Are you looking into adopting a new dog? Congratulations! Nowhere will you find a better companion than an adopted rescue dog. If you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, your near future probably includes floor puddles, chewed belongings, and other puppy messes. If that doesn’t sound like something you’re into, you might want to think about adopting adult rescue dogs instead.  

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Reasons To Adopt Adult Rescue Dogs

Why should you adopt adult rescue dogs? First off, people adopt adult dogs less often than adorable little puppies. Don’t get us wrong, puppies are precious, but they are also a lot of work. Many people consider puppies a “clean slate,” with no issues or bad behaviors to inherit, but raising a puppy can be exhausting and is definitely not for everyone.

Adult dogs create less mess. Many adult rescue dogs already have house training and often other obedience training under their paws as well. Adopting an adult rescue dog from the shelter may mean you have less to teach your new canine companion.

As we’ve said, adult dogs are generally less work than a new puppy overall. They’ve outgrown a lot of the silliness and hyper energy we all know puppies for. Puppies need near-constant supervision to keep them out of trouble, whereas people often leave adult dogs unattended while their people go to work for the day.

If you don’t have as much time to devote to training a new puppy needs, an adult rescue dog might be a better choice. Since people adopt puppies much more often, adopting an adult dog instead gives another rescue dog a chance at a happy life.

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Questions To Ask When Adopting Rescue Dogs

The fact of the matter when it comes to adult rescue dogs is that they aren’t all adoptable. Adult dogs do have history, whether good or bad, and some individuals have too many behavioral issues to safely adopt out. When considering adopting an adult rescue dog, it’s crucial to be realistic about what behavioral issues you and the other members of your household can handle. It’s better to underestimate your abilities than to bring home a rescue dog you eventually have to return. Here are several other questions to ask yourself before you bring home adult rescue dogs. 

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What Do You Know About the Dog’s History?

If you’re looking into adopting an adult rescue dog, consider who you are working with. Is it the original owner of the dog? A shelter? A rescue volunteer? No matter what kind of individual or organization you are working with, try to get as much information as possible about the dog and their history. Knowledge is power, and knowing more can help you create a game plan for your rescue dog’s transition into their new life with you. Now, if you can’t get very much information about the rescue dog you want to adopt, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t the dog for you. If the dog you want appears healthy, friendly and suited to your life and routine, don’t be afraid to take a chance getting to know this dog yourself.

Why Is the Dog Up For Adoption?

Another essential question to ask when adopting adult rescue dogs is what reason the dog s up for adoption. Some reasons are related directly to the dog such as “he needs more exercise than we can give him,” or “she bit our daughter.” Other reasons have little to do with the dog at all, such as a couple getting divorced, an owner dying, or a family having to move to a place that doesn’t allow dogs. If a dog is up for adoption for reasons unrelated to his or her behvaior, you can disregard them when considering adopting. If the reason they are up for adoption is directly related to the dog, we reiterate that you be honest with yourself about whether the behavior is something you can manage. 

What Behavioral Problems Does the Dog Have?

We all know no rescue dogs are perfect, but advanced warning of what imperfections your new furbaby may exhibit allows you to plan. Many behavioral problems can be fixed with simple conditioning and consistent training. Some other behavioral problems may require quite a bit of determination and patience. However, more severe problems may be too difficult to take on alone and may require the expertise of a licensed dog trainer. Once you’re aware of any issues you may have to face, you can decide whether or not this rescue dog is something you can/want to take on with the help of a professional or if their issues are just too difficult to contend with.

How Is the Dog With Children or Pets?

This question is an important one to ask even if you don’t have any children or other pets. You will encounter children and pets in your day-to-day life, and knowing how your new dog reacts to these stimuli is essential to prepare yourself. Having information like whether your new furbaby is aggressive towards cats or scared of children, for example, allows you to anticipate possible negative reactions and to avoid confrontations. Do not bring home a dog unless you are prepared for their potential reactions to each member of your household. 

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Where To Adopt Adult Rescue Dogs

Gone are the days of searching for adoptable dogs in the classified ads. As with most everything these days, we’ve gone technological.


Petfinder is like the Tinder of the pet adoption world; it is the number 1 most common online place to look for rescue dogs. Petfinder allows you to narrow down a search for a new pet by species, breed, gender, and geographic area. Many local shelters list their adoptable animals on Petfinder so you can read about them from your own home.

Breed-Specific Dog Rescue Groups

If you’re looking to adopt rescue dogs of a specific breed, look for a breed-specific rescue. You can check for that particular breed’s club website. If the breed has a rescue group, it will be listed there. Be aware that finding a purebred individual from a specific breed to adopt may take more time than adopting a stray mixed breed from a local shelter.

Your Local Shelter

If your local shelter doesn’t list their available animals online, you may have to make an in-person visit. Fair warning, you will fall in love with every dog you see. It’s also good to note that many dogs do not behave in the shelter as they would in a home. They may act fearful or aggressive when that is not really in their nature. Make sure you talk to employees and volunteers at the shelter about any dog you like. This can help you to get a sense of their true personality.

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Take Your Time Finding Rescue Dogs

Now you’ve decided to adopt an adult rescue dog. It can sometimes feel like you need to make the leap immediately and find a new canine companion. While there are thousands of unwanted dogs in shelters across the world, be patient. Ideally, we adopt a dog for the rest of that animal’s life; take your time making sure that dog is the best possible fit for your life and home. Get to know a few dogs and be honest about your lifestyle and routine. When you adopt rescue dogs, you want to be able to keep them for the rest of their lives; set yourself up for success by waiting for the adoptable dog that fits best into your world.

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