Chapter 3
How To Know What Age Dog Is Best For You

How to Know If A Puppy or Adult is Best For You


Importance Of The Dog's Age

The second consideration once you decide to get a dog is what age dog is best for you. This choice more than any other will determine the amount of time you will be required to spend with your new pet. Puppies are unquestionably adorable. Many new dog owners fall in love with the idea of raising a puppy. As Gene Hill said, "Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies".

But before falling in love with the romantic idea of raising a puppy, consider the important factors involved. Respected dog expert Stanley Coren published the following sobering information in his book "Why We Love The Dogs We Do":

"...4 out of every 10 puppies do not last even one year with the people who adopted them".

And he goes on to say...

"An additional 8% to 10% suffer the same fate in their second year".

The information in this chapter will help you to determine if a puppy is a good choice for your family and lifestyle. That way if you do get a puppy, you will have much better than a 50% chance of having it become the cherished member of your family you deserve.

However, to raise a baby dog, which is what a puppy is, requires a great deal more time and effort than is needed to raise an adolescent or adult dog. Puppies also take more of a financial commitment. The needs of a puppy are not a good fit for families where the adults are at work from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and the kids are at school all day leaving no one home to take care of a puppy most of the day.

Adult dogs may lack the universal puppy appeal but typically have a number of other benefits. These include a more consistent temperament, an easier-to-predict maximum size, and they require less time than puppies. However, finding an adult dog requires more screening effort during the selection process to determine if there have any hidden behavior problems.