Ian Dunbar (Veterinarian, Behaviourist and Trainer) asked other trainers and behaviourists, what was the most common mistake people made when getting a puppy. The results probably aren’t that surprising, but I think worth talking about.
Firstly – unrealistic expectations. People getting a puppy really had no idea how much time, energy and money would be needed. Puppies require a huge lifestyle change to most and this is not something people really understand or expect.
Another finding was that a puppy may have been the wrong choice for some people/families and that an older rescue dog would have fitted them so much better.
Thirdly – people were choosing the wrong breed or type of dog usually because people choose for looks rather than understanding what different breeds need or what they were bred for. On a similar theme, it was reported that getting a pup from a ‘bad’ breeder that didn’t raise the puppy well, really did set the new owner up for failure. So again, lack of research before getting the puppy.
And finally, that most people didn’t take time to do appropriate training and socialisation to raise a well-adjusted dog. This will take the first year being very proactive, and actually training is a constant, continuing requirement throughout the dog’s life.
So what do you think? Do you agree with these findings?
In my experience of working with dogs for over 20 years, I think the issues still remain the same, which actually makes me very sad. It’s so important to spend time researching before you get your pup. Find some people with the breed you are interested in and ask questions, talk to several breeders, ask yourself if you really have the time, energy and money to give to this pup. Is a puppy actually the right choice? If you consider a rescue dog from a good reputable charity, they will tell you all about the dog, what it’s behaviour and temperament is, and they will be able to find you a dog to match your requirements.
Please understand I am writing this post without judgement, but to spread knowledge and asking people to really take time and careful consideration as to whether adding a dog to your family really is the right thing for you and the dog.