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To get a puppy for Christmas Day?

(47 Posts)
steppedonlego Thu 24-Dec-15 06:58:17

Back story: I've wanted a dog for years, but as both me and husband work long hours, we decided it wouldn't be fair for the dog to be left alone for long periods. Have since had a child and I have gone part time and work nights, so the dog will never be left alone for longer than an hour or two at a time and so there's really never been a better time to have a pup. I've done research over the last few months, selected breed type etc etc. Just to clarify that this isn't a decision we've gone into lightly and fully intend to give any dog we get a forever home, not just as a Christmas gift.

So, in light of above, we've been looking for the right dog for us. I have a few friends who are either experienced dog owners or even dog trainers looking out for a pup for us, and one came back to me last night about a puppy for sale.

She's beautiful, everything we want in a dog, but a couple of things are making me think twice. I really wanted to get a puppy as young as possible, because I have always had rescue cats in the past and have never experienced that baby stage of an animals life. This might be slightly selfish, but it's just something I would really like to do just once. The pup is currently 10 weeks old, which is fine, but this is where my dilemma is.

She's described as timid, and so I'm worried that getting her (possibly tonight) would be too much for her, to be in a new place with a lot of children and bright lights and new sounds and smells, Christmas in a family home basically. The problem is that even if I was to wait, by the time Christmas and new year is over with, she will be 3 months old and I'll feel like I've missed out on those early baby days, which I've always wanted to experience.

AIBU in either rejecting what is a perfectly good puppy because she's not 100% perfect, or having a puppy now in a situation which may be distressing for her?

More of a WWYD? I suppose.

TheSpectreOfMorningtonCrescent Thu 24-Dec-15 07:04:26

Why not get her in the week between Christmas and new year-anything like our place this is very quiet, then it's only a few extra days?

confusedandemployed Thu 24-Dec-15 07:06:25

How old are your DC?

My DF got us a puppy for Christmas one year. She was actually born on Christmas Eve so we didn't have quite the same dilemma but he wrapped a crappy Polaroid photo (1980s) and gave that to us on Christmas morning. We went WILD!!! And visited on Boxing Day. It was wonderful and kept the Christmas feel going until DDog was ready to come to us.

Can you give a photo and arrange a visit? And then arrange a few more visits so the dog can get to know DC. Perhaps a couple of visits to your home too.

FWIW you've clearly thought about the responsibility of owning a dog so YAnBU about the time of year.

FuckyNell Thu 24-Dec-15 07:07:25

Puppies are a nightmare!! Experience peace and quiet over Christmas instead. Plus, I wouldn't get a dog described as timid. People underplay characteristics IMO so the chances are she's worse than timid.

Enjolrass Thu 24-Dec-15 07:07:57

Personally I wouldn't.

Christmas is noisy and so much going on, I would prefer to get a dog when it's more relaxed.

No way do I want to be clearing up dog accidents while doing the dinner and hosting people.

I would wait.

We are getting a dog in the next year. But we are having work done so waiting until that's done so the house isn't as frantic.

Champagneformyrealfriends Thu 24-Dec-15 07:14:19

YABU to bring a timid puppy into what will be a very busy house on a very exciting day. Imagine how excited the children will be about a new puppy, and how frightening that will be for her. Unless you can ensure a calm atmosphere I'd see if you can get her on Boxing Day.
My parents have an old timid whippet and he hates Christmas (and until last year it was all adults!!)-he takes himself to another room and sulks as its all a bit much for him!

SunnyL Thu 24-Dec-15 07:15:15

10 weeks is fine for getting a puppy. 8 weeks is the earliest you should be getting puppies but 10 weeks is about right.
.You sound like you've thought through owning a dog but have you done much research on owning a puppy?

You'll need time, lots of time. I was training my pup 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour at lunch time and 1 hour at night time. Gwen Baileys perfect puppy is a great book.

Have you looked at training classes? You'll need to get the whole family along because dog training classes are not for training dogs - they're for training owners.

