Well, Christmas is now behind us, and a new year is beginning to unfold in front of us. I hope you and your family have a blessed 2011. Over the Holidays, I got to thinking about when one of our children received a Labrador Retriever for a Christmas gift. It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision, but something our family had planned out for months in advance. We knew a quality local breeder – one who also raised Labradoodles, and knew the commitment that would be required. However, I know a lot of families don’t really plan that far ahead, but just see a puppy in the pet store and pick it up without much thought or planning.
I like to tell people that getting a puppy is almost as much of a commitment as having a child. There is a lot of training and planning involved, and I know a lot of pets wind up in the pound because the owners didn’t have any idea what they were getting into. The Christmas season can be stressful enough without dealing with a puppy – especially if the weather is nasty in December and January where you live. It’s hard enough to train any pet – even our beloved Labradoodles – but it’s even more difficult when the weather is challenging.
Even worse, most families do a lot of traveling around the Holidays and I really can’t imagine trying to travel with a young puppy. You really need to do this during the summer or when someone can be at home to watch your new Labradoodle pup.
So, in general, I’d have to say that it’s probably a bad idea to give a Labradoodle to someone as a gift – especially to a child, and especially at Christmas time! Of course your mileage may vary and depending on the commitment level of your family, a Labradoodle could make next Christmas the best one ever.