Which age is right for you?
Puppies up to a year: Puppies are not for everyone and they require a much bigger commitment from an adopter than an adult dog. Please research everything you can about puppy raising, about vaccine schedules, the dangers of taking your puppy on any public surface before they are fully vaccinated, socialization both with other healthy puppies, dogs and with people of all ages, skin types, genders and children. Did you know that the first twelve weeks of a puppy's life is crucial socializing time? If you have not bought your puppy from a reputable breeder or from a pet store,you may be buying a puppy that already has some negative social imprints. The socialization (or lack thereof) in these early weeks is going to determine the type of temperament your adult dog will one day have. Puppies are not recommend for homes with very small children as puppies have razor sharp "needle teeth" until their adult teeth grow in. Anyone who has raised a puppy before knows to be prepared for puncture wounds, scratches and the chewing/ripping of clothes, shoes, couches, pillows, slipcovers, curtains, anything within reach of a puppy is prime for teething on. Very young children need to be directly supervised by an adult one hundred percent of the time.
One to three years: This is their tween years, adolescence and early adult. These are dogs that will need a lot of activity and exercise (much like a puppy) and a commitment by an active adult who can make the time for daily walking, hiking, jogging, going to the beach or the park. If you are aiming to get a young dog like this, be prepared for the extra commitment of time on a daily basis that you will have to make for exercise. Even if you have a backyard, additional walking and exercise is necessary for a healthy and happy dog who will be able to settle down and be mellow indoors. People with busy lives should really consider if a dog this young is right for their lifestyle and if they have enough free time every day to give the dog what they need.
Four to six years: This begins the true adult years and many adopters find getting an adult dog is much easier, especially first time dog owners. These dogs still need daily exercise, but are past their wild adolescent days of being hyper. Often dogs at this age have already been house trained and may even know some basic obedience depending on whom owned them before.We recommend an adult dog for just about anyone. People whom have raised puppies in the past often go for an adult dog the next time around, only because they know how much work a younger dog can be and now they just want to fast forward to the easier and more rewarding stage of an adult dog's life.
Seven to nine years: Another great age group, especially for someone looking for an easy fit into their lifestyle. These are dogs that still need walking, but not the fast paced cardio walking like the younger dogs. These dogs enjoy a quick paced walk, but still stop to smell the flowers along the way. We have discovered that many of the dogs in their mid-adult years make really nice companions for just about anyone, first time dog owners, long time dog owners, homes with families and other dogs. It always seems to be that when we have a dog in this age group, we are all wondering why someone gave up such a great dog. Just a lot of really good good dogs can be found in this age range, and would make a nice match for nearly any home.
Ten years and older: This is the age range where we find that really remarkable adopters will open up their homes to a dog approaching their late middle age and senior years. Some of us love those grey faces and can't get enough of them! Adopting a senior dog can not only be a really positive experience, it is a way to give back and be of service. Adopting a senior dog is rewarding in so many ways, that only you will know when your heart is moved by the trusting eyes of an older dog who gives you their paw or a stinky breathed kiss. An older dog who has had their heart broken in the past, been sitting in a shelter through no means of their own it is just where their life has taken them. They bond much quicker at this age and are so grateful for a kind word, a soft bed, a reliable and stable routine. Perhaps their owner passed away, or moved away or lost their job and their home? Perhaps this older dog has been loyal to someone their entire lives, only to have their love rejected by someone who was not worthy of a dog so special? If you already have a dog, adding an older dog to your family is not that difficult. They are generally quiet, sleep a lot and demand very little of you. They just want to be loved and have a safe place to live out their golden years. We are all going to be seniors one day and as much as we will one day need compassion and good care, so are these dogs. Right here, right now, they need adopters more than any other dogs!
When buying puppies, please make a commitment to research the breeder. You must be able to meet the parents in person, see where the litters have been born and find out what kind of puppy socialization the breeder intends to do, find out if the breeder has done medical screening on the parents and find out how long the breeder intends to keep the litter mates together for socialization. For every pet store puppy that you "buy", you are supporting a market where animals are treated as a product - a commodity to be bred and sold for profit. Only one out of ten pet store puppies born, will live to see a full life. Maybe you are that one responsible person who will make a life long commitment to your pet store puppy, but you may not realize that nine other dogs will have to suffer because of your purchase. You will never see them or know them or hear of their fate - but it is the reality of animal breeding. No ETHICAL breeders sell their animals to pet stores. Check out a news story about where pet stores buy their puppies from.