(Closed) Adopters please! When is the right time to adopt a dog?

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I adopted a 3 year toy poodle, and he was already housebroken, so I could leave him alone up to 10 hours (did this one time because of an emergency. usually he’s not alone more than 4 hours at a time).  A puppy will definitely need to be let out often, so I would look at older dogs that are already housebroken. 

Post # 4
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I have fostered a lot of dogs waiting for adoption, so I have a bit of experience with different ages (mine were pretty much all labs, so beagles may be different). My advice would be that rather than looking at a dog’s age, try to adopt a personality that would work well with your lifestyle.

Any age of dog with separation anxiety would be miserable, while you can have puppies, adolescent or adult dogs that are well adjusted to a bit of alone time. If you are working with a rescue group or a responsible shelter, a lot of them will be able to match you up if you tell them your concerns – it’s obviously best for the dog as well, so it’s important to them. One of the reasons we had foster homes (besides it being better for the pups) is that the foster parent could identify personality traits that would make it more or less suitable for different environments (kids, cats, alone time, etc).

I hope that helps a little and good luck finding the right dog! So glad to see one will be getting a good, caring forever home.

Post # 5
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m so glad you want an older dog! Also that you want to wait until you have a house and a fenced-in yard. There are a ton of great, well-trained dogs out there that need a loving home. I think a dog 2 years or older would be good for your schedule. As a general rule, puppies and geriatric dogs need to be let out more often.

I second baliahi1029‘s opinion to find a dog that matches your lifestyle, and that dogs that have been fostered might be more predictable as to how they act in a home environment.

Post # 6
607 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I adopted my dog when he was about a year old, and he was already almost entirely housebroken. We were able to leave him home all day (8-5 ish) without any problems (he is a corgi mix). It was really great getting him at that age, I think– he was housebroken and didn’t have that crazy puppy energy, but still young enough that we have lots of good years ahead of us (he turns 10 this year!). He was crate trained when we got him, so we kept him in the crate when went out for the first 6 months or so, then slowly transitioned to no crate– not for him, he had no problem with the crate at all, but for us, because it was big and ugly 🙂 

Post # 7
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

We started with a foster dog, he was a year old.  He was housebroken which was awesome!!!  We decided to foster b/c this dog was being bounced around from boarding place to boarding place.  We figured we would foster him for a while and see how it went.  He is a boxer mix, and we just fell in love with him!!   a few months later we decided we were ready to take on the commitment 100% and that we could not give up our foster, so we addopted him!!!

Fostering is a great way to test if you are ready!

I had a m-f job and i was able to run home during lunch to walk the dog, he was fine with it and happy to see me.  Fiance works shift work so he was home sometimes during the day.  I got a new job and now we are both on shift work.  Sometimes we both work 12 hour shifts and my mom or his mom will take him for a sleep over or stop by and let him out, he loves that too!! 

Post # 8
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I got my shih tzu as a 6 mos. old puppy.  And, he turned out to be a handful.  I think that your age range is perfect!  My dog was trained by 3-5 yrs old and he was able to be left at home at that age.  I also think that finding a dog that does not being crated while you’re not at home is something to consider, too.  //  Good luck!

Post # 9
8330 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If you can come home for lunch and have a little potty and play time a puppy is doable. You may have some accidents at first but that’s totally typical of any puppy. If you don’t want to worry about housebreaking and such then I would go with an adult dog. I think any age is fine as long as the temperament is a good match for your household.

Post # 10
3943 posts
Honey bee

We adopted our 5 year old about 1 year after buying our house. Our schedule is exactly like yours-leaving at 7:30 and home at 5 but our dog is AMAZING. She was trained when we got her so we walk her right before we leave in the morning and as soon as we get home.

We got her on a Friday so we were able to spend the whole weekend with her, which helped her settle in. There is always a bit of an adjustment period with any dog, but we have had nothing but positive experiences. She is our baby 🙂

Post # 11
7293 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Definately adopt an older dog!  (3 + depends on breed) Plus those are usually the ones in desperate need of a home. Puppies are alot of work if you want to raise one up right. The beauty of the older dog is it usually can hold its potty, has house manners and even basic obedience completed.

Get a dog when you have a house with a fence. Most adoption places/rescues usually require fencing depending on the breed.

I also second on looking into a dog that has been fostered, for it gives you a really good indication as to how they behave in the home.

Post # 12
5371 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016

I think age and breed are two things to consider. Certain breeds are more prone to separation anxiety and obviously puppies and younger dogs are going to require more of your time and will probably need more training.

