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Puppy or Adult Dog – Which is Best?

Puppies can be very demanding, although it is great to see them develop, while adult dogs are less time-consuming but may take longer to bond.

When people think about getting a dog, they often usually immediately decide on a puppy, however it is important to look at the pros and cons of both puppies and adult dogs. Through understanding the key advantages and disadvantages of each, it will then be easier to work out which would best suit one’s individual circumstances.

Getting a Puppy – Pros and Cons

As anyone who has ever had a puppy will know, they can be fantastic fun and incredibly demanding at the same time. There is also much enjoyment from seeing a puppy grow, develop and learn new tricks or commands. Further advantages of getting a puppy include that it is likely one will be able to spend many years together and to an extent, puppies are typically easier to train, before they have had a chance to pick up or develop bad habits.

In Dog Basics, Davis (2007) identifies some key disadvantages associated with choosing a puppy, to include the following:

  • Will not have been neutered
  • Young children will need supervision
  • Some puppies struggle with busy family environments
  • Puppies demand constant attention, just like babies
  • Toilet/house training can be hard work

Those wishing to have a puppy would do well to spend time with someone who owns a puppy, in order to see just how much work this involves. It is also often the case that the first few nights are particularly difficult for both puppy and owner, as the puppy will not be used to sleeping alone, after having constantly been with its brothers and sisters for the first two months.

Choosing an Adult Dog – Pros and Cons

Although the idea of looking after a cute, little puppy is usually more appealing than starting off with a larger adult dog, there are several key advantages to choosing an adult rather than a puppy. The biggest advantage of adult dogs is that they are not as demanding or time-consuming, making it a better option for those who already lead hectic lives. Most adult dogs have usually been neutered and hopefully will also be fully house-trained and used to being around other people and animals.

Disadvantages related to opting for an adult dog, as identified by Davis (2007), may typically include the following:

  • Limited lifespan depending on dog’s age
  • May take more time to bond with family and other pets
  • Possibility of illness or an established condition
  • May have undesirable behaviour traits

As highlighted above, before buying a dog, consider whether a puppy or older dog would best fit in with one’s lifestyle and family circumstances. Remember, that while puppies are cute and fun to play with, they are also fairly demanding and will require house-training and obedience-training. Adult dogs will usually have been socialised and house-trained, but may have picked up undesirable behaviours.

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