If, after reading through part 1 and part 2 of this series, you have determined that you are ready for a dog and are capable of caring for one, we can now narrow down your choices. Some people know the kind of dog they wish to get and where to find him, while others don’t. Whichever one you are, we’ll look through the most important issues to consider.
Should I get an Adult Dog or Puppy?
Advantages of getting a puppy
There is no need to wonder why a lot of people want to get a puppy. They are some of the most adorable little creatures on the planet. Also, there are some advantages to getting a dog at this stage of his life. For starters, you are in a great position to teach your dog the behaviours you want him to exhibit. You can stop emerging bad habits, before they become manifest completely. There is also the wonderful feeling of caring for another being from a young age.
Disadvantages of getting a puppy
Keep in mind that there are just as many (if not more) disadvantages as there are advantages when getting a puppy.
- Puppies require a lot more initial care than adult dogs.
- The time commitment is absolutely massive, and often leave new dog owners sleep deprived and frustrated.
- Puppies are not house-trained in the least.
- They also need to be walked very often.
- They have yet to learn bite inhibition, leading to the potential devouring of furniture and clothing.
Tolerance and patience are greatly needed during the puppy phase.
Advantages of getting an adult dog
Let’s now look at the advantages of adopting an adult dog. For one thing, their bladders have developed more, so they can hold it in longer, making house-training easier. Some adult dogs have already been completely trained. Not only house-trained, but trained to be sociable and respectful to other dogs and people. They don’t play bite as much. Also, some of the greatest dogs in the world are those that have spent countless years in the shelter. They are just waiting for the right person to come along and give them a wonderful, loving home.
Disadvantages of getting an adult dog
Adult dogs that have not had behavioural training may not have been socialized properly as puppies. This can make them less confident in situations that they are not familiar with. For example, some dogs have a fear of men, simply because they were not exposed to them as a puppy. Bad habits will likely be more established, making the habits harder to break.
Take a hard look at the pros and cons of having an older dog versus a puppy. Do not underestimate the time commitment a puppy needs. If you have the time and patience, then either will make a perfect new addition to your family.
Does Size Really Matter?
We all have our preferences when it comes to choosing between different kinds of dogs. Some people only want a tiny dog that they can carry around in their handbag. Others believe that the bigger the dog, the better. Let’s look at a few reasons to consider a dog’s size.
- Large dogs require a larger area to exercise. A generalization, but often true.
- Small dogs live longer. Life expectancy of a Chihuahua – eighteen years. Life expectancy of a Bernese Mountain Dog – six to nine years. Of course, there are many variables which will affect the life span of a dog.
- Larger dogs cost more to care for. Larger dogs eat more than small dogs. While you can feed a small dog half a cup of kibble a day, a large dog can eat 10 times that. They also burn through toys and grooming accessories a lot faster.
- Portability. Smaller dogs are more convenient to carry around. You can even bring small dogs along with you on certain aircraft that permit it.
- Warding off unwanted visitors. A large dog sitting at your door is going to be a much bigger deterrent to a would-be thief than a tiny pug.
- Small dogs are much easier to control. There is quite a difference between trying to walk a jump crazed, lunging 10-pound Maltese, compared to a ninety-pound Caucasian Shephard Dog with the same behavioural issues. Think about whether or not you can contain and control a larger dog.