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Christmas puppies?

4172 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  movistar
hi fine breeders,
I have a fairly basic question but I haven't had this issue before and I know some of you have so please share!

We have 3 puppies that are still not pre-sold and I'm starting to get emails asking for "Christmas Puppies" so I'm trying to learn how others have handled this concept. Our puppies will be 8wks old on 12/8 so they certainly can go earlier than Christmas, but I'm anticipating someone wanting their puppy the week of 12/20 or later (with pre-payment).

I know that we all learn in different ways but how, in hindsight did you handle deliveries around Christmas, and how would you do it differently, now that you've been thru it?

By the way, I am NOT planning to deliver any puppies on 12/24-12/25 so that isn't my specific question but if you will tell what you think you did right, and what you wish you'd done differently I think I will appreciate having the info and others will, too.

thanks in advance! :D
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maureen, you know I havent the experience as some on this board but I have read many threads on this exact same subject. Even though my litter was quite a bit ahead of yours I also got a lot of emails and calls for Christmas puppies. I took the stance that I will not sell a puppy to a) someone that has no knowledge (gift) or b) someone who must have it around the actual date. I explained to the inquiries that I have no problem if people call their new addition "their Christmas gift" because that is the money that is going towards the dog. I fully understand that what people pay for our puppies is considered a lot by many. I have an adorable single mom with the sweetest boys adopted from Russia and her purchase is a Christmas gift to her eldest. I went in detail with her about how a dog is for a family not a child and a huge comittment and not a present and how many dogs go into shelters 2-3 months after Christmas! (I didnt hold back!) Well I may have scared of others (fine with me!) but this woman listened to everything I had to say and will be picking up her baby on saturday :) I have two other puppy parents refer to their doggys as an early Christmas gift. Again after talking in depth to them it was just a money reference. (does that make sense?)

So thats how I handled it and my results :)

On a side note I bought myself a robe (way on sale) at bath and body works today and I am giving it to myself as an early christmas gift! I think people sometimes justify spending money by attributing it to a holiday!
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Maureen, as you know, puppies going to a home filled with the excitement of holidays and all of the visitors, noise, lights, etc. can be tough...we have never had pups available at Christmas, but we did have some ready in January...the family made the selection of the puppy, I sent lots of pictures and the family wrapped puppy toys, puppy books, leashes, collars, etc. Finally, they wrapped pictures of their puppy with a cute note about the puppy and when he would arrive.
It worked out very well...they were able to give the puppy for Christmas, but wait until after the major holiday for just increased the anticipation. :D
thank you all, for the reading info, but I was wondering if anyone has personal experience with what you have actually done, and wished that you had done differently.

If anyone has any info like that I would LOVE to learn from you!

So far I haven't even had anyone ask for a puppy near Christmas Day but I'm figuring that could happen, so what OTHER ideas or suggestions do you have?

While I'm asking questions, what about the people getting their puppy from us on 12/10? Any ideas of what we could suggest for this FIRST Christmas together?

thanks in advance!
Maureen, that is a tough one...I know that many people don't believe that the holidays are the right time to get a puppy...but if your family is determined, perhaps you could just do your best to educate them as to what is the best way to make sure that the pup is not overwhelmed.
Maybe putting his crate in a quiet bedroom (but not forgetting to take him out to potty!), making sure that none of the children play with their toys around him (especially those noisy ones!) Asking people to read and study info from experts would be my best suggestion.
Perhaps even ask them to visit their vet before the pup comes to get some suggestions about what to do...and/or get a trainer lined up and ask them for advice.
The reality is that people DO get puppies for Christmas...and I think that the best we can do is try to educate them so that the transition is easy.
Even though Christmas is one of the tough holidays for puppies, the fact is that any "big event" could have a similar impact.
Also...if the breeder knows in you do, perhaps you can start to expose the puppy to "sounds of Christmas" and lights and Santa and sure to tell the family to keep chocolate and poinsettas out of reach...
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I recommend

sending a picture putting it in a frame and buying puppy bed,toys,chews etc putting that under the tree rather then a pup
changing homes is stressful enough on puppy adding the excitement of christmas is just asking for problems
Really good points, Jac.
The truth is that our puppies that leave on 12/10 could be practically housebroken and settled in their new families. And the fact is that people DO get puppies the week before Christmas.

I am certainly not keeping puppies from their families for the whole month of December. I don't believe it's fair to the pups themselves to stay an extra month.

