10) In a Word--Housebroken.
With most family
members gone during the work week for 8 hours or more, housetraining a puppy and its small bladder can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent opportunities to eliminate where you want them to. They can't
wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from after school activities. An adult dog can "hold it" much more reliably for longer time periods, and usually the Rescue has him housebroken before
he is adopted.
9) Intact Underwear.
With a chewy puppy, you
can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the "rag bag" before he cuts every tooth. And don't even think about shoes! Also, you can expect holes in your carpet
(along with the urine stains), pages missing from books, stuffing exposed from 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 sheepdog can
usually have the run of the house without destroying it.
8) A Good Night's Sleep.
Forget the alarm
clocks and hot water bottles, a puppy can be very demanding at 2am and 4am and 6am. He misses his littermates, and that stuffed animal will not make a puppy pile with him. If you have children, you've been there and done that.
How about a little peace and quiet? How about an adult rescue dog??
7) Finish the Newspaper.
With a puppy
running amok in your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work? Do you think your kids will really feed him, clean up the messes, take him for a walk in the pouring rain every hour to get him
housetrained? With an adult sheepdog, your dog will be leaning calmly against you, while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers as you pet him.
6) Easier Vet Trips.
Those puppies need
their series of puppy shots and fecals, then their rabies shot, then a trip to be altered, maybe an emergency trip or two if they've chewed something dangerous. Those puppy visits can add up (on top of what you paid for the
dog!). Your donation to Rescue when adopting an adult pup will get you a sheepie with all shots current, already altered, heartworm negative and on preventative at the minimum.
5) What You See Is What You Get.
will that puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an adult dog from a rescue, all of those questions are
easily answered. You can pick large or small; active or couch potato; goofy and/or brilliant; sweet or sassy. Rescue and its foster homes can guide you to pick the right match. (Rescues have many sheepies who became the wrong
match as they got older.)
4) Unscarred Children (and Adults).
puppy isn't teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and yourself. Rescue routinely gets calls from panicked parents who are sure their dog is biting the children. Since biting implies hostile intent
and would be a consideration whether to accept a "turn-in", Rescue Groups ask questions and usually find out the dog is being nippy. Parents are often too emotional to see the difference; but a growing puppy is going
to put everything from food to clothes to hands in their mouths, and as they get adult and bigger it definitely hurts (and will get worse, if they aren't being corrected properly.) Most adult dogs have "been there, done
that, moved on." Most rescue sheepies are fostered by volunteers experienced with the breed, and are evalutated for temperment.
3) Matchmaker Make Me a Match.
Puppy love is
often no more than an attachment to a look or a color. It is not much of a basis on which to make a decision that will hopefully last 15+ years. While that puppy may have been the cutest of the litter; he may grow up to be
superactive (when what you wanted was a couch buddy); she may be a couch princess (when what you wanted was a tireless hiking companion); he may want to spend every waking moment in the water (while you're a landlubber); or she
may want to be an only child (while you are intending to have kids or more animals). Pet mis-matches are one of the top reasons Rescue gets "turn-in" phone calls. Good rescues do extensive evaluating of both their
dogs and their applicants to be sure that both dog and family will be happy with each other until death do them part.
2) Instant Companion.
With an adult dog, you
automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you NOW. There's no waiting for a puppy to grow up (and then hope he will like to do what you enjoy.) You will have been able to select the most
compatible dog: one that travels well; one that loves to play with your friends' dogs; one with excellent house manners that you can take to your parents' new home with the new carpet and the new couch. You can come 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.)
1) Bond--Rescue Dog Bond.
Dogs who have been
uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new people. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go
through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving 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 all about, and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescues make exceptionally
affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions.
Unfortunately, many folks think dogs that end up in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon for Rescue to get very
expensive dogs that have either outlived their usefulness or their novelty with impulsive owners who considered their dog a possession rather than a friend or member of the family; or simply did not really consider the time,
effort and expense needed to be a dog owner. Not all breeders will accept "returns", so choices for giving up dogs can be limited to animal welfare organizations, such as Rescues, or the owners trying to place their
own dogs. Good Rescues will evaluate the dog before accepting him/her (medically, behaviorally, and for breed confirmation), rehabilitate if necessary, and adopt the animal only when he/she is ready and to a home that matches
and is realistic about the commitment necessary to provide the dog with the best home possible.
Choosing a rescue dog over a purchased pup will not solve the pet overpopulation problem (only responsible pet owners and breeders can do that), but it
does give many of them a chance they otherwise would not have. But, beyond doing a "good deed", adopting a rescue dog can be the best decision and addition to the family you ever made. Rescue
a dog and get a devoted friend for life!
This article was modified from one published by Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc at http://www.lrr.org