Looking for the right dog for you can be both an exciting and a daunting prospect! You may be retired or empty nesters so it seems like the perfect time to welcome a puppy or a dog into your hearts and home. As seniors, you want to consider the time commitment involved in training and socializing your new dog. Whether you choose a puppy or you adopt an older dog from a shelter or breed specific dog rescue, there will be training required. OLDER DOGS Many people think that getting an older dog is easier. In many ways this is true. Older dogs are most likely house trained and they will likely know basic obedience cues such as 'sit', 'stay' and 'come'. Therefore, it is important to realize that dogs do not generalize their learning well. It can be traumatic for a dog to go through a shelter or dog rescue setting. They will need you to be patient while they get the 'lay of their new land'. They may have unexpected accidents along the way. Hence, if you are patient and kind with these dogs, you will be rewarded with a loving and loyal companion. PUPPIES Puppies are always adorable and folks tend to think of the 'tabula rasa'...the empty slate aspect when they think of the advantages of getting a puppy. While this is true, you always have to remember their genetic envelope. You want to consider breed traits, personality and tempermant of both parents of the puppy you are considering. It is very important to properly socialize and train your new puppy. This article provides a very thorough description of what it means to socialize a puppy. https://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/socializing-your-puppy/90460 This is VERY important in order to avoid behavioural problems when the puppies grow up. And we mustn't forget basic obedience and good manners training so that your dog has a good understanding of how he or she needs to behave in the big world of humans! COMMITMENT Bringing a new dog, whether it be a puppy or an older dog requires a long term commitment. Therefore, it is helpful to think about your time, physical abilities, perhaps your grand-children...their safety, the activity requirements of the breed you're considering and lifespan. Availing yourself of the services of a qualified dog trainer and a trained and insured dog walker can help make it all happen! There are pros and cons to either choice. If you've had a dog before, you likely know how precious their loving loyal companionship is! Selecting the Right Dog for Your Lifestyle will provide you with some very helpful information.