“So…I’m getting a new dog.”
“Oooh, a puppy! What kind?”
“Well, not a puppy, actually…”
Puppies are warm bundles of adorable. They have puppy breath and the softest fur. Who doesn’t love a puppy?
Puppies are the automatic choice for most people who are interested in adding a dog to their families. But are they always the best choice?

Getting a dog successfully through its puppyhood is a major undertaking. Until a puppy is at least four months old, it will need a huge amount of time and energy from you every single day. Puppies have needle-sharp teeth they use on everything. They often need to be taken outside in the night to eliminate for the first few weeks in their new homes. They do not arrive with any house manners or training in place. A puppy must be carefully and knowledgeably house trained, socialized, and managed in order for it to grow into your dream dog.
A person or a family who might not have the time and energy to raise a puppy might still be a wonderful prospective home for a dog. Luckily, there is a great option for them: the Adult Dog Adoption Option.
Part 4 of my book “How to Find Your Dream Dog” discusses this option in detail: who might want to consider an adult dog; the pros and cons of an adult dog vs a puppy; where to find great adult dogs to adopt; and more.

Here are a few reasons to consider bringing an adult dog into your life:
1. Many adult dogs are already house trained. Often they need some guidance in their new home so that they understand where you want them to go and how to tell you they need to, but the process is generally quick and easy if they were house trained in their original home.
2. An adult dog might come with cues she already understands. Often adult dogs can already sit, lie down, come when called, and more.
3. An adult dog has an adult bladder and adult bowels. He is often able to stay home while you are at work or running errands, without needing to go outside until you get home.
4. An adult dog has an adult attention span. Even young puppies can learn to respond to cues, but they have baby attention spans and need lots of time and repetition to learn. Adult dogs can learn quickly. Training a new adult dog using today’s kind methods (such as clicker training) is easy and fun for both dog and family.
5. An adult dog, assuming it is in good physical condition, arrives ready to be your full-time companion. Puppies need many naps during the day. Their soft joints can be damaged if they are walked on hard surfaces or expected to exercise too much. An adult dog is ready to go for walks and hikes, to play jumping and running games that are too strenuous for puppies, and to relax and rest with you after playtime is over.
6. What you see is, pretty much, what you get. It’s difficult to know, from a puppy’s behavior, what type of dog it will grow up to be. With an adult, it has already become that dog. If it has the qualities you are looking for, chances are that will not change. Puppies must go all the way through puppyhood and adolescence (around 18 months for most dogs) before the adult dog makes its appearance.

It’s not just puppies who can become Dream Dogs. The next time you think about adding a canine companion to your household, consider the Adult Dog Adoption Option.

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