Should I buy a puppy or adopt an adult dog?

Should I buy a puppy or adopt an adult dog?

Tagged in: adopt , buying , dog , puppy Author: Dr Robyn Chandler

Before buying a new puppy or adopting an adult dog, here are our Pro's and Con's to consider for each.


Buying a puppy?



You get a dog with a ‘clean slate’ for you to train and develop the behaviours you desire.

You have to start from scratch teaching them EVERYTHING, including toileting. Hard work! Puppies are chewers, they destroy household items and injure themselves more often than adult dogs (so more vets bills).

Not likely to have any phobias or traumatic life experiences

You don’t know what their inherent temperament will be, some dogs are naturally anxious/boisterous/ dominant/aloof/clingy etc.

You can do the best for them in terms of diet, dental care, vaccinations and worming protocols from day one.

Vaccinations, neutering and other preventative care cost money.

You have a better idea about the genetics of your dog, what the temperament, genetic test results and hip scores of the parents were

Expensive to purchase (pure breed puppies can be several thousand pounds), especially ones that come from good homes

Will have a longer life expectancy (because they’re younger)

You may inadvertently be supporting unscrupulous breeding practices such as puppy farming


You have no idea how big the dog is going to get, especially with mixed breeds.



Adopting an adult dog:





They are usually already trained and housebroken.

They may have bad habits or undesirable behaviours that are hard to break.

An adult dog has a developed temperament, it’s easier to see what type of personality they have and whether you like it. Shelters usually ensure that they are homing out ‘safe’ dogs.

They may have had experiences, which give them phobias and idiosyncracies that will remain for life.

Rescue centres have usually already vaccinated and neutered them, this saves you time and money

They may have had poor nutrition while growing which will predispose them to things like arthritis

No purchase cost, usually just a token amount to cover some of the charity’s costs

You don’t know about their medical history or genetics

You are definitely supporting a good cause! And giving a happy ending to a sad tale.

Will have a shorter life expectancy, especially if adopting an older dog

You can see if an adult dog is a suitable size for your needs



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