Mark Vette – Internationally renowned Animal Behaviourist, Educator, Author and TV personality



Are you thinking of getting a puppy for Christmas? Maybe for the kids? 

There’s that quote by Dogs Trust that goes around the internet at this time of year – “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.”

And that is absolutely true. But I am not opposed to people getting puppies for Christmas. 

As with many things in life, whether it’s a good choice or not depends on WHY you’re doing it and HOW you’re doing it. 

Here I’ll take you through when  it’s NOT okay to get a pup for Christmas, and when it’s a WONDERFUL choice.

It is NOT OKAY to get a pup for Christmas if you are:

  • Surprising someone with a puppy they weren’t expecting and didn’t have a hand in choosing
  • Handing over a puppy that someone is totally unprepared for in their home
  • Giving kids a puppy for Christmas with the expectation that they will be able to meet all of its training and care needs
  • Making a spur-of-the-moment decision to get a pup
  • Getting a puppy when you know you could well be moving in future and unable to take the dog with you
  • Too busy over the Christmas holiday period to properly care for and train a brand new pup


However, getting a pup for Christmas is WONDERFUL when you are:

  • Carefully researching and planning whether or not you’re able to give a dog a home for life, then deciding to bring a puppy into your family at Christmas given it is such an exciting time of the year
  • Introducing a pup at Christmas because know you’ll be home for the holidays so can help them settle in
  • Surprising your kids with a puppy on Christmas day, having prepared for the pup’s arrival and made a commitment to looking after it for life
  • Giving a puppy “to your kids” for Christmas, in the knowledge that you will need to be a big part of its training and care, and will need to manage that pup with your kids carefully to ensure its needs are being met and it is not being overwhelmed or accidentally mishandled (if you have young kids) 

Why get a puppy at Christmas time?

Many people in the Southern Hemisphere choose to get a puppy at Christmas time, because they have a decent period of time off work in the summer so are able to be around more when that pup is settling into their home. This is a perfectly good reason to choose Christmas as the time to get your pup. 

Getting a pup can also be a hugely special and memorable occasion for children, so I can understand why you’d want to tie it into a special day like Christmas!

Why not get a puppy at Christmas time?

Even if you’re completely ready to get a pup, and ready for the commitment, sometimes Christmas isn’t the best time of year to do it regardless. If you’re planning to be away from home a lot over the Christmas / summer holidays, then a new pup might not be such a good idea until you’re settled back at home. Similarly, if your household tends to be really busy and chaotic at Christmas time, this could be tough on a new pup – it’s certainly better to have a calm household, at least for the first couple of weeks when pup arrives to your home.


Getting a puppy requires A LOT of careful consideration about whether or not you’re able to provide a dog a home for up to 15+ years, and it’s so important to choose a pup that will fit with your lifestyle, not just the one that looks the cutest on the day.

But if you have thought about it carefully and decided this is the time, and you have worked out what kind of pup or dog will fit best with your family and lifestyle, then I am thrilled for you! (and want pictures ASAP).

Most importantly…

If you get a puppy for Christmas, make sure you also get the knowledge you need to raise a beautifully well-trained dog (this doesn’t happen automatically…quite the opposite!).

My Puppy Zen Virtual Puppy School covers everything you need to know when you get your pup, from house training and sleeping through the night, to biting, lead walking, hyperactivity, destructive behaviour, teaching the basic commands and preventing any behavioural issues developing.

Best of all, I teach you how to create that strong bond with your pup for life!

So if Santa’s bringing you a puppy, join my online course and help your puppy grow into the dog that everyone loves to have around. I’ll be on hand to help you and answer your questions the whole way through.

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