When you adopt usually you fill out a form that asks questions about your lifestyle, schedule, house, what you’re looking for in a dog, etc. Then they match some dogs to you. They’re very careful to give a dog the home that best suits its needs and they want to make sure that you get the type of pet you’re hoping for and feel you can best manage. They’ll definitely guide you through this process and they know the dogs’ personalities and will be able to help you choose one (:


Post # 13
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

we do not have a fence or a back  yard, we have a one bedroom condo, and our Boxer does really well!!  The rescue did not mind that we did not have a yard.  we have extra large windows that he loves to look out of, we take him on long walks and to the dog park.  He also plays with another dog that lives down the hall, they run around in the hallway and he just has so much fun!!  So a yard is not a must, there are alternatives to having a back yard!

Post # 15
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

We adopted our lab mix when she was about 1.5 years old (and already housebroken).  She is left at home alone during the workday from 8am – 6pm and has been perfectly fine since the day we got her.

We started her off in a crate but eventually (once we knew we could trust her to behave) gave her free reign of the whole apartment (and now our whole house).

Post # 16
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

If you plan on getting a Beagle but have never personally owned one I’d like to note these things.
Keep in mind that there is always an exception but with Beagles these are some of the things you can/will encounter.

1) Beagles LOVE to eat. Actually that’s an understatement. Beagles LIVE to eat. There is nothing in a Beagle’s head that says, “Hmmm I’m not hungry anymore, I should stop eating.” They eat, then explode. Because of this tendency to overeat it’s VERY important to regulate their food and exercise. A high quality, grain free diet(or preferably raw diet) with very regular exercise will help keep your Beagle trim. Nothing will keep you in a vet’s office more than a fat Beagle.

2) Beagles are loud. Sure there are some that bark but don’t howl and there are some that howl but don’t bark. There are even some that don’t vocalize much at all but this is NOT the norm. They were bred to be vocal and boy do they enjoy it. This is something to consider because neighbors don’t often enjoy an endlessly howling/barking Beagle and just because the dog is in the house that doesn’t mean can’t sometimes be heard.

3) They follow their nose. This is their benefit and detriment. This makes them expert trackers but it also makes them harder to train because they are easily distracted. Even if you get an older Beagle, training and socialization are very important. In order to see more success during training I refer you back to point #1 Beagles LOVE food. The best way to train a Beagle is the appeal to the hungry beast. With food you can train them to compose a symphony or write a great sonnet.
This also means you are unlikely to have a Beagle who can be trusted off leash. Once they catch a scent they are on the move and unlikely to hear you calling for them.

4) Beagles are pack animals. This is great but it also means they are far more prone to seperation anxiety. It’s just not normal for them to be away from all the members of their pack for long periods of time. Every Beagle I have ever owned has had some sort of seperation anxiety. The mild cases have included chewing on furniture while the more extreme cases have included chewing their paw pads off, pulling hair out,and diving through glass windows in an attempt to get to me faster. Each of these situations required a different level of retraining.This can also be helped by long walks with one or all of the family members everyday. A tired Beagle is a happy Beagle.

5) Beagles will become quite lazy if you let them. They are quite nosey but if you let them they will sleep most of the day. It’s important to keep an active Beagle active. Lazy Beagles will pack out weight no matter how much or little you feed them and once a lazy Beagle becomes a lazy Beagle it’s hard to get them active again.

6) They enjoy digging. Even a small hole in the backyard can be a potential risk. Be aware that most Beagles will dig and you will most likely fall in a hole or two.
I’ve sprained my ankle twice by falling in Beagle holes.

Despite all of that a properly raised and cared for Beagle is even tempered and has a very joyful personality. Their pack orientation generally makes them very good family pets. They are playful, goofy, cuddly, and absolutely adorable.
I’ve had a variety of breeds and have never experienced things I’ve experienced with my Beagles. They will push your buttons, drive you crazy, make you laugh and snuggle with you when you need it most. They make excellent foot wamers, pillows, and heated blankets. They love people and are one of the easier dogs I’ve had to deal with when it comes to socialization with other animals. They are hardy dogs and while they are prone to certain disease/defects(cheery eye, seizures, diabetes) they aren’t a sickly breed.

It sounds to me like you guys would be able to provide a wonderful home and I wish I could hug you for considering an older dog. Puppies are cute but they are so easy to place. Everyone wants something cute, cuddly, and little. But there is something special and important to be said about an older dog who has an established personality.

Good luck and hope you find the right dog for your home.

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