Will Older Youngsters or dogs adjust and bond as well as puppies?
This is a legit question we get every day! "We want a puppy so it can bond with the kids and family". My answer has always been very consistent, There is no difference in the bonding ability of a puppy compared to a Youngster or an older dog, it all falls upon individual preference.
Some people want puppies because they do want to experience the "Fun" time of raising puppies, others say, "NO I want an older puppy so It's gone through all those bitting and difficult stages", and others want Older dogs who are settled and already mature enough to be instant Companions without the headache of going through all the "Puppy Stages"
AS many of you may know we have been in the Dog world for over 45 years and have been through all the stages you may imagine, Puppies, youngsters, adults, Oldies, and all have great benefits to offer each one of us.
When I started in Dogs, SURE I wanted a Puppy, that was the "Normal" dogma at that time, even tho we did lots of rescues as well, and the experience as a child to bring so many rescues to my home (my Mother was a True instinct animal Lover) through these experiences I was able to learn that definitely older dogs and puppies do Bond with the same intensity, loyalty, commitment and Dog Love.
Yes it was a big difference in everyday caring, raising a puppy takes more of our time, our sacrifice, needs more attention, and definitely, Structure, while the older dog seeks more of your companion and wants to offer it, has more sense of engagement, as a whole easy to explain, Puppies depend 100% on us to grow and develop, we are their givers and we are the ones who are responsible of what they will turn into. Older dogs are easier to care for and they have already matured to understand what is expected of them, I understand there are the "Flukes" that come with bad behavior patterns and then we have to work with them to transform them in great companions. And true if you identify an undesirable behavior in a puppy, this is like a kid (Eventho never compares a kid to a puppy..LOL) you need to address this IMMEDIATELY before it escalates to the point of almost no return and the dog ends going back to the breeder because they can't control it or finished in a Shelter pound (Worse nightmare)!
There are dogs like the ones we import from Europe who always come as either young adults or fully adults, on this bases, we are importing for our Breeding Program and we have always had a huge concern about the bloodlines we import, for we maintain ourselves in between the bloodlines who have proven to produce healthy dogs with great temperaments, Yes as I have repeated many times we do place a priority n the German SV standards, we do not breed out of the standards colors nor conformation, but we also give a strong emphasis to the final results of breeding the combination of bloodlines we already know for many generations that carry the virtues and characteristics we select for our Program. These dogs always come as adults, for we need to be certain they have had their hips and elbows certifications before they arrive in the USA.
These adult girls and studs live in full-time kennels in Europe, there is no individual super attention like we do here in the USA, which makes it even easier to bond with them, for they get that extra attention when they come here and run in paddocks for the first time, true many don't even know what it is to live inside a house and many have ever even seen a car or stairs, but when the good genetical temperament is there they settle in immediately in a matter of short weeks and then they come out of the shell and they are 100 themselves and truly get strongest attachment to us.
As a whole, It is a lack of proper information which breeds the idea that older puppies or adult dogs cannot or do not bond with new owners. If a 9-month-old puppy does not bond after a normal time with a new family it is not because the pup is 9 months old. It’s because he/she has other issues: either genetic or learned behaviors.
As a general rule, older puppies and adult dogs do bond just as deeply with people as younger puppies do. The rare exceptions to this are if an older pup has the unfortunate lot to be a part of puppy mill and has been left to himself for months on end without proper daily attention. Another rare exception to the general rule is a Shelter animal where there is insufficient staff or volunteers to interact with the dogs on a regular and frequent basis. In either case, the pup has learned he can (and must) get by without human interaction.
In the vast majority of cases, older puppies and even adult dogs DO bond very well with a new owner or caretaker. Again, if he/she does not bond well it is NOT because of its age but rather some other issue.
The fact is, if an older puppy or young adult dog is purchased from a reputable breeder who spends time with the animal, there will be no bonding issue. This is one of the reasons why the dog is called man’s best friend.
Furthermore, purchasing or adopting an older puppy or adult dog has many benefits that actually enhance bonding rather than restrict it. For example, an older puppy or young adult has already progressed through the irritating stage of puppyhood which sometimes create strife and friction in the human/dog relationship. There are far too many puppies who are surrendered to Shelters because of this stage of development. Some people cannot handle the housetraining, nipping, chewing, and other behaviors that an older dog has already been through and learned differently.
An 8 week old puppy is “so cute” but many people do not have the patience it takes to properly raise such a young animal. The human actually becomes the cause of the lack of bonding. An older puppy or young adult dog would be very beneficial for these types of situations. Children actually bond better to these animals because the children learn the dog will not bite them or chew on their favorite “blankie.”
Those desiring working dogs for personal protection, detection, and/or Police K9 should ALMOST ALWAYS purchase an older puppy or young adult. The prospective purchaser can tell what the 12 month old puppy is, whereas buying a 8 week old puppy is a gamble on the way he/she will turn out – especially if the buyer has little or no experience in raising a working puppy (there’s a huge difference between raising a working puppy and a companion puppy). Far too many people buy a very young pup for future protection work – thinking that the bonding at such a young age will enhance its protection tendencies – and basically weaken the pup’s drives and handicap, if not destroy, his/her future protection work. An older pup or young adult would be a far more solid choice and be more financially stable – even when the older pup costs more upfront.