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Choosing a Puppy or an Adult Dog

Even if you are a first time owner or an experienced dog owner you have, by now, considered how a dog is going to fit into your lifestyle and what breed suits this purpose.
The next important step is to decide whether to get an adult dog or does a puppy suit your requirements better. Each will have advantages and disadvantages so some thought must be given to how these will affect your family's needs and lifestyle.

Choosing a puppy.
Puppies are impressionable and can be moulded, you can shape, train and socialise them to suit you and your family’s lifestyle giving you the advantage of developing a strong lifelong bond.
Raising a puppy well can be an extremely rewarding experience. It has the bonus of being a tremendous learning experience that many older children can benefit from.

Unless you are getting a pedigree puppy you cannot be really be sure what size that cute little puppy may eventually be. Puppies are undoubtedly an incredible amount of work especially if there are other pets and younger children in the same household. House-training alone could require constant supervision, Puppies can involve extra expense, vaccinations, possible neutering or spaying and there also the costs associated with a growing dog. Remember those sweet little puppies will also go through those “teenage” years.

Choosing an older dog.

Older dogs will generally have had some training in obedience, be housetrained and usually sleep through the night, they should have learned what "no" means and no longer need to chew the furniture, carpets, shoes etc., They have been "socialised" and taught how to get along with humans, other dogs, and in some other cases, cats and other animals as well. They will generally be more sensible, wiser, calmer and already aware of what it takes to be part of a hierarchy.

Probably the biggest disadvantage with getting an adult dog is that you don’t always know what you are getting. Older dogs come with a unique set of experiences and from varying backgrounds, so it is hard to predict how long a specific dog will require to make the adjustment to their new home. Some adult dogs may have behavioural problems you might not initially spot, they may have been mistreated and need some time to trust and bond with you, others may have been over indulged and spoilt making them very demanding. It is always possible that the type of training they have received may not suit your requirements. An adult dog may bring questions about his health. There could be medical issues in his past that weren’t correctly dealt with that could cause problems in the future. Like humans, dogs will develop medical issues as they age. Joint problems, heart problems and eye problems are all common in older dogs.

After considering the positive and negative aspects of puppies and adult dogs, you should now take a look at your lifestyle requirements.

How does your lifestyle match up?

  • Time available: How much time are you prepared to devote to training a puppy, depending on the breed, training can be very time consuming. At first puppies may need constant supervision, educating them and making them aware of what is acceptable behaviour. They will need to go out to get used to the big wide world. Adult dogs should generally require less time for training but initially will need supervision and instruction in how their new environment works and how they should fit in
  • Energy Levels: Puppies will be much more active at home, always eager to play and require much more attention and general supervision. Older dogs can require more exercise, in the form of walks and games.
  • Training expectations: - Your lifestyle may demand your dog be trained to behave in certain ways. While the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” may not strictly be true, it’s usually easier to train a puppy rather than retrain an older dog. Puppies will generally have very little learned behavior and will possess an eagerness for learning new things. Older dogs, on the other hand, may be more set in their ways and less eager to please.
  • Animal Interaction: - If you have other dogs or household animals, a puppy will, almost certainly, learn how to get along and fit in with them without difficulty. An adult dog may not find it so easy to get along with other pets, depending on his history. If he has never been around cats or other dogs, he may have problems coping with the situation and could display fear or aggression towards them.
  • Life Span: - Are there any factors in your lifestyle that require you to think about the likely lifespan of your new pet. While it’s easy to estimate the age of a puppy, determining the age of an adult dog may be more difficult. As dogs, generally, have a life span of 12 to 15 years, depending on the breed. Getting a puppy, means he will live longer than an adult dog, giving you more time with him.

Having considered all these factors and decided you do you have the time and patience it takes to raise a puppy you will be getting a loving pet that you can train to fit perfectly into your family. If you have decided to get an older dog, even with some minor flaws, I am sure with some love and dedication you will have a devoted companion that will bring you great pleasure.

David Bates

Pettrendy The Pet Dog Information Site

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