Adopting an Adult Dog
Making the decision to add a dog to your home is a very personal process. Part of that decision is making the choice between adopting an adult/older dog and adopting a puppy.
Should we adopt an adult dog?
For most breeds, the ‘adult’ years don’t come about until they are about three years old. Are these adult dogs a better fit for you? Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a dog that has already reached an adult age.
Adult dogs are more likely to already have basic training.
One of the most important aspects of raising a dog are training it to respond to basic commands—such as sit, stay, lay down—as well as house training the dog. Puppies are blank slates that need to be trained from the ground up, which takes plenty of time, patience, and in the case of housetraining, lots of super-absorbent paper towels. Adult dogs are much more likely to already have basic training and while you may need to help them adjust to your particular command style or learn their cues for wanting to go outside, it requires far less effort than training a puppy.
Adult dogs may have picked up bad habits along the way
An adult dog may have picked up bad habits from its previous home or homes; these habits might be universally frowned upon, such as eating food out of the garbage, but they can also be particular to your home. For example, an adult dog might be used to sitting on the couch because they were allowed to in their first home, when you do not allow dogs on the couch. Breaking old habits requires plenty of patience and persistence, but most dogs can be cured of them if you are consistent in your efforts to stop the bad habits.
Adult dogs are not as rambunctious
Adult dogs are still active and playful companions, but they (usually) aren’t as hyperactive and over the top as their younger counterparts. Puppies often get overexcited and due to their high energy levels, will require an exceptional amount of serious play time to keep them healthy and occupied. Puppies with too much energy can destroy furniture, make a mess of your house, or even nip and bite. Adult dogs also require playtime, but most breeds aren’t as prone to such hyperactive behavior in their adult years. Having a calmer pet is especially beneficial in homes with younger children as well as quieter homes where the exuberance of a puppy may be more tiring than cute.
Adult dogs are just as loving as puppies
One of the most common misconceptions about adopting an adult dog is that they won’t “bond” with you because you aren’t their first owners. This is entirely false: adult dogs are just as capable of bonding with a new family as puppies; in fact, many adopters of adult dogs report that the dogs seem exceptionally appreciative and grateful for a new family and a new chance at life.