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

Advantages of Adult Dogs

Adult Dogs Require Less Time than Puppies. As a rule, adult dogs require less time to raise than does a puppy. Many adult dogs are already house-broken, which saves many hours of training. Adult dogs may need a refresher course when you first bring them home, but most adults that are already house-broken understand the rules of going to the potty at their new homes within just a couple of days.

Adult Dogs May Already Be Trained. Some adult dogs have also received a basic level of obedience training. This may consist of understanding a basic command such as "sit," or your dog may have a good grasp of all of the important commands; sit, lie, stay, come and even know several tricks. Training requires time, and adult dogs who have had basic training require less training time than does a puppy.

Some adult dogs who understand basic commands may need additional training to reinforce this knowledge or increase how reliably the commands are followed. But this too represents less of an investment of time and effort than training a puppy from the beginning.

Adult Dogs Display Measurable Characteristics. Another benefit of adopting an adult dog is you can more accurately determine the dog's personality, behavior, and size. With puppies, you may not know what its final personality will be or how large the puppy will grow unless it is a purebred. When you are evaluating an adult, the dog's temperament, behavior, size, and grooming requirements, are all much easier to determine.

Adult Dogs are Less Expensive. Adult dogs are typically less expensive than a puppy. Many breeders, pet stores, and shelters charge less for adult dogs than for adopting a puppy. They know the increased attraction you feel toward a puppy and use it to their advantage in the price they charge.

Additionally, adult dogs don't normally require as many veterinary visits as a puppy. One vet visit per year is usually sufficient for most adult dogs. A puppy may require three or four visits to the vet in the first year. Fewer vet visits translate directly to lower costs.

Because adult dogs are fully-grown, you don't need to replace accessories as they grow. When you get a puppy, you will likely need to replace at least their collar or harness, perhaps several times in the first year. Other items that may need replaced as a puppy grows into an adult are bedding, and bowls. With a fully-grown adult, you know the dog's permanent size, and can buy appropriately sized accessories to begin with. These only need to be replaced due to wear or damage, which translates to a lower cost for supplies than a puppy would require.