After Holiday – Puppy Adoption Blues

by Mindy Kaleta on February 20, 2014

New Puppy

After Holiday – Puppy Adoption Blues


If you were one of those families who just couldn’t resist that sweet little bundle of joy and wanted to get the kids a puppy for the holidays…you just might be sitting there mumbling to yourself saying, “What in the world were we thinking!”  Well, don’t be too hard on yourself!  I hope that I can help you feel a whole lot better about your situation, so hear me out!

Now, I don’t usually recommend that families adopt during the holidays…I mean, if you’ve got a busy family and things are  hectic normally, a busy schedule during the holidays…is not the BEST time to adopt.  HOWEVER…

There is no such thing as a bad time to save a life.

So, if I were in your shoes at the local shelter or rescue…there would be no way that I would try to talk you out of adopting a dog, but I would lovingly remind you that it is not going to be an easy road in the next few weeks.  And in some areas of the country, when the weather is getting colder and threatening snow and ice…it’s not the best time to potty train.  It’s not impossible, but like I said, it’s not going to be as easy as being able to start housetraining in warmer parts of the country.

Families who chose an older dog have a better chance of adopting a dog who is already potty trained and possibly is already socialized and has some rather nice house manners altogether. But if you’ve gotten a puppy, you may be experiencing the After Holiday – Puppy Adoption Blues!  You may be having difficulties with not only potty training, but chewing, schedules, crate training and a number of other puppy issues.  Try to relax, it will get better, you’ll see!  Here are several tips to help you get back on track.

#1 – Begin now to set up a consistent potty training schedule

Puppies need to go out…A LOT…as you probably already know by now! And someone has to make sure that the puppy gets outside often.  This seems to be where the breakdown happens in families. One person (usually the Mom) ends up taking the full responsibility for the new puppy. But Moms have got a lot to do and sometimes in the chaos, cannot always remember to keep the potty training schedule.  No one is to blame…neither Mom or the puppy.  It just is what it is!  But we still need to get the puppy outside on a consistent basis and make sure someone is responsible for watching Fido!

A simple schedule on the refrigerator door that designates who is responsible and when, can certainly help.  As part of the bonding process, we encourage parents to include the kids in caring for their new puppy.

#2 – See your puppy as a part of the family and include him in daily activities

Watching him, playing with him and feeding the pup all helps to create that bond that we are looking for. It also helps the kids to understand their little pup and to start to become best friends, which is why we wanted to add a dog to the family in the first place. Nothing is sweeter than to see kids and pups as best pals; hanging out together, going places together, snuggling together and each knowing that they will be best pals forever.

#3 – Have the kids help out in the various puppy training games

There are many games you can use to help little Fido learn to understand that your shoes are NOT his chew toys, that certain things are NOT for his amusement and that certain behaviors cannot be displayed in your home.  But Fido won’t understand these things unless he is taught.  As Roc says, “And if I chew on something that’s not mine, I’m going to get into trouble. And hey, that’s not fair. I don’t know. You need to show me.  I’m just a pup.”

Surviving the Puppy Stage, How to Get Inside Your Dog’s Mind Without Losing Your Own includes many games that are suitable for kids to help with and follow through.  It makes learning fun and helps Fido to catch on quickly! Here are a few of the Chapters you will see in this book:

  • You Will Survive
  • Learning & Speaking Doggy Talk
  • Calming the Energized Puppy
  • Puppy Meet Up
  • Who’s the Boss?
  • Good Puppy Manners
  • Learning to Sit, Wait & Okay (this is one you REALLY want to teach!)
  • Problem Puppy Behaviors
  • And many more!!!

In Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care, as one parent put it, “…it teaches kids not only how to provide proper pet care, but also to learn responsibility by understanding their role in successfully bonding and teaching their new puppy how to become a well-behaved member of the family.”  Eliza, Mother of two

Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo calls Puppy Scents, “Delightful”!

“This is certainly a delightful book filled with lots of great lessons –

it will really inspire young people to grow up as responsible pet owners!”

So, don’t give up…it really will get better, you’ll see! I have worked with many families through the puppy stage and I really do feel your pain.  I’ve been where you are and it can be exasperating at times, believe me I know!  But there is help!  All it takes is a little understanding of what your puppy is going through and thinking, a little time and effort, some patience and a whole lot of love!  But it will be so worth it!

Get Help Today!


To order Surviving the Puppy Stage, The Parent’s Guide – click here!

FREE softcover copy of Puppy Scents, The Kids' Guide to Puppy Care

To order Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide – click here!


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