The Great Dog Debate

Luke On a Boat Ride in 2008, (c) Likeitiz

Luke On a Boat Ride in 2008, (c) Likeitiz

It has been more than a year since our beloved Gold Lab, Luke, passed on.  We are ready for a new friend and member of our family.  We have been looking at dog rescue sites and breeder sites as well.  Here’s the big debate:

Should we adopt a full-grown dog that needs a new home?  

OR  

Should we get ourselves a puppy?

A full-grown dog means we will be spared of the trials and tribulations of the toilet training, the crying at night, the endless chewing and some degree of property destruction.  Luke did chew a lot of our table and chair legs.  He also chewed off one of our walls, in particular the wall between the powder room and the family room.  There was a 4 X 5 inch gaping hole for a few weeks until we had to move out temporarily to renovate our house.  We’re done renovating our home — in this lifetime!

Luke at 4 months old, (c) Likeitiz

Luke at 4 months old, (c) Likeitiz

There is nothing like the unadulterated joy and quiet pleasure of raising a puppy to adulthood.  I look back at all of Luke’s various stages and I have such fond memories.

The idea of bringing home an older dog that has been given up by its owners, for whatever reason, is certainly very tempting.  We know we would give this dog a great home and family life.  We have a big yard to run around in.  We enjoy taking lots of walks and a dog would be a welcome companion, even our excuse to do it more often.  An adult dog is probably a lot more calm, hopefully laid back.  We’re pretty laid back when we’re at home.

There is the downside to grown dogs that their habits may be well-established and some may not be so great. We have talked to some foster families who have told us that the dog they have with them will require walking about three times a day because it’s “hyper.”  Another dog tends to whine the minute it is inside the kitchen or left alone for any period of time. Yet another likes to dig into pots.  It sounds like these behaviors can be changed with training.  It will all depend on how entrenched the behaviors are and how motivated an owner and pet are to changing.

Luke Lounging At Home, (c) Likeitiz

Luke Lounging At Home, (c) Likeitiz

We haven’t gone to meet any of these dogs being offered for adoption.  We might just bring them all home.  We haven’t gone to a breeder with pups either. We know we will not be going home empty-handed.  We have been surfing the Internet and making a few perfunctory calls for a few weeks now.

I want to ask you all, my friends and family, to weigh in on this.  What do you think?  Which route would be better?  Please do weigh in.  After all, you will be part of enjoying this new member of the family.

This entry was posted in Animal Rescue, dog, Gold Labrador, Pets, Puppies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Great Dog Debate

  1. Pingback: Beau At The Window | Not the Family Business!

  2. munchow says:

    There is no way any outsider can tell you what you should do. I just love the fact that you are considering adopting a dog that needs a new home at all. This is where my heart would go, but the experience of learning to know a dog from it’s a puppy is fantastic, as you know. Go with what you heart tells you!

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  3. eof737 says:

    I’m all for starting with another puppy but a trained adult is easier in some ways I suppose. Go with your heart and the decision will work out.

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  4. I’m all for adopting an adult dog (if your and their personalities seem to mesh well, of course)…good luck with your decision! Whichever way you go, I’m sure your heart will grow ten sizes when they become a part of your household 🙂

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  5. i vote for the adult dog too. they know and they never forget that you loved them enough to make them part of your home.

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    • likeitiz says:

      Thanks! I will look at the links. We’ve gone through being interviewed on the phone by rescue workers and pet foster caregivers. We even called our lab’s breeder and discovered he has moved. Sigh!

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  6. auntyuta says:

    We adopted a two-year old miniature fox-terrier and had her for fourteen years. We loved this dog but often we couldn’t take her along when we had to go somewhere. I think this was bad for the dog and maybe also for the neighbors. Anyhow, we decided then that we’d rather not have the responsibility of another dog. Very often we still talk about our lovely dog.

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  7. We’ve been contemplating for a while now of getting a dog also. But up to now, that’s what it is…..still contemplating. So I will be following on whatever you will decide on. Good luck!

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  8. Ps. My daughter back East rescued a Pit bull mix. The shelter estimated her dog was about 6 months old. This dog is the biggest love bug. My daughter was open to any age or breed, but this dog she calls “B” spoke to her heart. Happy Ever After 🙂

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  9. Before Maggie (got her as a puppy) I had two fabulous dogs that belonged to someone else before me. Scotty the Maltese was my shadow and dare say-my soulmate. When he died I was devastated. Annie (3 lb Yorkie) came after I had Scotty for about a year. When I knew Annie wouldn’t last the year due to old age I got Maggie as a puppy before Annie passed. Maggie helped me transition after the loss of Annie. Scotty and Annie were such wonderful companions and both were rescues with huge hearts. I think dogs find a person who needs them most. Maggie found me. She just happened to be a puppy. 😉

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  10. My dog was a rescue dog. Along with her came her issues. She was 6 months old, so still a pup, but one with emotional problems. Today she is great. The best dog I could ask for, but it took a while to get her there. I read all the Cesar Milan Dog Whisperer books, or most of them. My dog, prior to her, was a puppy when I got him. He chewed up my dining room table before I learned what he needed to be a good dog.
    There is no good answer.
    I think buying from a breeder is most reliable if you are particular. You can meet the parents, and choose a breed with the traits you prefer.
    You cannot get out of the work involved to blend the new addition into your family. Both a rescue dog and a puppy will require training. The work will pay off. Good luck on making your decision.
    If you’d like to meet my Lexie, here is her site: http://www.squidoo.com/meet-lexie-the-terrier-chihuahua-mix

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  11. Sometimes destiny has it’s way of deciding for us but if its me and seeing how happy your daughter looked with Luke as a puppy, I’ll get a puppy. There’s something rewarding about teaching someone from scratch the basics and see them grow. Of course, we need to stock the medicine cabinet with tylenol for those days of toilet training….have a great week.

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  12. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I like the idea of a rescue dog, there are so many out there! I had a golden retriever puppy when my children were little, bless her she was an angel, but she also trashed my kitchen!

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  13. I’d vote adult dog. I am also suffering dog withdrawals – we had ours since a pup and loved him to pieces but he had so many annoying habits 🙂 My sister has adopted an aged dog who is the most placid loving thing! No puppy training etc…maybe foster one for a weekend or two to see how it would fit in?

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  14. Having done both, I would vote for an adult dog every time. Make a list of what you’re looking for in your future dog as well as “deal breakers” that you can’t handle (such as a dog with a bite history, separation anxiety, etc). Hire a trainer to help you evaluate potential pets to make sure you get a dog who will fit your lifestyle. Not every adult dog in rescue has behavioral issues, and skipping that puppy stage is so nice. Good luck with your search!

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