Thinking of getting that puppy in the window? Here are several good reasons you may want to go past the puppy (even though he really is cute) and look at the adult dogs that are up for adoption instead. An adult dog might actually be a better fit for your family for a number of reasons.
1. An adult dog has a more predictable personality.
Everyone is a little nervous when picking out a new dog for the family. Is the new dog going to adjust to the family cat okay? What about your frequent house guests? You may think that getting a puppy is the way to go because you can train the puppy to react the way that you want—but puppies, like people, come with their own personalities. All the training in the world can't overcome issues that come down to the puppy's basic personality and temperament.
Most of the adult dogs that are sitting in shelters have a "known" biography and they probably aren't there because they were a "bad" dog that was biting. The number one reason that a dog ends up in a shelter is because the owners are moving. The number two reason is that a landlord won't allow them to keep the dog. Most of these dogs have enough clearly developed personality traits that you can tell which dog is too shy for your boisterous family and which lazy fellow is perfect for your Dad to take fishing.
2. Adult dogs often come with basic training.
Puppies are wonderful balls of fluff that are a lot of fun—except for that whole housebreaking business. If you aren't looking forward to weeks or months of waking up every two hours every night to take a pup with an underdeveloped bladder outside and don't want to go through the experience of becoming all-too-familiar with the carpet cleaning products carried by your local grocery store, an adult dog may be the best choice for you.
Most adult dogs were family pets once—which means that they've likely mastered the concept of "outside is where you do your business" and they probably have down a few of the more basic commands, like "sit." If you don't have the time or energy to devote to training a pup, an adult dog that already grasps the basics could make a much more seamless fit into your life.
3. An adult dog is ready to be a companion.
Puppies are still exploring the world and figuring out what things like grass and cookies are. They're not the companions that people think of, especially if you're grieving and missing a dog that has recently died. If you're looking for a dog that already has a grip on the world and is more interested in cuddling with you, an adult dog that has already known—and lost—the joy of human companionship may be a far superior choice to a puppy.
If you're heading out to adopt a dog this weekend—why don't you pass by the puppies and give an adult dog a second chance at a family?