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

Disadvantages of a Puppy

Puppies Require Training. Just as puppies have no "bad" learned habits, they have no good learned habits either. You must train puppies exactly how you want them to behave. Puppies must be housebroken and obedience trained. A puppy must be taught how to behave with guests, children, and other dogs in a wide variety of settings. All this training requires much more time and effort than raising an adult dog.

Puppies are Destructive. Puppies are in a destructive phase of their life. While you're house-breaking your puppy, he will have accidents inside your home. Puppies without the necessary exercise and mental stimulation may chew shoes, damage furniture, destroy important papers, and cause a general mess in your house.

When you bring a new puppy home, you must 'puppy-proof' your house. Put shoes away in closets and keep books and newspapers on shelves that the puppy can't reach. You may also need to close your bathroom door because many puppies seem to enjoy unrolling the toilet paper then shredding it. There is a discussion of puppy-proofing included as free bonus material with this eBook.

Puppy-proofing your house requires another investment of time and effort. You must be willing to consider what a puppy is likely to find interesting and restrict access to those items. This may result in an inconvenience. You must also accept the idea that no matter how hard you work to puppy-proof your home, you are probably not going to be totally successful in your efforts. Your puppy will most likely still find ways to get access to and damage your personal belongings or home. It's simply one of the many costs of owning a puppy.

Puppies Require More Time than Adult Dogs. Puppies also take more time to exercise and for restroom breaks. Puppies, especially older puppies, have a lot of excess energy. If you don't provide it enough exercise, your puppy may become more destructive than normal, especially in chewing things or he may start to bark excessively. Puppies typically require more exercise than adult dogs up until about two years of age, although some dog breeds don't start slowing down until the age of four.

Puppies require potty breaks far more frequently than adult dogs. You might be able to leave an adult dog alone in the house for eight hours while you're at work, but a puppy might need sixteen potty breaks during that time, one every 30 minutes. If you don't have a flexible schedule or the time to commit to raising a puppy, an adult dog might be better suited to your lifestyle.

Puppies are More Expensive. Raising a puppy is a bigger financial commitment than acquiring an adult dog. When you get a puppy, you'll need to make a series of veterinary visits for booster shots. You should strongly consider the costs to pay for spaying or neutering. Additionally, since puppies are so cute, many shelters, breeders, and pet shops charge more for puppies than adult dogs. So both getting a puppy and providing for its medical needs costs more.

Obviously, puppies grow as they get older. Physical growth may require you to buy a bigger collar or harness, bigger bowls, and other size-related accessories. A large-breed puppy may require two or three collars in the first year. This can add up financially; especially if you have a large dog that wears a harness.