Puppies as Presents?


So appealing - puppies may seem perfect presents

Giving a puppy as a present is not wrong in itself but it must be done properly with the full knowledge, approval and involvement of the recipient, with full consideration given to the puppy.

The decision to have another dog must be that
of the bereaved owner and them alone

Firstly if a relative has lost a dog and is grieving for their friend - let them have time to grieve - it is not for anyone but themselves to decide when they are ready to cope with a new companion. When they are ready they tell you - don't put pressure on them to have a new pet, if you do they may never be able to really accept it and may deep down resent it taking the place of the one they loved.

Meeting young pups can be a real decision point
for a bereaved dog owner

If and when your friend or relative decides that they are ready to look for a new companion then by all means offer to help them look for a puppy or dog, arrange with the breeder to pay for the puppy, drive your friend or relative to the breeder's home when the times comes to collect the puppy so that they can have hold it on their lap in the car. But remember it has to be their dog and their choice made their own good time when they are ready.

Getting to know the puppies is very important

However convinced you are that someone wants, would benefit from or ought to have a puppy - it is not something you can decide for them. In any case no responsible breeder would ever sell a puppy to a third party as a present for someone else, indeed it is against The Kennel Club's Code of Ethics to do so. We often receive telephone calls from caring relatives of a bereaved dog owner asking if they can book a puppy, bring their relative to see puppies and so on, we always tell them that we must speak to the prospective owner in person before making any arrangements. In nearly every case it transpires that the bereaved owner is not ready and wants to wait longer before having a new companion.

The selection of a puppy is a very personal matter

Even if your friend or relative has clearly expressed a wish to have a new dog it is unfair to present them with a puppy that YOU have chosen from a Breeder with whom YOU have built up a rapport. A dog is an intimate friend, they are all different and the puppy you liked best may not be ideal for someone else. Good breeders will help the new owner choose a puppy. Once the breeder has got to know the new owner and can see the characters of the litter developing she will match the new owner to a puppy or give them a choice of two or three puppies who will suit them, this cannot be done through a third party.

Matching pups to people is very important

The other aspect is that you cannot know what someone else wants in a puppy, people who have lost a companion often start by wanting a dog "just their old dog", when actually faced with a litter of pups they usually chose one who is quite different because they know in their hearts that they cannot replace their old friend.
Seeing other dogs and young puppies is often a very emotional and traumatic experience for the bereaved owner, but it is also a part of the healing process and helps them to look forward instead of back, it is also a real decision point about whether they are ready to have another dog in the near future. As the litter grows and the prospective owner keeps up to date with their development there is time to admit that it is all too soon and delay having a puppy for a few weeks or months. A puppy purchased by a misguided well-wisher as a present is a fait accomplie and gives no room for second thoughts.

Looking forward to a puppy coming home is part
of the pleasure

If the prospective owner has not owned a dog before the breeder will be extra cautious and also at pains to give advice and information to ensure that puppy and family get off to the right start, again this cannot be done through a third party and books are no substitute for intimate knowledge of the breed, the breeders own lines and her general wisdom on the subject of dogs.

Some teenagers find a friend for life

If you are considering buying a puppy or dog for a teenager who is "dog mad" do make sure that in your heart you are prepared to take on the responsibility if in a year or two's time they become "boy mad " or "football mad" and loose interest in the dog. If you are also keen to have a dog and both willing and able to take on the full care and training if interest from the youngster wanes then go ahead. If you have any doubts about taking on a dog yourself then explain to the young would-be-owner that a dog is 15 year commitment and during the next 15 years they will be studying - maybe far away , developing a social life, starting full time employment, building a home, getting involved in relationships and maybe even having children of their own. Explain that you do not wish to or are unable to inherit responsibility for their dog when other commitments make them unable to care for it. Giving in to a youngsters demands and facing the consequences later is grossly unfair on a dog, when your decide to bring a puppy into your home he or she has the right to expect a loving and caring family around for life, not just until the novelty has worn off..

Dogs teach responsibiliy and give unconditional
love... but parents need to provide a safetynet

The final point is that, like a baby, a puppy is new addition to the family and should be prepared for properly , the home made secure, prospective training classes viewed and assessed, a vet lined up, books read, advice sought and decisions made about how the puppy will be trained, were it will sleep, etc., shopping trips will be needed to get a bed and bedding, grooming tools, toys and so on. This is an exciting time and everyone should be able to share in the experience. To receive a surprise puppy takes away much of the pleasure of preparation and anticipation, it may also mean that the puppy arrives in its new home at an inappropriate time, when the household are ill-equipped and ill_prepared for the time, money and organistion needed to raise a puppy.

Children must understand that puppies are a part
of the family, not presents for them

Living creatures or any kind are not appropriate presents for children, children have a short lived interest in gifts and regard such things as disposable. You should not expect a young child to have a long term interest in caring for any pet and dogs are the most visible, present and dependent of all companion animals, they are therefore totally unsuited as Birthday or Christmas presents for young children. If you are planning to get family dog you should explain to the whole family that that the new addition will be a full member of the family under your care and responsibility. Don't pretend that the puppy is going to be little Freddy's dog or little Susie's dog, such pretense is not honest and undermines the children's respect and consideration for the new puppy, it can also lead to unintentional cruelty and abuse if a child thinks that the puppy is theirs to do with as they wish. Explain to the children that you will need help caring for the new baby and since they want a dog you will expect them to assist with that care. Treat your approach to introducing the idea of a family dog just as you would introduce the idea of a new baby, something very exciting to look forward to, something that will involve the whole family and take up a lot of time and something that will be permanent. With young children we never recommend actually bringing home a puppy near their birthday, far better to buy them a book, a video or computer CD so that they can learn about dogs in preparation for the time when the new family member arrives.

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Bringing up Puppy
Puppies As Presents
How we home our puppies
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