Hi Richard, is there a “best” time to get a puppy? If so when is it? I’m thinking of getting a dog over Christmas but have heard lots of bad things about this.
Thanks for the question! It’s great that you’re putting a lot of thought into getting your new dog, as many people rush to get one without thinking everything through.
The short answer to your question is that there is not a best time of year to get a new dog – it depends on your own situation.
When your dog is a puppy it requires plenty of attention, so you should try to get it when you have the most free time. This can help with establishing a training routine and building a bond with the puppy. It also allows you to ease your new dog through the settling period.
Training a new puppy often takes more time and patience than many people realise – especially if this is their first dog. You can’t expect a young dog to come into your home and fit in straight away, and some experts recommend up to three hours per day of training for puppies.
For this reason, you should be prepared to devote a lot time to your puppy during the early stages. If you know the next few months are likely to be busy, now might not be the best time to adopt. It’s common for people take some time off work during the first few weeks to help this process.
Puppies also have small bladders, so they need to be let out to spend on a regular basis. Not doing this can make the house training process much longer.
While older dogs might settle in faster – and may not need as much training – they still require help to feel comfortable in their new environment.
Here are some other things to consider:
I’d advise against getting a puppy at Christmas or any other big holiday though. Although we all enjoy Christmas, it can be a more stressful time than we realise. Dogs also require an adjustment period when moving into a new home, which can be more difficult if you have lots of family and friends visiting.
Hope that helps!
Richard is a journalist who specialises in dog behavior. He's written hundreds of articles and books related to dogs, including for the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Fest (the UK's biggest dog festival) and various veterinary surgeries. When he's not spending time with Jess and Rudy (his beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers), he enjoys reading, hiking and watching sports. You can find him on Facebook or Twitter.