By Saro Boghozian, Expert Family Dog Trainer

It is very popular among some families to get a puppy or a dog during the Christmas holidays and give each other as a gift.

Just like a New Year resolution, owning a dog wears off and people lose interest. Dogs should not be given as gifts and there should be a proper planning when getting a dog. One of the ways to be prepared is to plan ahead, educating yourself, be honest and realistic and consult a professional.

Just because you may have some days or weeks off during the Christmas holidays, it does not mean that it is a good time to get a dog. Soon, you will go back to your regular routine and life is going to go back to normal but the difference is that you will have a dog. So when getting a dog you need to have a short term and long term planning.

Short term planning is ideal for the first 4 months of the dog. This allows you and your dog to focus on each other and work on building a relationship among you and the family members. During the first 4 months of the dog, you need to be more vigilant and cautious. You almost need to be supervising your dog 24 hours a day.

The long term is for the whole life of the dog that prolongs your dog health and mental state of mind.

In general winter is not a good time to get a dog because of few reasons. The weather is not suitable and it’s cold. It is not ideal weather to potty train a dog, since most of the potty training should be done outdoors, or even the walks are done in cold and wet weather.

Spring and onwards are the ideal season to get a dog. The weather is more ideal to deal with a young puppy’s needs.

The same rules apply if you are getting an adult dog during the holidays. Again, the weather is not ideal to potty train your adult dog that may or may not be housetrained yet. Because of being in a new environment it may be behaving differently and you will need to address those unwanted or unbalanced behaviours.

One other reason for winter or during the holidays not being a good time for getting a dog is the level of family activities and the energy level. Usually the energy level is high. With families visiting or family members travelling, people coming and going, the energy level is high and the stress level for dogs will be high.

The best thing that you can do for your family and a dog is to foster or adopt a dog after the holidays are over. This will give you a chance to find out if you are ready to own and handle a dog. You will have to deal with almost all the typical dog issues that you may encounter when owning a dog. You will have to walk the dog during the rain, snow or cold and experience how it feels. Although, you may not need to housetrain the dog, you may have to deal with the issues it may come with. This will give you a good idea whether you are ready to own a dog in general.

Some people believe that puppies may be different since you can start from a clean plate but what are the chances that you will be able to provide the best atmosphere and environment and ability to raise a puppy at this time of the year. If you feel that you are going to be a responsible dog owner, than you should do what a responsible dog owner will do if wanting to get a dog. Plan ahead, choose the right time to get a dog, study and select the right dog for your family and your lifestyle and consult a professional before, during and after getting a dog to help you with this important decision.

Remember you are adding another family member to your family that is a bit different than your regular family member. You will have to put hundred percent of your energy and devotion when bringing in a new family member to your existing family.

Saro is available for any type of dog related consultations or to answer any question you may have.

Contact Saro by calling 604-990-1642 or email: dogs@jonahsark.com

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.jonahsark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/saro-boghozian.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] Saro received his expert dog trainer certification from The College of Canine Behavioural Science and is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and does volunteer behaviour consultation with a number of dog rescue organizations. Saro’s play, praise and reward training classes are always in high demand as are his private one-on-one training sessions. Rather than using treats or gimmicks like shock collars, Saro’s training methods help owners understand how to use a dog’s natural intelligence to achieve success. [/author_info] [/author]