Rescue dog -8 weeks or 8 months?

cakegirl

O.G.
Jan 3, 2008
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I lost my 15 year old dalmatian 2 months ago and am looking at rescuing another. There is an 8 week old and an 8-9 month old available and I am having trouble deciding which would be a better choice. The situation dictates that I will have to choose which dog before meeting them. They are not in the same city and I can only see one this weekend-the other will most likely be adopted by someone else. I have not rescued a dog before and am having trouble deciding which one to choose. We have an 8 year old dog currently.
The older dog is house trained/crate trained and has been taught basic commands. That is an advantage, but I worry about her socialization and the fact that there is more of a chance to bond with a puppy. Please help!
 

LisaG719

Living life...
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Jun 16, 2006
7,358
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Oregon
I personally prefer puppies because I like to the there from the start. However, I know that older dogs have a harder time being adopted so that would make me lean towards snapping up the 8 month old. Have you talked with the organizations that have the dogs and asked about their personality traits? That might help you decide which dog will be a better fit for your household.

Good luck!
 

NemoAndChula

Miss Alexandria Pup
Apr 30, 2010
2,814
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Texas
Your older dog might have less patience with such a young puppy. 8 months is still young enough to be open to your training and bonding. Either way, it will be important to observe them closely until they adjust to each other. The elder dogs tend to snap at the young ones to keep them in line and maintain the alpha position. Puppies jump around a lot and tend to annoy more sedate dogs.
 

boxermomof2

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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Just some food for thought....

Puppies can come with real issues if they have been separated from the litter too soon.

I know someone who adopted a puppy thinking it wouldn't come with "issues", but it indeed had all the behavior issues of a puppy mill dog. Her pup was separated from litter at just a few weeks.

Sadly, she had to surrender the dog back to rescue because he had not learned bite inhibition that most dogs learn from their litter mates(mom teaches them a lot in the first few weeks too). He was biting/breaking skin of all the people in the house including her young children. He was extremely aggressive. I saw the bite photos and I've never seen bites like this from a puppy!:sad: My puppies are never allowed to bite my skin or hands. It was not normal puppy nibbles either.

It was a really sad situation because the lady hired trainers, behaviorists, and talked to several breeders looking for help. She honestly exhausted all her resources. Bottom line was the dog could not overcome his lack of critical early development.

Don't rule out older dogs because a reputable rescue group can give you an accurate assessment of the dog's temperament. I would want to know the exact situation the puppy came from before I made that commitment.
 

cakegirl

O.G.
Jan 3, 2008
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Thanks! The two dogs are actually siblings-there is an irresponsible owner who owns 2 dals, but refuses to get them fixed and then turned both litters over to the rescue. The younger litter was 4 weeks, the older 7 months when they were turned over to the rescue.
 

silverstonee

Member
Feb 6, 2008
44
0
CT
My boyfriend decided last year that he wanted to get me a dog because he travels a lot (for work) and did not want me to be by myself in our condo. Long story short, we did tons of research on puppies and breeds and finally decided to rescue a dog. We went to our local shelter and found the PERFECT dog. She was a 5 month old boxer/pit mix found roaming around local city streets...the shelter had no idea what her history was but we fell in love with her and took her home the next day.

She had no behavioral problems, was loving and warm, playful and was at the top of her obedience class. No dog is going to be easy to train but most people thought it would be impossible for a rescue. They all stand corrected. She is better behaved than my parents pure bred, show blood line dog.

I think either way you go would be fine, it all depends on what fits your life. Most people think older dogs are harder to train, but our dog was around 7 months when we started obedience. She's now 19 months and she's a blessing in our life.

Good luck!!
 

NemoAndChula

Miss Alexandria Pup
Apr 30, 2010
2,814
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Texas
^^That's a beautiful posting! Thank you for sharing your experience. We rescue, adopt, and fostered in the past. This means so much to us!!
 
Mar 5, 2008
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We got our dog at the shelter when he was eight months old. He had some separation anxiety at first, but now he's just perfect. He was already housebroken when we got him and he's the friendliest, most affectionate dog you could ask for. Everyone falls in love with him when they meet him.

Good luck with your new dog either way!
 

jen_sparro

Jen
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Mar 27, 2009
6,413
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Perth, Western Australia
Eight months would probably be more suitable... easier on both you and your existing dog as this puppy will probably be somewhat house-trained. In saying that, our labrador was six when we got our eight-week old bullmastiff and he coped really well (gave him a new lease on life). But that probably has more to do with his personality. Either way you can't really go wrong :smile:
 

BomberGal

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Aug 25, 2009
1,662
626
South Korea
Honestly, very young puppies from rescue are bound to have some issues. After all, most go through their fear phase separated from their mother and cooped up in quarantine or a loud, noisy and frightening shelter kennel environment. And some Animal Control and County shelters will wean a litter early so as to quickly adopt out or euth the mother. So not much social correction and guidance for the litter.


I pulled my foster Patriot from animal control as a pup of somewhere in the range of 2-3 months of age. He gets nervous in a bath tub, but was TERRIFIED of water hoses and while no longer terrified he still is uncomfortable around them. He still gets scared walking into public buildings where other animals are or have been, such as petsmart or the vet office. After a bit he'll warm up and realize its ok and start being social and curious. But that first step of going through the door can be quite the task sometimes. I think he remembers the animal control shelter and associates the smells at pet stores and the vet with the kennels there.

This is not to say shelter puppies aren't awesome, just that they are NOT the clean slate many people assume them to be.

The older dog does have the foundation training plus. And 8-9 months is still more than young enough to work on socialization and bonding.

ETA: Despite Patriot's little quirks, he is the sweetest, most eager to please little goof around. He loves everyone, likes to sit in his chair and watch movies with me. Lays by my seat, follows me around the house, enjoys walks, loves to play, cuddle and give kisses and is everything one could want in a dog. He even will risk his own life to save me from evil bugs. But then again, he is an American Pit Bull Terrier. So that all goes without saying. ;)
 
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cakegirl

O.G.
Jan 3, 2008
2,784
45
I am going to look at the puppy this weekend -if I decide not to take her I will get the older dog next month. It involves more travel, but luckily I was able to work it out with the rescue.
Neither dog has been in a shelter-they both went from their parents straight to a foster home with 1-2 other dogs.
 

NemoAndChula

Miss Alexandria Pup
Apr 30, 2010
2,814
2
66
Texas
This won't really apply to your situation, but I went to a city pound years ago and couldn't choose between 2 dogs. So I left, came back the next day, and adopted the dog that had not adopted out. That way, I didn't have to decide (I liked them both equally) AND both dogs had a new home.
 

boxermomof2

Member
Jul 21, 2009
5,205
36
If you go see the puppy you will come home with the puppy. Who can resist a puppy?
Believe it or not, I can resist a puppy! ;) I'm just saying....you have to walk away if it's not right. All puppies are cute, but they all grow up!

If you keep reminding yourself this is a 10-15 year commitment, it makes it so much easier to walk away.
 

Lakritze

♥
O.G.
Jun 4, 2006
1,054
1
Germany
I can resist a puppy, too. ;)

The youngest dog I adopted was 6 months old and the oldest was/is 14. They were/are all trainable - even my 14 yo that was in a shelter for 10 years.

Personally I wouldn't prefer a dog that was separated from his mother at only a few weeks old - even with other dogs in a foster family if I don't know how close the dogs were. I would go for the older dog but that's just me.