Getting a puppy for someone else? Good idea?

I just got off the phone with someone that called in a panic.

The three month old puppy that she got for her brother was not doing well. He is extremely busy and is having difficulty making the situation work. The woman that I spoke with was frantic because her brother was talking about finding another home for the puppy.

I told her sounded like the right decision.

How did I know this? One clue was the fact that she called me, not him. Over the years I have received numerous requests to call neighbors, brothers, mothers, and friends to discuss their dog issues. I will never make that call. If someone is not invested enough to find a trainer themselves, there is a good chance that the relationship will not work.

Another reason is that when asked if he actually wanted a dog, she said, “I got the puppy for the kids.” This is not a good sign. Young children should not be expected to take care of a puppy. Even if they are the smartest, most wonderful children in the world, this is too big of a responsibility. The caller was not implying that the children would take care of the children, but her brother was not willing nor able to take on this role.

I told her that my gut is telling me that this situation is not going to work. I let her know that her brother is more than welcome to call with questions, but I predict that call will never come.

I made sure to point out that the sooner that they make a decision, the better for the puppy. If they decide to find another home, a younger puppy has a much better chance of getting quickly adopted. Also, if the puppy is raised incorrectly and behavior problems start, this will make the puppy even less desirable and less adoptable.

I hope this works out for all concerned, but this could have been avoided if the puppy was never obtained for someone else.

Puppies are a huge financial and time commitment and the decision to bring one into the home should not be taken lightly.

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