New e-learning course launched to help prepare people for dog ownership

Many first-time dog owners feel overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted after getting a puppy

A new free e-learning course to help new puppy owners get off to the right start with their pet has been launched to coincide with an anticipated further spike in sales over the Christmas period.

The Getting a Puppy course has been developed by Our Family Dog, a not-for-profit organisation which supports first-time dog owners, in partnership with training provider Lantra. It is designed to help people make better decisions when getting a puppy. As well as covering the basics of which breed to get and where to get a puppy from, the course aims to better prepare people for what’s involved in raising a puppy. 

A survey of first-time dog owners commissioned by Our Family Dog found that most people struggle in the early weeks. As well as feeling happy and excited after getting a puppy, 59% of the 471 respondents reported feeling exhausted, 54% said they felt overwhelmed, and 51% said they felt anxious.

When asked what advice they would give to someone who is thinking of getting a puppy many respondents described the experience as similar to having a baby, and warned of the need to be prepared for lots of hard work. They also offered the reassuring messaging that after the initial few months, life with a puppy does get easier. 

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