With puppy season almost upon us, many, many people are thinking about getting a new puppy.

Some folks have planned it out. They have a specific breed in mind or in many cases just a mutt from the shelter – a rescue dog but planned.

Some get a new puppy for the kids. Sometimes the parents think that it will be good for the kids and in some cases the kids pressure the parents until they give in to the constant nagging of the kids. “Okay, done! Let’s go this weekend and pick one out.

A lady went with her friend to look at puppies at a local shelter and wound up getting one herself. There were two siblings in a crate and once her friend took the one of her choice, she couldn’t bare to leave the other one there alone. So she adopted the other puppy. People often times get puppies for all the wrong reasons, like impulse.

Think it through and make the right decision.

New Puppy

Before you go start thinking about a new puppy, and puppy proofing your home you need to sit down and ask yourself this question:

Am I ready for a puppy? 

Do I really understand what I need to do to properly raise a puppy?

In fact there are many more questions you need to seriously ponder before “taking the plunge.”

1.  Are you really ready for a puppy? Because it’s not just about training the puppy as most people think, it’s especially about training you.

2.  Do you have the time to commit to raising a puppy? The responsibility of raising a new puppy doesn’t fall completely on the puppy as many think. Puppies do not come automatically house trained.

3.  Do you have time to come home during the day to give your puppy a potty break?

4.  If not, do you have the money to hire a dog walker to let your puppy out until he can control his business?

5.  Do you have the time and money to train – house train, obedience train and instill good basic manners – onto your puppy so that your home and valuable stuff isn’t destroyed?

6.  You don’t have to be hard on your puppy to train it – in fact, once you understand how, it really is quite easy!  Do you understand it?

7.  If you have kids, are they of the right age?   Do the kids have the right temperament and discipline to be ready for a puppy? Will they listen to you and your instructions once the puppy is in your home? Will they respect the pup’s personal space? 

8.  Are you ready for the maintenance (grooming and veterinary care) requirements a new puppy needs like specialty cuts at the groomer and the maintenance in between trips to the groomer?

9.  Let’s not forget if there’s another dog in the house.  How do you work with that?

This is just the short list. I guess what I am saying is:


I have a friend call up one day to see if I thought that her family was ready for a new puppy. She had three kids under the age of seven. Kids and puppies don’t always go together.

There is a wrong time and a right time. Do you know if the time is right for you?

Don’t get me wrong folks. The best part of my day is doing puppy lessons. I love puppies. They are cute and cuddly and fun to love and play with. I can also leave after the lesson!

With the right solid puppy training program that covers all aspects of daily training, critical early socialization as well as a plan to handle any potential dog behavior problems – all in a safe environment, most puppies will grow up to be great family dogs. I see that happening year after year. Just be prepared to give your new puppy everything they will need to be successful.

Will you be ready to give your new puppy a strong foundation that will successfully take it through adolescence to adulthood?

Don’t make this decision based on an emotional impulse or because the kids are asking for a puppy. 

This happens too many times and a new puppy arrives in the home before you, the owner, have even thought: Do I know all the puppy training sins I need to avoid?

 Please comment below and tell us how you’re prepared to get a new puppy.

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Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

(c) Jim Burwell Inc.