So, You’re Ready for a Dog?
Puppy, Adolescent, Adult or Senior?
Puppies – Under 9 Months of Age
Do you –
- work from home?
- Work a split shift schedule, or have a partner who is home or works an opposite shift?
- Can you take a dog to work?
- Do you have children over 12 years of age at home when you are not?
- Have you ever lived with a dog/dogs before?
- Are you willing to have a puppy out in the world to socialize it?
Possibly a puppy would be a good choice for your family or household, especially if you don’t mind getting up several times a night for the next six months while your puppy learns about housebreaking.
Do you –
- have a sense of humor about training and possibly losing “important” items around the house?
- have patience and have a realistic view about a dog being a dog?
Then consider a puppy.
Carefully examine your lifestyle and activity level in your home. Carefully research the breed you are interested in for a dog under six months of age. A call to this office can give you more information.
Adolescents – 9 – 15 Months of Age
If you’d like to get a little sleep with your new companion, yet want to experience a “puppy”, this age is usually able to sleep through the night, and is less apt to view your house as a personal gym.
- work a normal 6-8 hour day, can come home for lunch, or have a partner who can
- are willing to live with a “16” year old who is “experimenting with life”, is immortal and knows everything
- are willing and able to get right out to obedience or agility classes
Then this age may be right for you. Please understand that a “rescued” dog of this age, unneutered or unspayed and untrained will take some patience and family togetherness to structure the dog’s lifestyle and catch it up to becoming a good citizen. Research your breed of choice, check out obedience and/or agility trainers in your area (word of mouth is best for this), then grab hold of the roller coaster and climb on – an adolescent has just come into your life.
Adults – 1-6 Years of Age in Most Breeds
- Do you work an 8-hour day but long for a quality relationship?
- Are you willing to get a dog outside before the first cup of coffee, yet not wonder if its “gone potty”?
- Do you need a little less activity, yet like long walks and interaction in the yard?
- Do you want the pleasure of being able to leave the dog alone and come home to a house that is the same as you left it?
- If you adopt an adult dog, are you willing to give it time to adjust and willing to polish up their training (or give it its first training in some cases)?
- Do you have children that haven’t had a dog before?
A steady adult dog of known history (although never left unattended with a child under 6 years old) is a good choice. Children under 5 are very touch on dogs – eye level, fast moving and not respectful of “personal space”. Very careful choice of an individual dog is very important.
A dog can be the best thing for a family or the worst for the dog and the family. Being patient is critical both in choice and once you get a dog home. A consultation can be set up at your convenience to discuss your needs.
Senior Dogs: Six Years of Age Plus
Senior dogs are often overlooked for puppies or younger dogs. They are generally the easiest to come into your home and still bond with you quickly. Seniors are an excellent choice for a first time dog in your life. Many seniors lose their owners and are catapulted into a stressful shelter environment – dazed and confused many times they become depressed.
Many are well-trained, housebroken and have vet procedures up to date. They are quiet in the home and are content to be couch potatoes. In many cases they are a great choice for senior people that want companionship but are unable to do advance training or hve physical constraints for activity. Many small breed seniors live well into their teens in good health.
A senior dog is generally a pleasure to live with, they will need a patient adjustment period, but it is well worth it.
Again, if you have any questions about which age is right for you, a consultation can be set up and I can answer your questions for you, and help you to make the right choice for your home.