There is an unfortunate aversion to adopting an older dog in our culture and I cannot figure out the reason why. So, in this post we’ll explore the pros and cons to adopting a puppy and an adult dog.

Adopting a Puppy


You get to experience the joys of puppyhood

You can start with a clean slate-you can nip unwanted behaviors in the bud quickly

Puppies naturally look for leadership and may respond to yours more quickly than an adult dog

Children bond quickly with puppies

Your responsibilities for caring for a puppy lasts throughout its entire life


Puppies need a lot of training, training, and training

Puppies can be destructive as they learn their boundaries and go through the teething process

Puppies need all their vaccinations and when they become of age, they need to be spayed/neutered

Your responsibilities for caring for a puppy lasts throughout its entire life

Adopting an Adult Dog


Shorter care commitment

Most already know basic training commands

Most are potty trained

Most are well-mannered and know what is acceptable behavior

Most have already been spayed/neutered and will only need vaccination boosters

You can easily see your dog’s temperament and adult physique

You have the honor to care for a dog with love no matter what it’s past

You can, if you wish, immediately involve yourself and your dog in activities that puppies cannot participate in such as agility, therapy, and competitions


You miss out on having a “cute, little” puppy

Shorter care commitment as they will live shorter than an adopted puppy

You usually can’t investigate the temperament of your dog’s parents

It is sometimes harder for a new dog owner to trust an adult dog vs. a puppy