2020 Puppy boom year!….the year when puppy prices went through the roof, however not all breeders cashed in on the frenzy. But what price should be paid? Some owners have been so desperate to get a puppy, they have overlooked the important questions that should have been asked before any introductions or viewings took place. A new dog brings much happiness and companionship to a family, but this is not a short term responsibility and the decision should not be taken lightly.
Not every breeder will invest the time into those fundermental early weeks before the puppy leaves the litter to go to their forever home, and this is such an important learning stage for the puppy. Has the demand for puppies led some people to breed their dogs without the knowledge or responsibilities that this entails?……probably so.
Additionally, because of ‘Lockdown’, some of the important learning stages could be missed during those initial weeks when the puppy comes to their new home. So there is now an even greater responsibility on those new puppy owners, to ensure their puppy gets the best input possible, and that those important early stages, are not missed.
Owners should not be using the ‘Lockdown’ as an excuse to not train their dogs; the availability of online learning or appropriately distanced 1-to-1 training, or classes when possible means it is still possible to train those puppies. Learning does not have to start when puppy has had all of his/her vaccinations, there is plenty that can be done before this to ensure that puppy grows into that well rounded, ready-for-life pup, with plenty of lifestyle skills. Buying a collar and a new bed is important, but investing time into training is vitally important. Re-training an older pup or dog that has already learned the wrong behaviours can be done, but it is so much easier training a puppy who has not yet learned the wrong way to do things. Dog/Puppy training should be near the top of the list when a new owner gets that new family member. Owning a well-trained dog is a pleasure and training increases the bond between the owner and their pup. Puppies do not come pre-programmed knowing the right way to go about things, it is OUR responsibility to show them the right way forward!