A pet of any age can bond with the people who love and care for it, giving as much to the relationship as it receives in return. There are several considerations to keep in mind before you rule out either adult dogs or puppies. How old are the children? Have you had a pet in the past? When are you expecting your baby?
Before choosing between an adult dog or a puppy ask yourself:
How much time do I spend at home on an average day?
Puppies need more physical and emotional involvement than you can give if you are away for more than 6 hours a day. Adult dogs can be easier adjusted to your schedule. However, some dogs never grow accustomed to being left alone. If you are gone for much longer than 8 hours a day, even adult dogs may not be a good choice for your current lifestyle.
Are there children in my home? How many? How old?
As a general rule, if your child is under 6 years old, it's best to adopt a dog that's over two years old.
Will this pet be a companion to another pet?
It's best to introduce younger pets to adult resident pets, but not too young. Resident adult pets may see a new young pet as prey to be hunted. Puppies from 4–14 months old are in a good age range to introduce to an adult resident pet. Most pets like to have a buddy around. You might even consider adopting a pair of adult pets that are already accustomed to each other. There are many benefits to keeping pairs together.
Do I want a pet that will participate in outdoor activities with me?
If you want a dog to take on outdoor adventures, you should consider a teenage or young adult dog. For major outdoor activities, a dog should be a certain size and have a natural hardiness. Many pets don't travel well. Some reasons for carsickness can be remedied, but if you specifically want a pet to travel with you on short vacations or to local activities, don't expect miracles from a young animal. There is no way to tell which pet will have the stomach for it.
Do I want a lap-pet that will be physically affectionate and cuddly?
This is another example of a specific personality trait that will be easier to find in an adult animal.
Do I prefer a certain physical appearance, coloring or coat?
By the time a dog is about six months old, these physical traits will be clear, plus you'll be able to see what kind of personality traits come with the package.
How large is too large for my lifestyle?
Thousands of puppies lose their homes each year because someone didn't think about what their adult size might be. If you have a specific size in mind for your ideal pet, it's not a good idea to guess. By the time a dog is 6–7 months old, you can usually tell what size they'll be when fully grown.