Getting a dog around the holidays!

Dogs and Holiday time! 

It’s that time of year again!  So many people everywhere are planning on getting a puppy or rescue dog around this time.  I often get a surge in business 1-3 months after the holidays for that very reason.  There are some downfalls to getting a dog while on break and I’d like to give you some tips to avoid those pitfalls incase you are looking to add to your family this holiday season :)


-You are very relaxed and just wanting to enjoy your time off.
-You and the family spend many days snuggling your new dog or puppy.
-Everyone is eating carbs and sugar and feeling sluggish and sleepy, haha!

-Starting off with these downfalls causes a lot of frustration to build quickly, not realizing how much work it is once the family’s schedule goes back to normal.  The dog isn’t fitting in and resentment and frustration builds.  We see this especially when puppies are bought around the holidays and then 6 months later, they are uncontrollable.  That is why starting off on the right foot is crucial, even though you are on vacation. 


So why are those things a downfall?

  • You are relaxed!  Who wants to set up a training schedule, decide on rules and boundaries as a family, set up a potty training routine (even for adult dogs from shelters), plan how you will handle things your dog or puppy does that you don’t like, where to keep them safely, if you are going to crate train them, etc.  This is a lot of work that many aren’t up for this time of year.  Then, weeks or months later you are in trouble with the behavior of your dog or puppy.
  • Too much snuggling!  Dogs and puppies have a honeymoon period. If you spend hours with you and the kids snuggling your new dog or puppy half the time or more then training and teaching the dog or puppy how to be alone, you will have a dog that doesn’t listen or worse, develops separation anxiety. 
  • BAD FOOD!  Spending one time of year eating what you want changes how you feel.  It actually lessens your tolerance and patience because you are more tired.  This is a very real thing that happens, haha!  Who has the patience for the new dog barking at the neighbors or the puppy peeing everywhere!  Think about it! 
  • So what DO you do to have a successful time with your new dog or puppy?
  • Have a schedule for your new dog.  They need to be taught to be alone quickly.  Too much attention the first few days can be very detrimental long term.  
  • Have a rotation of training time with food or body language with NO pets if the dog is unsure or overly excited.  Don’t put that pressure on them until training time is over (start with 10-15 minutes a couple times a day) and the dog is calm.  
  • You need your walks scheduled with a major important point.  KNOW how you want to teach them heel.  Have a strategy, dog training philosophy and start that right away.  
  • Make sure any kids know what to do with the new dog or puppy as far as handling, pets and excitement.  
  • Make sure you all have the same rules.  The puppy will be small so he can jump up. The puppy will be huge so he can’t jump up or be on the furniture…etc.  
  • Rotate the dog in a room, crate, space of his own through out the day and be quiet in the house.  You can play radio or something to help drown out your noise in the house while you are off and home.
  • Know how to teach your dog boundaries right away from day one, like stopping at the front door, etc.  If you do not know how to do this, hours of research on youtube or hire a trainer right away to start asap! 
  • Focus on earned affection.  This just means you dog or puppy does something to get affection.  Affection is payment for a dog and if we pay for nothing, they become spoiled, entitled, then often confused and anxious because no one is in charge.  A puppy can get affection for small things and older and more mature dogs would get attention after say, a long walk or training time.  


I hope these tips gives you an idea of how to be successful with your new dog or puppy this year so we see LESS behavioral issues and less rescue and shelter returns next year :)

Have a wonderful holiday.  Wishing you all safety and health this holiday season.  


-Bethany Wilson 


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