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Puppy or Adult: Which is Right for You?

You have decided to open your heart and your home to a dog. Now you need to decide whether to adopt an adult or a puppy. Each has advantages and disadvantages and the final decision is based on your family’s needs and lifestyle.

Advantages of an Adult

Adult dogs are full-grown when they are adopted. You don’t have to guess how big the dog will get. The trial-and-error learning phase is already over. The adult dog is usually housebroken and sleeps through the night. He doesn’t need so many trips to the vet and has outgrown his impulse to take everything in his mouth and chew on it. An older dog – especially one who has already shared a household or played with other pets – is more likely to meld into the existing hierarchy established by your other dogs and cats.

Advantages of a Puppy

A puppy is a clean slate. You get to teach him and watch him grow. Puppies are adorable and entertaining. When adopting a puppy, you get the advantage of developing a strong lifelong bond. A puppy has the potential to be in your family longer than an adult dog.

Disadvantages of an Adult

Some adult dogs are available for adoption due to behavior problems. In an adult dog, some of these negative behaviors can make a difficult pet. You are unsure of the environment the dog came from. The fact that they yelled at him, gave him confusing commands or didn’t do a good job of keeping him from tearing up the house might be the reason he ended up in the shelter. Or maybe his previous owners spoiled and pampered him, indulging all his doggy desires. Also, it might take the grown-up dog more time to bond with you.

Disadvantages of a Puppy

Even with the best guess, you are not sure of the puppy’s final size and weight. During their early life, puppies can be destructive. Housetraining can be frustrating and training takes time and patience.

After learning about the positive and negative aspects of puppies and adult dogs, step back and take a look at your life. Do you have the time and patience it takes to raise a puppy? If so, you will have a loving pet that you have trained to fit perfectly into your family. If you are willing to adopt an older dog, even with minor flaws, you will have a greatly, devoted companion.