Most of the time people purchase new puppies and bring them home around the age of six to eight weeks. This is the perfect time period in which they are best to be weaned from their mother and conditioned to live with you and the rest of the family. It makes bonding much easier because you have immediately replaced the puppy’s mother with yourself.
On the other hand, there are many times when older puppies become available for sale. These dogs may be older than 10 weeks, 12 weeks, or even up to six months and still considered to be puppies. Like making any decision out of the norm, there are pros and cons to bringing home and older puppy.
What considerations should you keep in mind when deciding on an older puppy?
One of the biggest benefits of getting an older puppy right off the bat is that their behavior is a lot more calm than a younger pup and the dog has usually been socialized to a small degree when it comes to the day-to-day chaos of living in a house with other people. Their first home has already conditioned them for you.
Watch out for older puppies that may have been neglected. It is important not to be too naive when you are discussing the option of buying an older puppy from someone. Not everybody sells their dogs for positive reasons. Some owners are trying to get rid of them simply because they couldn’t take care of the puppy’s needs and due to this reason they probably neglected the dog for a long period of time.
The results of this unfortunate living situation could have produced anxiety and stress related disorders to the dog. Because you cannot get all of this information with your first meeting of your potential new puppy, it is important to bring all the members of your family with you to look at the dog. Make sure they all get a chance meet the dog. Look closely at how he interacts with the other members of your family. Does he seem nervous? Do you sense any aggression? Is his approach with confidence or shyness? These are possible signs that the animal has developed some sort of mental condition as a result of the lack of human contact.
And of course, you’ll want to ask the owner a few basic questions before making a buying decision. Ask if the dog has had any type of training. Find out firsthand if the puppy displays any behavioral bad habits such as aggression, chewing, or excessive barking. Also, make sure that this is the first and only home the dog has been in. If he has lived elsewhere before the current owner then find out why he was sold. These are just a few of the basic questions you should know to ask. Add more questions to your list for better due diligence.