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Best friends

Thinking about adopting an Australian Shepherd puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.
Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt an Australian Shepherd puppy (or, gasp! find an Australian Shepherd puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adoptingan Australian Shepherd puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears. Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order. Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display. When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals. This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2. You value your possessions.
Puppies teethe. They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos. Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Australian Shepherd (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3. You work, or otherwise leave the house.
Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day? A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours). So a three-month-old Australian Shepherd puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on. If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from an Australian Shepherd rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting an Australian Shepherd

  • Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Australian Shepherd adoption, we hear the same things over and over again. If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have. So it’s time for us to set the record straight:
  • You CAN find purebred Australian Shepherds for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Australian Shepherds and Aussie puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Australian Shepherd puppy. Australian Shepherd puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.


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