It’s quite a major decision to allow a dog into your home, and once you have made that decision, the next step is whether you should buy a puppy or a dog. A puppy of course is cute and adorable and everyone wants one, but they do require extra work on your part, whereas a dog should already be trained and you’ll skip the inconvenient aspects such as potty training and chewing. There are pros and cons for buying a puppy or a dog and it can be a challenge for the most experienced of dog owners, let alone if this is your first time owning a puppy or a dog. So before you take that next step, here are some tips for you that should help to make up your mind.
Choose a puppy if:
1. You want to be instrumental in their training, development and personality. When you have a puppy from 9 or 10 weeks, you are imprinting a lot of yourself onto that puppy and this will stay with it for the rest of its life. If you adopt an adult dog, you’ll find that their personality is already established and they may have some behavioural issues, especially if they have been mistreated. If you want your puppy to fit into your family from day one, definitely choose a youngster who you can watch grow up.
2. You have lots of spare time to dedicate to the puppy’s training. A puppy will want to spend all of its time with you in the early months and this is ideal for you to get to know them and for training purposes. You’ll be caring for its every need, teaching it how to behave and showing it what you expect of it. A puppy requires constant supervision during their first few months of life. You’ll need to take it outside every few hours (at least) to relieve itself, otherwise it will never learn to toilet properly. A puppy should also go to regular obedience training classes to give it a solid foundation in good behavior. If you work at home or have a part time job then a puppy is an ideal choice.
3. Cost is not an issue as a pedigree puppy can cost upwards of several hundred pounds. You can get mixed pedigree puppies but the cost is still in the hundreds. Rescue centres do not tend to have puppies as a rule but you can be put on a waiting list if this is your preference. And the RSPCA sometimes have rescue puppies that need rehoming and at this time of publishing, the cost to rehome from them is only £90.
Choose an adult dog if:
1. You have experience with owning a dog before and you want to give a rescue dog a good home, but would like to skip all the messy puppy stages! An adult dog can be in a rescue home for many reasons, not just because they have behavourial issues so always ask if you see one that you like. It could be that the owners have died, moved abroad or simply could not afford them anymore. And the best part about an adult dog is that typically it would have had some basic training. Once it has settled into your family, it will quickly become your new companion.
2. If you don’t have to time to dedicate to bringing up and training a puppy. If your schedule is a busy one that doesn’t allow for puppy raising, consider an adult dog who is already trained. But remember, you should never leave a dog for more than 4 hours at a time on a regular basis.
3. If you have older and more responsible children, as they can help with the chores associated with caring for an adult dog. Always supervise them and especially at the beginning when you are not sure what the dog’s temperment is like. If you have children, be sure to choose a dog that has been raised around kids and will be tolerant of playful children.
When choosing a puppy or an adult dog, be mindful also of how your family situation may change from how it is now and in the future and keep in mind the costs involved in bringing up a dog.