The cuteness. Impossible to resist. But is now the right time? Are you the right human for this puppy? Would an adult dog be a better fit?
Raising puppies is Important Work. (Both words are capped because both are very true!) A puppy is a new doggie citizen you feel you are qualified to raise. All the Important Work happens in the first few months, and your focus needs to be on socializing and good experiences and taking the time to create the best dog possible. Raising a great dog is hard work, and we need to be sure we give Koda the best chance at becoming the perfect dog he can be.
That means bringing home a puppy when at first you can stay home a lot. Plan your vacation time to be home for the first week (even better, the first two weeks) of a puppy’s new life with you. Though a Christmas puppy may seem like an impulsive choice (no, you don’t ever gift a puppy), bringing home a puppy when you might be off from work for those two weeks can be a terrific time for a great start.
Personal vacations should wait till Koda has his paws on the ground. Why bring him home and then board him a month later so you can sit on a beach? How confusing for a young dog! Can’t a vacation wait until a puppy is at least seven months old? House training and bonding happen so much more easily with consistency.
Do you have the time and energy for a puppy? Depending on the breed, your puppy can challenge your patience repeatedly on the hour. Working outside the home for eight hours a day is super challenging unless you have lots of help. A young pup cannot be left alone for much time, and you have to work up to that. Perhaps an adult dog will fit better with your life schedule.
Are you young and able enough to keep up with your puppy? You may have had German Shepherds your whole life, but we all get older, and Koda actually may not be different from your last shepherd puppy. Your last puppy raising might have been when you were fifteen years younger. How old will you be when this dog is ten years old? Is it fair to a young dog to be much perkier than his person? Will this puppy physically bring you down? How about a smaller breed now? How about an adult dog who needs a home and someone with your dog experience?
There are still far too many puppies in the world anyhow. And way too many dogs in shelters and rescues who desperately need homes. Can you justify going to a breeder for a puppy? Are you going to raise the best citizen? Why can’t an adult dog work for you instead? Can you save a life instead of encouraging someone to produce more puppies for sale? Doodles are so popular now, but do you know how many dogs mixed with poodles and such are waiting for homes in shelters? Senior dogs for seniors, for instance! And yes, spay or neuter as soon as your vet says because we don’t need more accidental puppies in an already overcrowded dog world.
If you decide you’re qualified and ready to take the plunge, though, Koda will be thrilled when you take off time from work to be with him, skip social events so he gets more attention, and bring him to lots of cool places–like puppy class and adult dog classes beyond. Lucky Koda!