So you’re bringing a new dog into the family but can’t quite decide between a puppy and an adult dog. You might be compelled to get a puppy just because of the cuteness factor, but there are more important factors to consider before making a decision. Knowing the pros and cons of adopting a puppy or an adult dog can help you pick the most compatible with your lifestyle.
PROS when you adopt a puppy
You start with a clean slate.
Adopting a puppy means you have the opportunity to shape his personality as he grows and develops. A dog’s behaviour is influenced by genetics, environmental factors, and how he is nurtured at an early age.
The first 12-16 weeks is the most critical period for socialisation. This is the period where your puppy should learn to interact with humans and other dogs. He should be exposed to different environments and situations that he will most likely encounter as he grows up. You are responsible for teaching and training the puppy so you’ll be able to predict his physical attributes, temperament, and behaviour.
Early intervention can be done.
As the puppy is still in the early stages of training, he will likely exhibit some bad behaviours. This is nothing to be concerned about because you have the chance to intervene and correct the problematic behaviours. And as the training progresses, he will learn the proper way to behave and react to different situations. Such an intervention prevents bad behaviours from developing.
CONS when you adopt a puppy
You do not know how he will grow up.
If you are taking the puppy off from someone or adopting it from a shelter, when the history of the dog is unknown, it would be difficult to know how he will turn out. This is especially true with mixed breeds. It is indeed a furry ball of surprise as you will not know how big it will become or how high or low his energy level is. Whilst you hold a great influence on the “nurture” part, you do not know what his exact “nature” influence is.
Puppies can be a handful.
A puppy can be a ball of energy that bites, chews, and pees everywhere. As the owner, you carry the responsibility of correcting these unacceptable behaviours and prevent them from happening. This means you need to commit more time when rearing puppies. It is best to reconsider other options if you think you haven’t got enough experience, you are not ready for these unwanted surprises and frustrations. In most cases, people who neglect their responsibilities often end up with a dog having behavioural problems.
View our articles about tips to keep dogs from inappropriate chewing and house training puppies to learn more.
Puppies can be costly.
You will need to invest more money for your puppy’s vet care. You’ll have to consider the cost for the core vaccines, neutering/spaying costs, and treatment in case of sickness. In addition, you may need to consider training classes on puppy socialisations and behaviour training.
PROS when you adopt an adult dog
They are less destructive.
Most adult dogs are past the inappropriate digging and Chewing phase. They already have basic training which makes them flexible to settle into a new environment without much stress. As for rescued animals, they recognise good from bad and know how lucky they are to be given a second (or a third) chance.
You know what you are getting.
“What you see is what you get,” it is one of the famous taglines in shelter homes. You may see early signs of undesirable traits during the meet-and-greet. Additionally, it is recommended to spend more time with your potential canines companion in mind before finally opening doors.
Take the chance to assess and observe its current temperament, activity levels, and sociability. What you observe is what you are getting because they are fully developed. Furthermore, you no longer need to guess the dog’s maximum size and personality.
They demand less time and less activity.
This is the reason why they are the best option for seniors and families with young children as well as for first-time pet owners. They offer the same companionship as puppies but are much calmer. In fact, they can be left alone for a reasonable period of time. And as they are over their biting phase, they are more compatible with young children.
CONS when you adopt an adult dog
Adjustment may take time.
Whilst there are good-natured adult dogs that are quick to adjust, there are also some with concerning behaviours, most especially the rescued ones. It takes time and effort to help them overcome behavioural issues.
If you choose to adopt a dog with signs of being fearful and aggressive, and you are not an experienced dog owner, it might be a good idea to get some help from a professional dog behaviourist. It is usually the best course of action in such cases because you do not know what the dog has been through.
Whether you adopt a puppy or an adult dog, it is an admirable act for countless reasons including the fact that you have saved a life. Are you ready to adopt? Pick from our dogs for adoption.