1. Have you really thought about what getting a puppy means?

2. Puppies are not housebroken! Most people work during the day and are gone for 8 hours or more at a time. Puppies need to go out on a regular schedule so they have frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them to. Puppies can’t wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from school. Adult dogs can “hold it” for longer periods and, often, a Rescue will have the dog housebroken before it is adopted.

3. Intact Underwear. Puppies chew! You can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the “rag bag” before a puppy cuts all its teeth. Shoes? Yes, puppies like to chew them also. Expect holes in your carpet (along with urine stains), backs and pages missing from books, stuffing exposed in couches, and at least one dead remote control. No matter how well you watch them, it will happen. This is a puppy’s job! An adult dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.

4. A Good Night’s Sleep. A puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. Puppies naturally miss their littermates and a stuffed animal is not a substitute for puppy pile with littermates in the dark of night. Prefer peace and quiet, an adult rescue dog usually sleeps through the night?

5. Finish the Newspaper. With a puppy loose in the house, you will NOT be able to relax when you get home from work. Do you think kids ever really feed the dog? Clean up the messes? Walk in the pouring rain every hour to get the dog housetrained? If so, you probably have a severe case of denial. An adult dog will generally sit calmly beside you as your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet it.

6. Easier Vet Trips. Puppies need a series of puppy shots and fecals, then a rabies shot, then surgery to spay/neuter them, and generally a trip or two to the emergency vet after eating something dangerous. (All of this usually adds up to substantially more than you paid for the dog!) When adopting an adult dog, the adoption fee should get you a dog with current vaccinations, this is altered, heartworm negative and on a preventative, at the minimum.

7. What You See Is What You Get. How big will the dog get? What will its temperament be? Is it easily trained? What will its personality be like as an adult? Will it be hyperactive? Adult dogs are, to steal a term from Internet lingo, WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get.) All of your questions are easily answered, because the dog is already an adult. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sassy or sweet. Further, the rescuer and/or foster homes can help guide you in choosing just the right match for you. (Rescues are FULL of puppies who became the wrong match as they got older!)

8. Unscarred Children (and Adults). If a puppy does not teeth on your possessions, it will teeth on you and your children. Rescuers often get calls from panicked parents sure their dog is about to seriously injure their children. It usually turns out the puppy is just doing what puppies do, i.e., mouth or nip. Parents, too emotional to see the difference, just want to get rid of the dog. A growing puppy is going to put anything and everything in their mouth. It must be taught bite inhibition. As the puppy grows, the puppy’s jaws become stronger and its teeth are replaced by its adult teeth. The mouthing and nipping it did as a puppy now can have serious consequences. Far better to get an adult dog that has “been there, done that, moved on.”

9. Matchmaker Make Me A Match. Puppy love is emotionally appealing. They are so cute! But, in reality, cute is not a sufficient reason to get a pet, a pet that will probably live 15+ years. It may be cute, but cute can grow up to be hyperactive. It may be not want to share your home with anyone else, including your spouse, children, or other animals. It may want to be a couch potato, when the main reason you got the dog was to run with you every day. Pet/owner miss-matches are the MAIN REASONS owners “give-up” their pets. 60% of the animals in shelters nationwide are there for this reason. Good rescuers extensively evaluate of dogs and applicants to insure both will be happy with one another until death do them part.

10. Instant Companion. With an adult dog, you have a dog that can go everywhere and do anything with you NOW. You don’t have to wait until the puppy grows up and hope it will like to do what you to do with it. With an adult rescue, you select the dog most compatible with you. You can find one that travels well, loves to play with your friends’ dogs, has excellent house manners, etc. You can come home after a long day’s work and spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride, or swim with your new best friend (rather than cleaning up after a small puppy.)

11. Bond – Rescue Dog Bond. Dogs that have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are likely to bond very closely to their new owner. Yes, dogs that have lost families through death, divorce or lifestyle change can go through a mourning process; however, once they become attached to their new family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again! Those dogs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets, life on the end of a chain, or worse, is about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptional extremely loyal companions.

Sadly, some people seem to think dogs that end up in rescue are genetically or behaviorally inferior. In reality, rescues get dogs that have outlived their novelty with impulsive owners who really did not have the time, energy or willingness to shoulder either the responsibility or expense required to be a good dog owner.

Choosing an adult rescue over a puppy does not guarantee you will never have any problems with a new pet, it just increases the probability that you won’t. Of course, with any new pet, there is an adjustment period while the dog learns what you expect of it. The difference is that an adult dog, specially chosen for various traits compatible with you and your home situation, are not having to learn as much as a growing puppy, so they usually fit into their new families very quickly. For most of us, an adult dog is much more suited to our needs than a puppy.

Cute as they are, puppies are a tremendous responsibility and, with the busy schedules that most of us have, impossible to housebreak completely, socialize well, and train adequately. If you are not able or willing to do what is necessary to raise a puppy correctly, you may end up wanting to surrender a dog yourself!
Adopting an adult rescue can be the best decision, and addition to your family, that you ever make. Rescue a dog and get a devoted friend for life! Go ahead, do a “GOOD DEED,” adopt a dog in need of a home. Give a dog a chance it otherwise would not have. But, beyond doing a “good deed”, do yourself a favor and adopt an adult dog.