The Top 7 Reasons I recommend Adopting an Adult Dog
This is a culmination of several articles and information and advice that has been given out by me and many others on several subjects. Adopting a Shelter Dog The Working Man’s (or Woman’s) Conundrum in Today’s Dog Ownership and Why Rescues Make one of the Best Resources When Looking for a New Furry Companion.
All these comments got me to thinking “What is the Best Dog”? Of course there are too many individualities to know what is best for everyone, but personally when talking to most people, my clients, and even my family; adult dogs usually make the best fit.
I am a puppy lover too Lab puppies, German Shepherd puppies, Boxer puppies and Golden puppies just to name a few, and some day I might write an article about why puppies rock! But there are so many valid reasons for adding an adult dog to most homes.
Why Are Adult Dogs Better?
7. Adult Dogs are Most Likely Potty Trained!
Who has the time for potty training these days? Unless you are a stay at home-“er” or can take your puppy to work with you, it is almost impossible to swiftly and correctly potty train a puppy!
Even if your adult dog is not yet potty trained, he is old enough to physically be able to hold it and to learn about potty training quickly.
6. You Skip Puppy Teething
When you get an adult dog, you get to skip the biting and the mouthing and the chewing of everything in the house! Puppies chew and explore everything with their teeth and some puppies damage thousands of dollars of their owner’s stuff!
Even if your new dog chews (and he probably will) he is old enough and there is no teething pain that is causing him to chew. Adult dogs can easily be taught where to put their mouths as long as you are consistent and don’t allow him premature access to your house.
As we discussed in one of my earlier articles, we live in a world of needing to work to earn your dog’s kibble!
Puppies should be left no longer than however old they are in months plus one hour. So 2 month old puppy should not be left longer than 3 hours, max! And, certainly not on a regular basis if at all possible!
Adult dogs can simply be left comfortably for longer periods of time to allow you to work and feel less guilty!
4. You Know What Size Dog You Are Getting
I mentioned this in my other article Adopting a Shelter Dog but it can be difficult to take a mixed breed puppy, if you don’t know what breeds went into the mixing, and figure out how big the dog will be.
A very good vet friend of mine adopted a dog that she thought would be around 25-30 pounds when full grown, but her “little” girl ended up being closer to 80 pounds.
One of the main excuses people use when giving up a rambunctious puppy is “He got too big”; if you get an adult dog you know just how much your dog food bill is likely to be!
3. You Know What Kind of Fur and Grooming You are In For
Along the lines of size, puppies have these cute little fuzzy puppy coats when they are born that often don’t grow until they are older. My 18 month old was a little too fluffy when she was a puppy (she was suppose to be a short hair) but I was assured I was crazy 😉 and that she would be short haired…she isn’t and I was right (she is my third fuzzy puppy)! But I love her anyway!
There are people who don’t have what it takes to own a dog that needs consistent or constant grooming (I may be one of them! I prefer my wash and go dogs!). With an adult dog, you know just what you are getting into!
2. Adult Dogs Have Established their Temperament and Their Aptitudes
Puppies are a “crap shoot” even those of us in the business that “temperament test” puppies must agree that to a very strong degree it is difficult if not impossible to tell what a puppy will be like when it is full grown.
When a puppy is very young we see traits that we like, or dislike, we try and develop the things we desire while inhibiting the things we don’t desire, but the truth of the matter is…it is almost impossible to know exactly what a puppy will be like in several months.
I trained recently with a world renown dog trainer from Holland and even he admitted the puppy from his litter that he thought was going to be the best was not, and the puppy he discounted early on was amazing and proficient at the task he was raising them for.
As much as we want to get a puppy or even a kitten for that matter, and raise and shape exactly what we want…it doesn’t always happen. Not even with my own puppies!
This was the reason that I never took puppies when I was training Service Dogs, I never knew who they would be after they went through “puppy puberty” and the Flight Instinct Period.
An adult dog I knew that, for the most part, what I saw was what I was getting. And, although I enjoy the challenge of raising a puppy occasionally, if I was looking for a dog to perform a certain task later in life, I would be looking for a dog that was 9 months or older!
This is why so many working dog organizations scour shelters looking for Assistance Dogs, Detector Dogs, and other types of working dogs; they can test the dogs and know almost right away if the dog has what it takes to do the work they are looking for!
1. Adult Dogs Can Come with More Knowledge
Whether you get an older dog or puppy from a breeder or you get one from a rescue, chances are you can find out more information about the individual and how he has been raised or “housed”. Does he live with cats or children, does he dislike other animals or children? It allows you to find a better fit for your environment.
I have said it before, and I will say it again, never leave your dog alone with your other pets or children either way! New dogs must be trained, worked with and acclimated into your home even if he was good with other dogs, cats or children in his previous home doesn’t mean he will have the exact same reaction in your home; your odds are just better!
I cannot presume to make a decision as to what is best for you and your family, I can only tell you that my experience with adult dogs and their attributes far outweighs any negative qualities.
Just like puppies, adult dogs need love, training, attention and consistency and they are bigger so their mistakes aren’t viewed as “cute” like the same mistakes a puppy makes (like jumping). Be kind and be patient and you will be able to curb the possible behavior problems that they come with!
But all dogs are trainable and many of these adult dogs deserve a shot at a loving, reliable, life and you may just be the person to give it to them!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.