This article describes what every prospective puppy buyer should be made aware of. The responsible breeder makes sure his prospective buyers are aware of all the negative aspects of puppy ownership. The article comes to us from the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs and copied by many dog newsletters and internet sites.
A puppy is one of the most appealing creatures on earth. He's the embodiment of exuberance, humor, and affection. But there are a great many things that a puppy is not, and these negative aspects deserve some thought before you bring a puppy home.
A puppy is not a toy to be enjoyed while he is a novelty, then set aside in favor of a new diversion. He is a living thing whose physical demands must be met constantly for as long as he lives. A young puppy needs more sleep than a human infant, even though your children may be in the mood to play with him. He needs to be fed regularly and often, even though his meals may conflict with family plans.
A young puppy is breakable. Very young children can inflict unintended tortures on a puppy. And his broken leg is much harder to fix than the broken wheel of a toy truck.
A puppy is not a teaching aid guaranteed to instill a sense of responsibility. It is unfair tot he animal to put his well being into the hands of children. The essentials of feeding, housebreaking, anddiscipline training will fall to an adult member of the household.
A puppy is not cheap. Whether you pay a nominal fee at the city humane shelter or what seems to be a king's ransom for a really special pup, the money paid to make the pet yours is a mere drop in the bucket compared to what it will cost to keep him . . . veterinary bills, licenses, replacement of shrubbery or grass . . . clothing torn in play . . wear and tear on furniture and carpet . . .
A puppy is not a spur-of-the-moment purchase. The wrong dog can be an unending nuisance to a household . . . and it's much easier to acquire a pup than it is to get rid of a grown dog who didn't work out . . . if your family has decided to buy a dog, take the time to learn about the breed you have in mind. Every breed has characteristics of temperament, and some of these traits may not fit in with your lifestyle.
A puppy is not a gift unless the giver is certain that his particular pup will be wanted. Not only now, but a year from now, ten years from now. And even the puppy should be selected by his new owner rather than by someone else.
A puppy is not self-cleaning. There will be puddles on rugs, vomiting occasionally, dog hair on clothing and furniture. If these prospects are intolerable to the housekeeper of the family, then perhaps the pleasures of owning puppy will be overshadowed by the tensions it will cause.
A puppy is not an adult dog. He has neither the physical nor the mentalability to perform as an adult dog would. He cannot go for long periods of time without relieving himself. He cannot tolerate harsh training methods, nor can be differentiate between what is chewable and what isn't. He will try to patience of the most devout dog lover in the household, and at times he may drive everyone mad. If he is very young, he will cry during his first night or two in his new home. He will require patience and understanding from everyone in the family.
A puppy is not a puppy for long. Before you succumb to (his) charms ... be very sure that you want not only the puppy he is now, but also the gangly unattractive adolescent he is about to become, and the adult dog who may fall short of what you hope he would be.
If you've faced all the negative aspects . . . and still want him, chances are good that your new dog will be one of the lucky ones who finds a permanent happy home. And you will enjoy the rewards of planned parenthood dog ownership . . . rewards which will far overshadow the drawbacks.