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When you decide to Adopt a Dog - Part 3
Continued from How to Adopt a Dog from a
Shelter Part 2
7. Do I want a puppy or an adult dog?
If you want a puppy then you are of the same mind as about a
million other people. For that reason, finding a puppy at a
shelter can be hard to nearly impossible because most
everyone has the same idea in mind. Most puppies found at
shelters are mixed breeds. There are some advantages to
mixed breeds, which usually have a hardier constitution and
are less likely to have genetic defects than full bred
But with full bred puppies you have a better chance of
getting what you expected. With a mixed breed you can't be
sure of which of its relatives exactly your dog is going to
take after. And with a puppy you can't be sure of how big
your puppy is going to get. Most mixed breed puppies are
bigger than their parent dogs breeds. If you have a size
restriction then getting a mixed puppy is probably not the
way to go.
But, getting a mix breed adult dog that is well trained and
has a good temperament can eliminate the messy puppy phase
and training phase for your dog and give you a partner with
little effort on your part. You also will know whether the
dog has a temperament issue or some kind of genetic defect.
Also the dog will already be full grown so you will know the
size of the dog and that it will stay at that size.
The problem with getting an adult dog is that you don't know
the trouble you will be borrowing. Some adult dogs have
psychological problems that won't be apparent until you take
them home. Shelter personnel do their best to screen dogs
and only put up for adoption the dogs that are suitable for
adoption and that have passes temperament tests, but every
now and again a problem one will slip through.
Be aware that an adult dog may have been abused, may be
still untrained, may be sick or have a genetic defect. No
matter what dog you bring home, whether it's a puppy or a
full grown adult, there may be unforeseen issues that may
come up in the future. Do not take home a dog unless you are
willing to put time and care into the well being of that dog
for ten years or more.
8. What kind of training do I intend to
give the dog or has
the dog already had?
Keep in mind that if you want to do obedience trials or
teach your dog more advanced tricks like getting your
slippers you will need a tractable and intelligent dog breed
Some of these breeds may fill the bill:
Poodle, German Shepherd Dog,
Australian Cattle Dog and Stumpy Tail Cattle
Note: These dogs range in size from small to large and some
in this category may be more tractable than other breeds.
Do your research.
Please see "Adopting a Dog from a Shelter - Part 4" for more
questions and help.
Keeping your Dog & Cat Healthy