Puppy Versus Adult
You and the family have decided that it is the right time to welcome a canine addition to your household but do you opt for a puppy or an adult dog?
The first point to be clear about is to not assume that adult dogs are automatically better behaved because they have grown up; generally this is not the case. The problem is an adult dog has had longer to develop bad habits and these can be difficult to break, not impossible, but tricky.
With a puppy you can start from the beginning and shape their behaviour to suit you but you do need to start the training pretty much right away.
I have trained two puppies and one adult rescue dog over the years and some points the pups seemed to pick up quicker and others the adult dog picked up quicker. Toilet training was a harder task with the puppies than the adult but then I already had an adult dog living with me when I decided to adopt a rescue dog. Dogs will learn from each other which is great news when they are learning good behaviour and not so great when they are copying bad behaviour!
Having said this I had an adult dog when I brought a puppy home and all the pup wanted to do was play and not really learn anything constructive at all, he would follow the adult dog around and simply pounce on her tail when the mood took him!
Both puppies and adult dogs are very time consuming and require a huge amount of patience, the cost is basically the same as puppies will require their vaccinations to begin with but you may also need to have an adult dog vaccinated straight away if you are not certain if it has actually received its annual jabs. There will be then be the regular annual visits to the vets and obviously any visits for any other problems encountered.
Some people would advise against an adult dog if you have children saying that you do not know the dog’s personality and although this is true you can always spend time with your chosen dog prior to it living with you. If the dog is a rescue the centre will insist on this happening as they like every person who will be living with the dog to meet and interact with the dog before homing it. This is actually also a good idea if you are thinking about purchasing a puppy as you will have to go along and meet the pup, take the children with you if not on your initial visit then your second.
All dogs and puppies have different personalities and you cannot simply ‘label’ all rescue dogs as being a problem or all puppies as being the better option due to being easier to train to you. My adult rescue dog could not have a nicer personality if she tried whilst my other dog, who I trained from a puppy, can have his slightly snappy moments when he is protecting me. They are all different so take your time in deciding and spend as much time with your chosen canine chum prior to him/her living with you.
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