A Winter Puppy?

Some of you may be wondering about the pros and cons of a winter Puppy. Well, it really is a bit of both. I’m sure the cons are obvious… frequent toilet trips outside when it might be cold. However, there are some big plus's….

  • In the early days most behaviour training is done inside where there are less distractions, taking it outside is an advanced stage

  • For the first 8 weeks puppy socialisation is your main focus. This is really important. This is about exposing your puppy to all sorts of people, places, experiences and noises, much of which can be indoors, such as supervised puppy socialisation sessions, dog training lessons, cafes, different animals/ dog friendly shops, happy vet experiences, train/bus journeys/ meeting kids/old people etc/ hearing washing machine, hoover, other household gadgets

  • Walks as we imagine them are a LONG way off when you bring puppy home, learning to walk on a lead is an advanced skill and a 5 min practise of good lead walking is the goal rather than a walk where you get somewhere. Proper lead practice and training first inside then for very short stints will mean your puppy is ready for walks when the weather improves

  • A young puppy needs restricted exercise while growing, long walks come later

  • It can actually help the process of potty training. When a door is always left open for puppy to come in and out they may not learn to communicate their need to go out with you. This is rarely an issue with winter puppies.

  • It may encourage you to do your vital training exercises inside in the evenings when you are more likely to be at home, and this is a great way to bond with your puppy

  • You may be less likely to be going on holiday for a while so you can concentrate on your puppy those vital early months 

 

So… there are lots of plusses, here are some cons you may not have considered

  • Puppies are for LIFE NOT just for Christmas. Only get a puppy in winter/ near Christmas if it is something you have been seriously thinking about the rest of the year. Not because it seems a good Christmas present idea. Never buy a puppy for a family member who is not prepared for it unless you are really the responsible owner!

  • It may be a long time till your puppy experiences fireworks! These can be a major fear and anxiety issue for dogs. We will have exposed them to the sound of fireworks while with us, but it is VITAL you continue this exposure until after their first successful firework season, playing the sounds daily for first 8 weeks, then at least weekly

  • Socialisation is key, a whilst much of this can be done inside, some needs to be done outside and you must commit, e.g. being near a busy road/ seeing men in work clothes/ children in uniforms/ walking on different types of surfaces etc

 

I hope this helps you work out whether a winter puppy may be for you