Thursday, 24 July 2008

Choosing a puppy or adult dog - what you need to know

Bringing a dog into your home is big decision on its own. But once you get over the excitement, you have to ask yourself some practical questions. One of the important decisions is whether you will look to get a puppy or adopt an adult dog. Each comes with it own set of unique challenges and responsibilities. Here are some things to consider before deciding on a puppy or adult dog.

Do you have what it takes to train a young pup.

They pee in house, they will chew up your things and they have no idea what you want them to do. And no, we’re not talking about your kids! A young puppy needs a lot of attention from your part. If you’re an individual who is uncertain of your time and commitment to train a dog, an adopted dog may be the right choice for you because:

  • they may be already housebroken
  • they may have had obedience training; obey basic commands, walks on a leash etc.
  • maybe a perfect dog who due to some external circumstance, the previous owners were no longer able to keep
  • even though they might be more dominant or stubborn, an untrained adult dog will learn faster than a puppy (there are training methods to handle this)
Sadly, there are thousands of adult dogs in shelters and hundreds more are being given up each day. You are not just adopting a dog, you are saving a life.

On the other hand, an adult dog may have some potential issues that you need to be aware of. Adopting any animal takes a leap of faith, no matter how minuet. Even young puppies have weeks or months of experience behind them.

When you adopt a dog, you don’t really know how they would react in certain situations. After all, dogs in shelters end up there for many reasons. Some may have been neglected or abused by their previous owners. Some undesirable behaviors may only show up months after adoptions so owners need to be patient and have the willingness to correct any issues that may arise.

If you’re going to be away from home for long hours, consider an adult dog.

A puppy cannot hold his bladder for a long time. The general rule is that a puppy will be able to hold their bladder for one hour for every month of age. So for example, if your puppy is 2 months old, then expect her to hold her bladder for 2 hours. This means that you will need to take out your puppy way more often than you would an adult dog who can hold it for 7-10 hours.

Also, a young puppy will need more attention than an adult dog. Think of a puppy as a baby who can't be left alone as he or she can get into trouble or who just need you there for comfort.

Once you consider your lifestyle and your commitment you will be able to decide if a puppy or adult dog is right for you. Be sure to check out the information on how to pick a proper breeder who will offer you healthy and well tempered dogs.

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