What a Puppy is Not

A PUPPY IS NOT A TOY, to amuse your children for a few weeks until the novelty wears off. A puppy is a child itself, and will require a great deal of attention and training to become a pleasant and loyal companion. If your children are toddlers, they could inflict unintended tortures on a puppy that may permanently scar its personality and behavior.

A PUPPY IS NOT A TEACHING AID, to be used to instill a sense of responsibility in older children. It is unfair to your puppy to put its entire well-being into a child's hands. The greatest value of the child-dog relationship lies in the camaraderie and unconditional love that exists between them. You will end up doing the chores and the dog will be resented, ignored and unhappy.

A PUPPY IS NOT A BURGLAR ALARM, to be put on a chain in your yard to bark at all hours of the day and night. It is not a crime deterrent; it is a public nuisance that will at least make you very unpopular with your neighbors and may result in costly fines and civil penalties. Even worse, a dog on a chain is at the mercy of teasing children and vicious strays. This can make your dog turn mean, and what might happen if he breaks his chain could land you in court. Your puppy is entitled to an escape-proof yard, a dog run, or better yet, if you don't have a fenced yard, a place in your house for his safety and your peace of mind.

A PUPPY IS NOT A GIFT, unless the giver is very sure that a puppy is wanted and the recipient is able to care for it. If you are going to buy a puppy as a gift, it should be a joint decision so that the recipient can personally select the companion for whom they will be responsible for the rest of its life.

A PUPPY IS NOT A FAD like a pet rock or a lava lamp. It will still be there when the breed is no longer "in vogue" and it will still need to be fed, cared for and picked up after.

A PUPPY IS NOT UNBREAKABLE and any "repairs" will be costly. Puppyhood diseases such as Parvovirus require hospitalization and intensive care. Swallowed objects and broken bones can require major surgery. If you are going to balk at spending several hundred dollars in the event of an emergency don't get a puppy!

A PUPPY IS NOT AN INVESTMENT to breed to "pay you back". Breeding a litter is a tremendous responsibility. Experienced breeders consider themselves lucky to "break even" on a litter. Chances are your amateur attempt will jeopardize your pocketbook and the life and health of your companion dog.