Nancy, I agree that giving a leash, picture, etc. is a great idea. And I plan to suggest that to anyone wanting their pup after Christmas. Do you have other tips for people who get their puppy after Christmas? How much after Christmas do you place pups?
My thoughts are

I do NOT want the pups under the tree,,depending on the ages of the children as soon as the day after , i recommend a expen and wire crate connected together to have a safe place for the pup when cant be watched at all times, this keeps the pup safe from other dangers at christmas time and other times also

You kinda have to make a call on what families you feel are prepared and willing to do what you suggest for th welfare of the baby
Maureen, I don't think you would have a problem with puppies leaving on the 10th. That would give the puppies enough time to get accustomed to their new homes and to feel comfortable with their surroundings. I would put the crate near the tree so the puppy can watch the family opening gifts, give the puppy a kong with frozen filling so he/she can have a special gift also, and then have the family be sure to have all the papers and ribbons picked up before letting the puppy explore and only let the puppy out to play when heavily supervised since there will be lots of toys and "pieces" laying around on the floor which will be awfully tempting on a puppy. Taking the crate to a quiet place later, after all the excitement, will give the puppy a much needed nap :)
great ideas, Diane!

Have you placed pups closer to Christmas than 12/10?

Your ideas are a great place to start a conversation with those wanting "Christmas" pups.

We got our puppy last year a couple of weeks before Christmas and everything went very smoothly. The tree and presents etc were already up so they were just part of her new surroundings, along with everything else. She went after my house plants more than she ever did the (real) Christmas tree. And she slept a lot those first few weeks so we were able to get some "down' time where she didn't have to be constantly watched. Another bonus was that we had time off work and school around Christmas holiday time and were able to spend more time training her. There really wasn't a down side, except standing out in the snow with her during bathroom breaks! If you don't want to do that, get your new puppy in the spring. :)

Just thought I would share my experience with you to ease your concern about new puppies going home in December.
When I bred Labs, I know I did place puppies at Christmas but I wouldn't do it now. When I have Christmas puppies now, I just do as Jac does and send pictures and tell them to wrap it up for them to open. A really fun thing to do is make a scavanger hunt out of it. Buy doggy items such as a bed, toys, treats, etc. and wrap each one (placing one under the tree) along with a note with directions leading them to the next gift which has been hidden somewhere in the house. The last gift opened should be the picture of the pup saying that he will join the family after the hustle and bustle of the holidays :D -
great info~

so Di, Nancy, far AFTER Christmas do you place the puppies th at turn 8wks around 12/25?

I'm hoping all our puppies can go to their new homes at least a week ahead of Christmas. And we are keeping 2 extra long with a fee charged for housebreaking. So we, ourselves will have Christmas puppies here!

lol, since our pups are in our home I guess they will all be enjoying a Christmas day at one place or another! :wink:
It really depends on the family and what they have going on at that time of year. Sometimes it's best to just wait until after the first of the year but each circumstance is different.
All of these ideas are excellent and it is good to hear from Jannie about how it went at her house.
I do know that 8 weeks is one of the "fear" stages for puppies...or at least the beginning of one...that is why I would be a bit concerned about the hustle and bustle of the holidays...and Santa visits...but I really believe that no matter when the pup goes home, during holidays or not, the families MUST be ready to accept the fact that this puppy will need extra care and attention and quiet times...and that their schedules will be disrupted.
How do they expect to visit family? Are they taking the pup from house to house? Not a good idea at all, of course.
So many things to consider...and if the family is prepared and they realize that what happens to this pup during those first days will stay with him forever...they should be prepared to sacrifice some of the regular holiday "merry-making" my humble opinion.
I heard and seen breeders play this both ways if they have puppies it is okay if they don't they will say it isn't. Now I'M NOT SAYING THAT IT IS OKAY OR OKAY THEY DO IT. What I an saying is you as a breeder need to be smart and screen your families well, anytime could poetentail be a bad time. In the summer for ezample what if they pick a puppy up right before going on vacation? This would not be a good time ether, so my thoughts are use your skills as a breeder and make sure you are doing your job at screening your families, then make the desicion.
I agree with gracielou about the anytime can be a bad time. my pups this time were ready around Thanksgiving which for some was perfect because the daddy was going to be home for the week and they had no plans and for the family that had 18 guests coming it was NOT a good time so that puppy stayed :) and the woman going to visit her aunt who didnt like dogs well you bet that pup is here waiting for her to get back and settled!!

such great advice this place is I learned a lot reading everyones replies :)
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