Puppy Myths

I have been a Veterinary Nurse, an Animal Control Officer and the president of an animal rescue.  In those capacities I have herd some amazing comments about animals and I thought I’d touch on a few of them for you.  These are basic misconceptions I’ve dealt with over my almost 30 years in the critter world….


I want to get a new puppy so my old dog can train it.  Oh I love this one!  Please, have your 94 year old, arthritic grandmother take care of your extremely rambunctious two year old child on a 24/7 basis for a while.  See how well things go!  Nuff said.


My current dog is probably not going to live much longer so I want to get a new puppy now, before the old dog goes.  Well ok then.  You’d be amazed at how many times I actually do hear this.  First of all, your old dog deserves more respect than this.  This is a dog who has been with you for probably its whole life.  This old dog needs you more now than when it was a puppy.  Why would you want to stress this old dog out by bringing in a new pup?  Help your old dog live out its last days in a peaceful, loving atmosphere.  There will always be puppies to adopt.  Your old dog needs you now.


I want a puppy to grow up with my baby / kids.  Well, let’s remember that puppies have puppy teeth and they are sharp.  Kids have attention spans of about 3 seconds (trust me – I know!)… So, in essence, the puppy will grow up parallel to your children while YOU clean up after it, walk it, bathe it, give it medication, train it, take it for walks in the pouring rain (while the kids are on the sofa watching cartoons!)…  Get the picture?  Cool idea and Hallmark has really gotten a good run out of that but the reality is, kids and puppies don’t go together well.  Unless you own a Band-Aid company!


I want a puppy because an older dog is already set in its ways and is harder to train.  This one is great!  Please – I’ve seen puppies flunk puppy class and old dogs learn amazing feats.  It has absolutely nothing to do with age and everything to do with the training.  Patience is required in both cases, as is love and understanding.  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!  A dog’s life is centered around pleasing its owner.  They will do anything for you in order to be in your good graces – take advantage of that!


If a puppy “messes” in the house, rub its nose in it and the puppy won’t do that anymore.  Oh my…..puppies have an attention span of, well, about 2 seconds.  So if you DID rub you pup’s nose into its mess the only thing you will succeed in doing is confusing the puppy!  That pup has NO idea why you’re doing what you’re doing.  What you WILL do is make the pup afraid of YOU!

So that’s a few of the absurdities I’ve heard over the years.  I thought it pertinent to focus on puppies as this is the season where they seem to be plentiful.  I have more, but my husband said “enough with the Andy Rooney thing!”….Hey – I LIKE Andy Rooney!



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