Personally as you're inexperienced dog owners I wouldn't get a timid dog. Dogs temperament should trump 100% what it looks like and whether it is available

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 24-Dec-15 07:17:57

I wouldn't get a dog described as timid. Ive had a timid dog before who had terrible fear aggression though we didn't know it at the time. Current dog is a bit timid and at times it can be a pain. We've had stages where if she's been off lead on a walk she's run off when something has scared her, though she's improving.

A puppy's main socialisation window is 8-12 weeks and during this time a puppy should be exposed to as many new places, people and things as possible.

I would wait and go see a litter of puppies and choose one. Also make sure it's a breed of dog you actually want rather than it just been an available puppy.

londonrach Thu 24-Dec-15 07:19:01

Please dont. Most good breeders wont let puppies go at xmas time. Wait until january and get the puppy. Enjoy your family member and please tell us which breed and photo please x

lastqueenofscotland Thu 24-Dec-15 07:22:25

Ditto who the fuck is simon I'd be worried "timid" was a nice way of dressing up a fear aggression issue.

And also agree with londonrach- good breeders don't sell dogs over Xmas period.

Greyhorses Thu 24-Dec-15 07:23:39

I don't think the time of year matters too much as long as you are prepared but I would think twice about this puppy.

I have a dog who was timid at 5 weeks old. I reacued her and she had the best of everything yet she developed terrible fear aggression by 6 months. She is a nightmare if I am honest and I would never consider a nervous puppy again. She has cost me a fortune in behaviouralists who have said it is just her 'timid' nature and it turns out her mother is the same. Have you viewed the parents, are they nervous too?

I would also consider what breed/health testing has been done before making a decision.

PUGaLUGS Thu 24-Dec-15 07:28:18

You really need to visit the puppy in its own home yourself which I would arrange to do next week.

I also second what Simon said about boy getting it just because it is available.

icelollycraving Thu 24-Dec-15 07:31:27

No,Christmas is not the time. Excited children,noise,lights etc could be so stressful got a timid dog.
I know nothing about dogs but I got a cat for Christmas last year--bloody silly husband--

LaurieFairyCake Thu 24-Dec-15 07:37:57

Obviously you need to visit the puppy and check out the breeder. If it has issues you need to know about it. And have a plan in place to address the issues.

Most breeders won't allow people to take puppies at Christmas time though.

I totally understand why it's not suitable for most people to get a dog at Christmas but it wouldn't put me off in my particular circumstance as I work term time and I get 3 weeks off at Christmas - very few people visiting, it's very quiet and peaceful to give a new dog the attention it needs.

Tinseleverywhere Thu 24-Dec-15 07:39:51

I agree with thinking twice about a timid pup. With an adult rescue dog, you know what you are taking on and would only get a very well behaved one, if you have children. But with a puppy you want one that is showing very good temperament, especially as you have young kids. This puppy would be better off with a more experienced owner, and maybe a quiet home with just adults.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 24-Dec-15 07:42:07

At 10 weeks old there's unlikely to be a fear aggression problem, but it's something which could be an issue down the line. On the other hand it could just be the quieter pup out the litter and be fine.

I think I'm probably once bitten (literally), twice shy when it comes to timid dogs. Our aggressive dog was six months old when we got him so there is a big difference between six months and ten weeks I guess. Ours was too old to change his personality I think. Odd thing was when we met him he didn't seem either timid or aggressive. He was quite happy and confident with his brother in surroundings he knew. The minute we walked through the door in our house it was like a switch was flicked.

Booboostwo Thu 24-Dec-15 07:42:34

Ten weeks is not too old, puppies should leave their mums from 8 weeks and then you have to take advantage of the socialisation window until 14 weeks.

I would never get a puppy described as timid, that is probably the last in the litter. I would also not get a puppy without having at least met the mother and gotten as much information as possible about the father and other litters. Don't forget the breeder has to have paper evidence of all health screening appropriate for the breed.

Getting a puppy at Christmas is not ideal either. Puppies need a quiet household to get used to you and your family. The puppy will be stressed and excited by the move alone, you don't need to add Christmas to it all. Also, do you want to be doing toilet training in the middle of the winter? Spring is a much better time for this kind of thing.

