AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer Hilarie Erb has added several adult dogs to her home, in addition to puppies. She is pictured with her Greyhound, Fire, who is a retired racer that she adopted as an adult, and her Wire-haired Pointing Griffon, Mike, who joined her family as a puppy. Hilarie tell us the benefits of choosing an adult dog as your next companion.
Everybody knows that puppy breath is heavenly, but how about all the accidents and the needle-sharp teeth chewing on you and your stuff?
It’s all worth it in the end, but there’s another way for many prospective owners, especially those with busy schedules and limited training time: taking in an adult dog who can walk into your home ready to get right down to the business of showing you how glad he is to be your new best friend.
It’s a myth that an adult dog won’t bond with a new family. I have had puppies that grew into wonderful dogs, but over the years have also taken in four adults ranging in ages from 3 to 9 years at the times they came to me. I feel so lucky to have these dogs in my life and wouldn’t trade the time I’ve had with them for anything.
Speaking of myths, old dogs can learn new tricks. Dogs learn their whole lives, and it usually takes a very short time for an adult dog to adjust to a loving new home. If anything, the adult dogs bonded with me more quickly. Adult dogs can focus on you without getting distracted by all the things that are brand new to puppies.
Shelters and rescue groups always have adult dogs needing homes, and these are wonderful sources. But did you know that many top show breeders often have adult dogs available? If you are interested in a particular breed, do some research.
Look up the AKC national club for the breed in which you are interested and contact members who can put you in touch with breeders all over the country. These breeders will be just as careful placing adult dogs as they are their puppies, and if you are willing to consider a full-grown dog, you may not have to wait as long.
Sometimes a breeder has a retired champion he would like to place or a female who’s had a litter or two and won’t be bred again. This is a great way to get an amazing dog.
Additionally, AKC parent breed clubs all take in rescue dogs of their breed. The rescue dogs are fostered by club members, are usually adult dogs, and will have received any needed veterinary care.
Five reasons to get an adult dog rather than a puppy:
- They can hold it! Even if the dog is not housetrained, it’s usually a breeze to get him there because he has the physical maturity to “hold it” for several hours. Young puppies need to be taken out every two to three hours, not something most people who work can do. Housetraining is the number one reason owners call the AKC GoodDogHelpline!
- No puppy teeth! The adult dog is done with that – she is over the need to chew on you and everything in the house.
- Personality: You already know what his temperament is like.
- Size: You know how big the dog will be.
- Making a Dog Very Happy: You will make a deserving dog very happy. Don’t think you’re missing out on anything; there will be a little bit of puppy on the inside forever.