Getting A Puppy Over The Holidays Means Paying Special Attention To Training
When a discussion arises about getting a new puppy during the holiday season, there are likely to be highly polarized opinions, none perhaps more forcibly expressed than those of the individuals who adamantly oppose such a decision. This faction will often cite that buying a puppy at this time of the year is often based on emotion and impulse, and that there is an inherently unfair lack of preparedness for bringing home this new addition to the family.
However, those of a contrary opinion will steadfastly claim that proper care and attention to the basic needs, proper accessories, and immediately training your puppy can make the holiday season a happy time for all involved.
Combining the anticipation of getting a new puppy with all of the excitement and activity of the festive season can cause new pet owners to overlook some basic dog necessities. Among the holiday gifts that might be purchased for friends and family, the following items should also be acquired to coincide with the puppy’s arrival:
- Puppy food
- Food and water bowls
- A proper-sized crate
- A proper-sized bed or sleeping mat
- Treats (for training purposes)
- Leash and collar
- Toys (suitable for teething)
- Cleaning supplies (for indoor accidents)
- Poop-and-scoop supplies
The holiday season can be a very busy, almost chaotic, period for family members, with many events and activities interfering, in a sense, with normal routines practiced during the rest of the year. However, if the decision is made to welcome a new puppy into the family over the holidays, there must be a commitment to establishing a training routine despite any and all distractions. Family members must be willing to institute and adhere to a puppy training schedule that includes regular times for:
- Outdoor potty training (when and where)
- Crate training
- Walks and play time
Further to the above routine, it will be important to bear in mind that families tend to be home more over the holidays compared to a work week or a school schedule. Therefore, time should also be included in the training routine to begin acclimatizing the puppy to being left home alone in its crate – this can perhaps start with 15 to 20 minutes per day and gradually increased over the course of the festive season.
Another key facet to puppy training over the holidays is preparing the home for its new occupant. The festive season is often the time when additional decorating will be found throughout the home – and this can be an extra distraction for the inquisitiveness of new puppies. Homeowners should therefore ensure that such types of possible diversions are eliminated or minimized as part of the puppy training and acclimatization processes. Steps might include:
- Moving valuables and breakables to safe places
- Closing doors/blocking entry to off-limits areas
- Placing decorations/knick-knacks out of reach
- Temporary barrier around the tree and/or gifts
- Cover or tuck away electrical cords and wires
Getting a new puppy during the holiday season will require special attention to training routines and to preparing the home for the arrival of this newest family member. But it can be done with a caring and disciplined approach, bringing extra joy to the family over the festive period.
Consider Enrolling Your New Puppy In Formal Training After The Holiday Season
Once the holiday season has ended and your family life has returned to a greater sense of normalcy, it would be an appropriate time to consider enrolling your new puppy in formal obedience training, like the Puppy Preschool Program offered by Alpha Paws.
The first 16 weeks of life for a puppy are most important in terms of setting the tone for its future behaviour, and obedience lessons with a professional trainer from Alpha Paws will provide valuable training with respect to:
- Nutrition and feeding
- Crate training
- Dog and child safety
- Walking on a leash
When the holidays have ended and a more regular routine has returned to your lifestyle, consider the benefits of formal puppy training and obedience training for a happy and well-behaved dog as it grows and matures. Call the puppy training professionals at Alpha Paws today at 905-830-9500 or 1-877-868-PAWS (7297) to schedule your puppy’s assessment session.