After deciding to adopt a specific dog breed and gender, you’ll face another choice: whether to adopt a puppy or an adult dog. Both dogs come with a healthy list of pros and cons, so it makes good sense to get acquainted with each of them! This article introduces issues surrounding both.
When Children Are In The Home
There’s no doubt that children and puppies go together like ice cream and cake. As long as your selected breed belongs to a robust sort – that is, kid-friendly, resistant to most illnesses, strong, and genetically built for longevity, you can feel confident about adopting a puppy for several reasons.
The first reason to adopt a puppy, of course, is bonding. It’s a well-known fact that relationships between dogs and their owners are stronger when they’re formed at an early age. Strong relationships naturally spawn important characteristics such as trust, loyalty, and protection. These relationships, in turn, play critical roles later when puppies grow and assimilate into the “family pack.”
Another reason is time, or more appropriately, the ‘lack of’. While adults are busy with work, bills, and chores, children can shower puppies with an attention that you honestly may not have the time, energy, or even the patience for. This includes grooming, feeding, training, and anything else that children are skilled enough to do without constant supervision.
Assimilating adult dogs into a home with children, however, isn’t as easy, and in some cases, not advised. See our article about the best dogs for children for a list of kid-friendly canines. It can be difficult enough to acclimate an adult dog to a new environment, let alone an environment bristling with young children.
Got Time and Patience?
Not everyone has children who are willing to or even capable of properly caring for a puppy. If you’re a dog-lover who falls within this group, then prepare to drape on that super-cape and rise to the occasion. The cape’s bold, capital “P” stands for patience and you’re going to need a megaton of it as a proud new puppy owner.
Potty training is an example trial that demands a huge amount of patience because your training not only has to be effective, it has to be positive. Even after you’ve had the most trying day at work, you must always maintain an encouraging approach since dogs respond to positive training methods much more quickly than they respond to negative training. What often accompanies the latter is fear, and one of the first things that puppies do when they’re afraid is pee – making disciplinary training completely counterproductive.
Patience will help you train your puppy’s behavior as well. One key to developing such a skill is acknowledging the difference between you and your dog. Dog’s simply don’t have the same innate tendencies that humans have, so it’s going to take a while for a puppy to figure out what the heck you mean when you say, “Stop barking!” or “Come here!” If you can remember this, you’ll build a sense of invaluable compassion that will carry you from trying to control a little tyrant to owning the perfect dog.
And let’s not forget play time. Because puppies learn social and motor skills through play, it’s just as important as training. The thing about play time is that it isn’t always something that we’re in the mood for. If you can remember that playtime isn’t for you, but for the puppy instead, you’ll thank yourself later when your dog properly greets new friends with sniffs and kisses instead of growls and bites.
Such a high demand for time and patience from puppies is what makes adult dogs so appealing. If you work long hours and don’t have anyone to help out with a puppy, and an adult dog is likely the right choice for you.
Unless they’re poorly trained, adult dogs make the perfect pet for those of us who don’t have the time to teach it the basics. There’s a significant chance in fact, that an adoptable adult dog is already socialized and housetrained, thus giving you the opportunity to explore other relationships with your pet instead of the disciplinarian relationship. Check out our article about dog adoption sources for leads on where to find a such a wonderful dog. And then look over this article about dog shelters for a reality check.
It’s not unusual to discover that an adult dog needs a little extra training, a little more encouragement, and a lot more love. Success with an adult dog often depends on its past experiences which may or may not have been too positive. Often times, problem behaviors of an adult dog only surface weeks or months after it is first brought home. Therefore, you should enroll your new adult dog in obedience classes as soon as possible. Additionally, to avoid potential problems, get some insight into a dog’s past with the information we provide in our article about questions to ask when adopting from a dog shelter.
Dog-Proofing and Puppy-Proofing
One more concern is the safety of your home. When we speak of “proofing” a home, we normally think of babies, outlet covers, and soft table bumpers. Well, we’re almost talking about the same thing here. Before you bring home a new chew monster, you need to make sure exposed wires are covered, furniture is wrapped, stairways are gated, and large open spaces are sealed.
The curiosity of puppies, in fact, could adequately compare to the curiosity of kittens! But cats have nine lives and dogs don’t. Puppies that like to chew, climb, and lick everything, therefore, simply don’t have the grace or claws to squeeze out of dangerous situations the way that cats can. Ensure your home is safe enough for a puppy by identifying unsafe conditions and then removing them. If it helps, think like a dog and sniff out places that you would be tempted to crawl under, drink, pull over and more.