When it comes to great, memorable slogans, ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, has to go down as one of the most effective of them all. Celebrating 40years this year, the words are as important, and as poignant, today as they always were. We’ll never know just how many people have thought twice about buying a puppy as a present as a result of the line, but it must run into thousands of dogs that have been saved from an uncertain fate.

40 Years of success

The timeless, though provoking line was first conjured up by Clarissa Baldwin in 1978, when she was the Head of PR of what was then the National Canine Defence League. This became the Dogs Trust, and Clarissa went on to be their long-standing Chief Executive, earning a CBE for her services after she retired in 2014.

The slogan has enjoyed similar success, gaining a listing in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, and becoming one of the most well known, and most often quoted, charity messages of them all. In fact, it was so popular, they even had trademark it, when other companies tried to jump on the bandwagon and cash in on their success.

The problem with Christmas puppies

The appeal of a Christmas puppy is easy to see, especially in the modern era of social media where every photo or video counts. Watching your child’s face light up when they first see their cute little friend is just adorable, and you are guaranteed to get some memorable pictures and be rated the best-est Mummy and Daddy in the whole wide world.

Unfortunately, this magical moment doesn’t last very long and the reality of having an unruly, un-house trained puppy soon becomes clear. The novelty wears off for the children and their parents quickly tire of constantly cleaning up the mess, trying to stop the barking and finding every shoe or slipper chewed to pieces.

Abandoned Dogs

It’s no surprise that ill-thought-out Christmas dogs are abandoned as quickly as this year’s must-have toy, but the good news is that things are getting better. A Dogs Trust survey of 309 local authorities showed that there were 66,277 strays between April 2016 and March 2017, down 18% on the previous year. This was helped significantly by the introduction of mandatory microchipping in England in 2016.

Sadly, there were still 2231 dogs put to sleep over the year, which amounts to six dogs a day or a dog put to sleep every four hours. These are tragic statistics, and they could easily be avoided if people chose the right pet in the first place.

Our dogs are for life

Unlike some pet suppliers, A&T Trained Dogs don’t offer Christmas puppies for sale to make a quick profit. What we do offer are perfect pets, carefully selected and individually trained so that they arrive ready for you to enjoy from the very first day.

We choose only the best animals from reputable breeders, with first class health records and excellent social behaviour. Then we train them to interact well with your children, people and other animals, and to obey a range of basic commands. Only when we are completely satisfied that a dog is ready, will it earn the title, perfect pet.

‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ is not just a great slogan, it’s sound advice. So if you are giving the gift of four legged love this festive season, don’t choose a puppy, choose a perfect pet.