Everyone loves puppies. Even me, although fostering this last litter reminds me of why I had started to take the older dogs instead of litter after litter of puppies. They are destructive, untrained, little beasts – who are now learning to bark, so add noisy to that list.
Yes, puppies are great. But think of all the extra training they require. The destruction they can leave. The crying and whining. Puppies are a lot of work.
Adopting Older Dogs
Older dogs are great animals to adopt. Whether they are younger adults, or seniors. Older dogs are great to adopt too. Out of the destructive chewing and teething phase, a lot of times even housebroken already. Adopting an older dog has many benefits over adopting puppies.
1. Adopting and older dog saves lives.
Puppies fly out of shelters. People are puppy crazy, so puppies don’t stay at shelters very long. Older dogs, or any dog over 5 has a much harder time getting adopted. So when you adopt an older dog, you are saving his/her life.
2. Older dogs are already full grown.
Which means you know exactly what you’re getting. No more adopting a tiny little puppy that they say shouldn’t get to be more than 30 lbs and ending up with a 100 lb dog. With older dogs what you see is what you get. No surprises. You can adopt a mixed breed, but you can also find many purebred older dogs in shelters across the country.
3. Older dogs have less destructive behavior.
As mentioned above, most dogs that are over two are already out of the destructive chewing habits. And are no longer teething. Adopting an older dog will save your furniture, walls, trim and anything else that puppies may get their little teeth into.
4. Older dogs require much less training.
A lot of times the older dogs in the shelter are owner surrenders, and already housebroken and trained in basic manners. Especially if the dog was in foster care.
5. Older dogs are usually less high energy.
This kind of goes along with being less destructive. If you’re not an overly active family, and/or work full time, an older dog is content to lounge around most of the day. Although not all older dogs are lazy. I have a ten year old Jack Russell Terrier who hasn’t slow down much at all, compared to most dogs. Although compared to his puppy self, he has slowed down considerably. So now we only play fetch for 20 mins every morning, instead of 4 hours. What a relief! So compared to their puppy selves, older dogs are a lot less high energy.
6. Older dogs are great for instant companions.
They are usually already socialized, with much better manners than a puppy. You can take them out right from the start. Older dogs tend to settle in more quickly, without the longer adjustment period for the family. Yet, they still have the energy for long walks, playing fetch, working out. But they’re also just as content to snuggle on the couch.
7. Older rescue dogs are grateful for your love.
They truly are, and they show it. They seem to know that you saved them, and bond much more quickly than a never-sitting-still puppy. They show a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted dogs.
8. Older dogs are still very trainable.
And they tend to be a lot easier to train than puppies. They have the focus and attention span needed to work on more difficult commands and tricks. They are also a lot more eager to please than their puppy counterparts.
9. It’s much less expensive to adopt an older dog.
You’re not just saving money on the adoption fee. You’ll save money on all the things that they don’t chew up, or destroy. You’ll save money on training classes, and supplies. I’ve never had an older dog chew through their harness, or leash. But I’ve lost countless ones with the puppies I’ve fostered.
10. It’s easier to find the specific breed, size, etc. that you want with older dogs.
Puppies don’t last long in shelters. And finding the breed you’re looking for can take months or even years. Yet there are thousands of older dogs in shelters and rescues for you to choose from every day. If you’re looking for a certain breed of dogs, you’re much more likely to find an older dog that fits your requirements.