Consider the age choosing the dog: puppy or adult?
When you have made a decision to get a dog, you have to find out whether you would prefer a puppy or an adult dog. This question is especially important if you prefer mixed breed (mongrel dog), because many wonderful dogs in shelters looking for a good home, went far beyond the puppyhood.
Maybe initially you tend to take a puppy. That’s truly hard to resist small fluffy lumps, big curious eyes, playfulness, willingness to learn. These attributes are their main attraction. In fact, if the puppies were not so nice, they would not be worth so much trouble!
However puppies should be fed more often than adult dogs, they need “to potty" more often. They tend to turn everything upside down, since they do not yet aware of rules (or have forgotten them quickly) and because they are having teething between 3 - 9 months of age. They take more time, are more expensive in veterinary bills (for the initial vaccinations or neutering / spaying), and they hurt when biting or scratching.
Adult dogs may have less attractive appearance, than a puppy, but they do not require so much of your effort. When you get an adult dog, it may already be housetrained; and if not, you can train older dog easily, as he is able to remember the rules longer. Adult dogs eat less during the day. The teething stage is over for them, so they are less likely to chew everything. They are not the same active as youngsters; and adult dog will settle down at your feet much faster than a puppy, which initially would nibble your fingers and shoes.
If you are afraid that an adult dog will not be able to become attached to you, remember that regardless of the age, he will certainly get close to you. It is simply matter of time.
Older dogs are like open books - from the very beginning, you will know their final size, personality and care requirements. You can contemplate the dog’s physical traits and get some idea of his basic temperament, although dogs from shelters and dogs from recently rescued groups in foster home did not immediately reveal their true personality. However, if you spend some time with the dog, you can select behaviorally healthy dog that will adapt and flourish once settled into your loving place.
There are those people who are eager to have own doggie friend, but hold back for fear of what might happen in their lives in the near future. And they are wise, because a puppy or young dog can be anywhere an 8 to 20 years of responsibility, which is what elderly people or people with certain long-term plans cannot afford. Providing a loving home for dog in his golden years is no less serious act, but the period of his life will be shorter.
For those who prefer a lazy life, please pay attention to the dog pensioner, rather than a high-energy young dog, which will run your house rugged. Not that older dog requires any activity, but they will not need to run a marathon every day.
In case it’s your first dog, or if you are not able to devote the time necessary for training, socialization and exercise for a young or adolescent puppy, adult dog may be the best option for you. If you are in doubt, talk to people who have recently raised puppies or are going to raise them, to get a realistic picture of what it is like. If dealing with puppy urine on your carpet and needle sharp teeth in your toe for several months in a row seems difficult for you, take an adult dog.
However, not every adult dog will be a good new pet. After all, many of them undergone abuse or were abandoned, that can impose a huge imprint on their current mood and behavior. While some dogs end up in shelters and rescue groups due to unforeseen circumstances (such as owner death), the majority of them were refused because of behavioral problems. If you are accepting an adult mixed breed pet, you will need to commit to its continuous training and observation to get him rid of bad habits (eg, house soiling, excessive barking, and aggression) and to develop positive new habits in the dog.
All behavioral problems are treatable. Some may take more time than others, but there are always ways to solve them. Puppies usually come open and fresh to new impressions. But this does not mean that they may not already acquire bad habits. If you are adopting a puppy from a shelter, something, for sure, have happened to him that shaped his personality. Anyway, a good start for a dog involves a positive treatment and socialization in a safe environment.
In shelters, the older dogs are often those that last to be adopted and first to be euthanized. Taking mongrel or mixed breed from a local shelter you are saving a dog from a critical situation that eventually could get even worse. A dog is not prospering at the shelter without family, so accepting an orphaned dog as a pet is a caring act that will teach your children kindness and responsibility for a pet.
The real benefit or concern of choosing a dog from a shelter comes into play when your family chooses the animal. Will the dog shedding much? If he had a difficult past, which will add behavior issues and anxiety of being abandoned again? One way to avoid these problems - to address to friends with questions in case someone of them know about the family who may be forced soon to get rid of their pet (due to allergies, moving or tight schedules) and is looking for a new home.
By doing so, you will save a dog from ever entering a shelter, and be able to learn about the personality and needs of the dog from his owner first hand.
If, however, you do not have any extensive contacts, and decide to select a dog from a shelter, the workers, who handle the dogs every day, can help you find the right one. They aware which of the dogs have the best personality, and which of them can be a wonderful pet for your children and your family activity level.
The advantage of mutts is that many hybrids do not suffer from hereditary diseases, which purebred dogs may be susceptible to.
There are pros and cons to dogs of all ages. Every mixed breed is a unique combination of genetics and experience, it requires an individual approach. Ultimately, your choice depends on how much time you have and what age you are most interested in.
Before you come to a breeder’s house to look at all the puppies, spend an hour or two at your local animal shelter, playing with older dogs that are looking for a home. Thus, you will see how wonderful dogs can be at any age, and you will make the decision that is right for you.