Puppies take a bit of settling in. I appreciate you work nights but presumably you need to sleep at some point in the day when the puppy will be up, whining, chewing your house, pooping everywhere, etc. Ideally one adult needs to be available for puppy so getting the puppy at the start of a holiday or taking time off work is best.

Finally I would not trust a breeder who planned a litter for Christmas and has one 10wk old timid puppy left. Sounds like they are overbreeding. Good breeders have a waiting list and a lot of contacts if a home ever falls through.

Birdsgottafly Thu 24-Dec-15 07:47:06

I got my first puppy, as opposed to having dogs, three years ago.

It was hell for three weeks. My babies didn't keep me awake as much.

Your decorations will have to come down, quicker and the toys put away, lots of paper about means lots of places to wee on.

It's not going to be like on the telly, where there's a cute puppy popping out of boxes etc.

The timid issue needs careful handling, as said it could turn into fear aggression.

The fact that you would reject her because she can't be with you on Christmas Day, for her and your children's sake makes me wonder if your ready for a dog.

Philoslothy Thu 24-Dec-15 07:50:59

I am surprised that a good breeder is allowing you to take the puppy for Christmas Day many say that the puppy will be available just after,

Saymwa Thu 24-Dec-15 07:53:27

I got a puppy that was timid. She has grown into a lovely gentle sweet-natured dog. We learnt how to help her socialise with people and now she is friendly too.

She's very attached to me and if I'm on my own with her she can be protective towards me. I'm happy about that because if someone approaches me abruptlly or comes very close very quickly she can bark. I like that actually because I feel safe walking her alone at night. Also, she stops barking when I tell her to.

I think I would get her at Christmas but make sure she had a quiet place she could go when she needed to. And also make sure the kids let her be when she'd had enough. If she's going to be your dog, you decide. And let other people know when enough is enough.

If her moving in at Christmas is done gently I think she could quite enjoy it all Christmas.

Oh - one big NO NO is not to let her eat rubbish. Mine ate all sorts of stupid stuff and made herself ill on several occasions. The vet told me that some dogs are like that and you must stop them firmly and watch them closely. santa

Saymwa Thu 24-Dec-15 08:01:30

Oh yes- we got a crate to put her basket in. This helped us enormously in the first stages - she never chews furniture. She went there out of choice to get her own space and we could shut the door or not accordingly. I'm sure it also helped her to get clean quickly. wink

WeAllHaveWings Thu 24-Dec-15 08:06:43

Christmas is completely the wrong time and environment to bring a puppy into your family. Puppies are harder to care for than newborns, if you've done your research fully you will know all about housetraining and socialising which is so important in those early weeks, especially with a puppy already flagged as timid. Are you really able to commit the time to do that over the busy Christmas week and crap weather?

sianihedgehog Thu 24-Dec-15 08:10:32

No good breeder, rescue or even pet shop will recommend bringing a pet home for Christmas day. It's simply too stressful for them. I'd not get this puppy because the combination of it being described as timid, plus the seller being willing to send it to a new home on Christmas day makes me VERY suspicious that it's actually from a puppy mill.

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 24-Dec-15 08:12:18

I've heard that it's recommended that people with young children should avoid timid natured puppies. I'm sure they're fine with adults but timid dogs don't tend to react well to noisy, unpredictable children. Throw Christmas in the mix and it's probably not a wise decision.

You sound very sensible op and I know this hasn't been a snap decision. I have no doubt that you'd look after it. But I'm sure that having weighed up the advice on here you'll do the right thing.

steppedonlego Thu 24-Dec-15 08:15:02

Thank you all, you've all pretty much confirmed my own thoughts on it.

birdsgottafly the issue isn't wanting her to be with us desperately on Christmas Day, it's that I wished to have a puppy from a young age as it's likely the only time in my life I am going to have both the time and be young enough to keep up with its energy. The only reason I've even brought Christmas up is in regards to how it will affect the dog, not us as owners.

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