Why Adolescent Puppies Are A Wonderful Option For Rescue Ranch Adopters

Puppies are very popular among adopters, especially those who want an active role in shaping their dog from an early age.  Don’t get me wrong, adult and senior dogs make wonderful pets, but for some adopters, a puppy is the right choice. That being said, many people believe that the younger the puppy, the better, which isn’t always true. As a result, older puppies are often overlooked, and it’s a shame because young adolescent puppies can be a wonderful option for Rescue Ranch Adopters.

Why adopters should consider an older puppy

As cute and cuddly as they are, puppies aren’t all fun and games. Raising a pup to become a healthy, well-adjusted adult, requires patience, commitment and time.  It’s not for everyone. And then, there’s the matter of its age. Very young puppies are lovely, but at nine to twelve weeks old, they’re still just babies. The analogy is imperfect, but it might help to think of them as roughly equivalent to toddlers and preschoolers. They’re adorable, fun, engaging, with tons of potential. They make wonderful additions to many families. They also have limited cognitive ability and autonomy, which means that, for some adopters, older puppies are a better fit.

Cases vary, of course, but puppies between four and seven months, can be compared  to grade schoolers and tweens or young adolescents.  They have all the exuberance and enthusiasm of their younger counterparts, but they’re more receptive to instruction and bonding to humans. And they generally haven’t yet reached the more rebellious stage of full-blown teenagers until seven months or so. It’s the ideal time to inculcate positive routines, basic training and good citizenship skills before they start testing your boundaries and theirs.

10 Good Reasons to Consider Young Adolescent Puppies

  1. Want to bond with humans
  2. Starting to listen and read body language
  3. Easier to potty train because they learn quicker and have more control over their bodily functions
  4. Able to learn commands
  5. Understand rewards
  6. More focused (within reason) and independent ( but not too much)
  7. Interested in the world
  8. Eager to please
  9. More companionable
  10. Starting to show their true personality

Rescue Ranch Is drowning in puppies this year

At Rescue Ranch, we foster puppies with their mother until they’re nine weeks old, after which, they’re available for adoption. That’s the usual scenario, but we don’t always get them that early. Older pups arrive with different histories. Some are dumped on the side of the road by callous “owners,” some have never had a home and are found roaming the countryside, others come to us from kill shelters, and the list goes on. In time, they get adopted.

This year is different.  We’ve highlighted the growing number of  intakes in several articles over the past few months. Recently, we even put on the  first collaborative adoption event in Siskiyou County to raise awareness about the overpopulation problem.

As I write this post, Rescue Ranch has more than 70 puppies of all ages in its care, as well as a record number of adults, and some of our adolescent puppies are falling through the cracks. What’s more, we have so many young litters that it is unlikely that they’ll all get adopted right away. Some of them will join our small but growing population of older puppies. If you’re looking for a puppy, don’t forget to consider our “grade schoolers” and “tweens,” you just might find the match you’ve been looking for.

Current Rescue Ranch young adolescent puppies looking for homes


A lovely five-month-old, black and brindle white gloved, female,  golden retriever/shepherd mix, who has done wonderfully in foster care. She was initially a little shy but has come out of her shell and blossomed over the past few weeks. Chinkara might need help acclimating if she’s going to be alone for extended periods during the day.  She enjoys company and would do best with another doggy pal.  She’s friendly, playful, smart, and cute as a button. True to her golden retriever heritage, Chinkara absolutely loves water.

Click here to fill out an application for Chinkara


A six-month-old border collie/cattle dog mix, black with white chest and toes, Joey came in with two siblings. One was adopted and one finally found a foster-to-adopt situation. Poor Joey is still waiting to find someone who will give him the love and attention he deserves. He’s a friendly pup who really plays well with other dogs. He’ll be a wonderful companion for an active adopter. We expect him to be a good walking, hiking, running companion.

Click here to fill out an application for Joey

Fiona and Frankie

A five-month-old, reddish brown  Australian Kelpie mix, Fiona came in with her black, tan and white brother Frankie. They’re both playful and high-energy dogs who would probably be highly suited to agility training. If they spend unsupervised time in the yard, they’ll definitely need a six-foot fence. Both dogs would thrive with active adopters. They seem to get along well with other dogs and are currently fostered with Chinkara. Of the two, Fiona is probably the most independent, but they are both very friendly, people-oriented, and outgoing.

Click here to fill out an application for Fiona


Click here to fill out an application for Frankie

We hope you’ll call Rescue Ranch at (530) 842-0829  to set up a meeting with one or more of these wonderful adolescent puppies!