When buying a new dog, part of the decision-making process is choosing between a puppy and an adult dog. The first thing to realise is that, over time, you will end up with an adult dog either way.
Puppies are cute and hard to resist. It is almost as if they were designed to be cuddled.
You need to consider the pros and cons of both choices before making a final decision.
Bringing A New Puppy Into Your Family.
If you adopt a puppy, you will have the opportunity to train him exactly the way you want. To a large extent, his personality will be shaped by you. You will have the pleasure of watching him develop and spend many happy hours playing with him.
On the other hand, it is not a good idea to leave a puppy by himself for long periods.
Your puppy will need to be taught how to behave in a wide variety of situations. Potty training is an important part of his education. Puppies have small bladders and will need an opportunity to pee every two hours or so. You will need to keep a constant eye on them so that you can catch them in the act.
He will need to be socialized both with other dogs and humans. Many of the problems associated with older dogs occur because they were never properly socialized. The greater the variety of situations you can expose him to, the better.
Ideally, someone should be at home with the puppy most of the time.
A puppy can be expensive in the early months. There is a vaccination schedule to be completed and they will need to be spayed or neutered.
Puppies go through a destructive phase when they will chew anything within reach.
You should not take on puppy ownership unless you have plenty of time to spend with him and are prepared for some added expense.
Choosing An Adult Dog
When you buy an adult dog, you never really know what you are getting. Your new dog’s personality has been defined by someone else. You don’t know how he will react to other adults, children or other dogs until you actually witness his behavior.
If you get your dog from a rescue organisation, they may have had him long enough to have a good idea how he will behave.
A dog is never too old to be trained. In fact, older dogs will find it easier to pay attention.
When you buy a puppy from a breeder, you can ask questions about the health of his ancestors. Many pure-bred dogs are prone to genetic diseases. With an older dog, you will probably not have this chance. However, the older the dog the greater the chance that he will be past the age at which any problem will have developed.
Many adult dogs will have already undergone significant amounts of training. This is a big plus because training can take a lot of time and money.
The choice is yours, but in many ways, an adult dog will be much less trouble to introduce into your family.