10. In a Word: Housebroken.
House-training a puppy can take awhile. Puppies need a consistent schedule with frequent training opportunities. They can't wait for the boss to finish his meeting or the kids to come home from school. An older lab can "hold it" much more reliably for longer time periods, and is typically housebroken before adoption.
9. Intact Underwear.
With a chewy puppy, you can count on at least 10 mismatched pairs of socks and a variety of unmentionables rendered to the "rag bag" before he cuts every tooth. Yes, you can expect holes in your carpet (along with the urine stains), pages missing from books, stuffing exposed from couches and at least one dead remote control. No matter how well you watch a puppy—it will happen—this is a puppy's job! An older dog can usually have the run of the house without destroying it.
8. A Good Night’s Sleep.
A puppy can be very demanding at 2 am, 4 am and 6 am. He misses his littermates, and that stuffed animal is just not the same. If you have children, you've been there, done that. How about a little peace and quiet? How about an older rescued lab?
7. Finish the Newspaper.
With a puppy running amok in your house, do you think you will be able to relax when you get home from work? Do you think your kids will really feed him, clean up the messes, take him for a walk in the pouring rain to get him house trained? With an adult dog, it will only be the kids running amok. Your adult lab will be sitting calmly next to you, and as you pet him, your workday stress flows away.
6. Easier Vet Trips.
Puppies need their series of puppy shots and fecal tests, their rabies shot, a trip to be spayed—maybe an emergency trip or two, if they've chewed something dangerous. Those puppy visits can add up (on top of what you paid for the pup). Adopt an older lab, and get a dog with up-to-date shots, spayed or neutered, and heartworm-free.
5. What You See Is What You Get.
How big will that puppy be? What kind of temperament will he have? Will he be easily trained? Will his personality be what you were hoping for? How active will he be? When adopting an older dog, all of those questions are easily answered. It’s your choice: large or small; active or couch potato; goofy or brilliant; sweet or sassy. We can guide you to pick the right match.
4. Un-scarred Children (and Adults).
When the puppy isn't teething on your possessions, he will be teething on your children and yourself. We routinely get called from panicked parents who are sure their lab is biting the children. We ask questions, and usually find out the dog is just being nippy. Parents are often too emotional to see the difference; but a growing puppy is going to put everything from food to clothes to hands in their mouths—and as they get older and bigger, it definitely hurts. Most older labs have "been there, done that, moved on."
3. Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match.
Puppy love is often no more than an attachment to a look or a color. That’s no basis on which to make a decision that will hopefully last 15+ years. While that puppy may have been the cutest of the litter; he may grow up to be super active (when what you wanted was a couch buddy); she may be a couch princess (when what you wanted was a tireless hiking companion); he may want to spend every waking moment in the water (while you're a landlubber); or she may want to be an only child (while you are intending to have kids or more animals). Pet mismatches are one of the top reasons dogs are given up. We do extensive evaluating of both our Labradors and applicants to be sure that both will be happy with each other until death due them part.
2. Instant Companion.
With an older lab you automatically have a buddy that can go everywhere and do everything with you NOW. There's no waiting for a puppy to grow up (and then hope he will like to do what you enjoy.) You will have been able to select the most compatible dog for you; one that travels well; one that loves to play with your friends' dogs; one with excellent house manners that you can take to your parents' new home. You can come home after a long day's work and spend your time on a relaxing walk, ride or swim with your new best friend (rather than cleaning up after a small puppy.)
1. Bond— That Lab Bond.
Labs who have been uprooted from their happy homes or have not had the best start in life are more likely to bond very completely and deeply with their new family. Those who have lost their families through death, divorce or lifestyle change go through a terrible mourning process. But, once attached to a new loving family, they seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again. Those Labs that are just learning about the good life and good people seem to bond even deeper. They know what life on the streets or on the end of a chain or worse is all about and they revel and blossom in a nurturing, loving environment. Most rescued labs make exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets, and extremely loyal companions.