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Choosing an Adult Dog or a Puppy

Once you’ve officially made the decision to become a dog owner, one of the next steps will be choosing an adult dog or a puppy. No doubt, the experience of watching a spunky pup grow can be rewarding for the entire family. However, part of the puppy package involves a significant time commitment; fed 3 to 4 times a day, as well as let outside every few hours to take care of business. The first couple of weeks with your puppy can be filled with many a sleepless night as both of you adjust to your new life together. Obviously, a puppy's growth phase requires a great deal of supervision and training. Housetraining is typically accomplished only after accidents have occurred. Puppy chewing generally lasts for the first six to eight months. And, puppies don't become mature adults until they are approximately two years of age.

When it comes to choosing an adult dog or a puppy, if you decide that the puppy scene just won’t fit your current lifestyle, an adult dog can be an excellent choice – and for the following reasons:

Many adult dogs are already housetrained, even though they may need a little patience, direction, and a couple of days to become adjusted to their new surroundings. If the dog was previously kept outdoors, they still generally need only a day or two to learn that they live inside, but eliminate outside.

Many adult dogs have already lived with children. Even though some people assume that a puppy makes for a better choice if they have small children, this is not always the case. Puppies have sharp teeth and often play too roughly with small children. Adult dogs that have previously lived comfortably in the presence children are often patient, tolerant and mellow with little ones.

Adult dogs are easier to train than puppies primarily because they have longer attention spans. And many adult dogs already understand some basic commands taught in their first home.

Adult dogs are generally more predictable. A dog isn't considered full-grown until it's about a year old, so when choosing an adult dog you’re already aware of its full size, health and true personality.

A dog that is approaching senior status should not be discounted as a very viable option. Even an eight-year-old dog has the probability of many more good years to offer a loving family.

Before choosing an adult dog or a puppy, make sure you’ve considered all aspects of dog ownership and the time commitment required to insure a long-lasting and healthy relationship between you and your special friend.