a puppy for Christmas, instead of having the puppy under the tree, how about wrapping up a book on puppy care and some items for the new puppy such as a leash and water dish. Then, when the thrill of the other Christmas toys has worn off (as it always does), you and your children can make plans for the new puppy and you can help your children learn how to care for a dog. You will have had time to do your research and select the ideal puppy. And your children will have learned that this puppy is a living creature who is becoming a family member to share your lives...and is not just another toy.