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Guide to Selling Adult Dogs

Published on
Wednesday 22 April 2020
Last updated on
Thursday 16 July 2020
Guide to Selling Adult Dogs – hint: it's harder than selling puppies!
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Owners and breeders alike often associate selling adult dogs with an owner who does not care or will not put in the effort anymore. However, this is not always true. Illness, job loss, or a family death are all unexpected changes and can happen to anyone. Most owners never want to sell their dog, but in certain situations, it is the most responsible thing to do.

Even if you are adult dog selling as a breeder, such as selling an old dam or sire, this does not mean you do not care. Therefore, you deserve to know your options. From the method of selling, to the ideal owner for them, many factors need to be considered. Let us make the process easier for you.

Is Selling Adult Dogs a Smart Choice?

Selling adult dogs can be a smart decision with proper preparation and understanding. You may be a breeder selling a dam or sire or an owner forced to re-home. It is very easy to judge these situations and say that a dog is a lifelong commitment, and they should be when they are purchased. However, situations arise that we cannot prepare for and in these cases, it may be most appropriate to re-home your dog. As long as their best interests are at heart, sometimes it is the best decision.

Many factors should be considered when advertising and finding the right home for your dog. Check what their energy levels are and if an owner can provide them with enough stimulation. Also, consider their health, do they need someone financially able to support ongoing vet bills. Another factor to consider is whether they are good with other dogs, pets or children. This will affect what kind of household they can move into. When selling an adult dog, their personality, needs, and limitations must be directly mentioned. Getting your dog a home quickly should never be the priority, but instead, finding them the right home.

Where to Sell Adult Dogs

It can be difficult to know where to start selling an adult dog. Mainly because not as much attention is focused on adults and more on puppies. Therefore, you need to consider what selling location will attract the most and correct buyers.

Local Newspaper

Local newspaper advertisements can be great to gain the attention of local buyers. This means you are not wasting your time with buyers who are too far away. Furthermore, it means the trips to both see and take the dog will be much easier to organize for both you and the new owner. Puppies may be advertised in the newspaper as well, but the newspaper is never swarming with advertisements of dogs, therefore, your dog will not be overshadowed by many puppies.

The newspaper also attracts the attention of a wide variety of people such as sports fans, those interested in politics and even those that like the gossip-based headlines. The brilliance of this is that the different kinds of people can offer different lifestyles to your dog. Therefore, you are able to find the most appropriate home for your pet with the best owner.

selling adult proven dogs
Other breeders can be wonderful buyers of your adult proven dogs.

This method is great for selling your adult dog as it is specified for those looking to purchase an animal. Using the features such as descriptors to search for, allow potential owners to discover your pooch every time they search these features. These can include physical and behavioral factors such as the breed type, age, and even temperament. Online advertisements also show their listings to a much wider audience, increasing the possibility of finding a potential owner.

Possible downfalls include future owners not seeing your ad because of the number of advertisements online as well as the appropriate tags not being used. Make sure that you use all the appropriate tags and descriptors for your dog as well as including as many as you can to gain notice for your pup. Make sure that you include your rough location so only owners that can travel to you will contact you.


Selling on Craigslist certainly has pros and cons. This method of online advertising will reach many potential owners very quickly. Selling your adult dog here may result in a quick turnaround as the tags you use will appear in anyone searching for animals. More information is provided once you click on the main link including pictures and general locations.

However, this website will use titles as their main advertising points to attract the attention of buyers. Therefore, be sure that you write a quick but eye-catching title to attract buyers and owners from a suitable home for your dog. Another problem with craigslist is because it is so general in selling products, you may receive impulsive requests or potential dodgy buyers. Make sure to meet the potential buyers to quiz them and their intentions before making a sale, this helps to ensure your dog is going to an appropriate household.


Although this is an old-fashioned method of advertising, it can be just as beneficial in finding a new house for your dog. The great benefit of this method is that only buyers in this area will see your advertisement and therefore, you may have the opportunity to visit your dog. Furthermore, you may already know the person enquiring about your dog, and therefore know whether or not this person would be an appropriate owner. Create a flyer on your computer with the following information included:

  • Dog’s name
  • Dog’s gender
  • Requirements such as a large back garden
  • Limitations such as they cannot live with other dogs
  • Contact information for you

A drawback of this method is that flyers are vulnerable to bad weather. Rain can easily destroy them and wind can tear them down. A preventative measure should be lamination and zip ties for attachment. This should keep the flyers safe and exactly where you want them to be. Moreover, you need to pick a good location to place the flyers. Consider areas inside first, such as shopping malls or pets shops, these will be both busy and the pet shops will target the right audience. If you are placing them outside, make sure they are in an easily visible area where many people travel.

Spread the Word

Whether you use word of mouth or social media, this method can quickly spread the news that you are selling your adult dog and are looking for the perfect buyer. Word of mouth can spread very quickly and often those you tell will spread the word to those who may be interested. Therefore, this method can be very effective. Social media can be used to display the information to a large group of people, which in turn, can then be communicated by word of mouth.

Be careful with this method as often impulsiveness can play a role here. Someone may see the post and immediately decide they want your dog without knowing the proper requirements for your pup. Make sure every inquiry is someone with general dog knowledge, time, and a suitable home. Furthermore, those that try to rush into the process instead of asking you questions should raise a red flag.

Benefits of Your Adult Dogs that you can Advertise About

We want the right home for our adult dogs, but we also are selling them and have to advertise their benefits to catch someone’s eye. Here are just a few pros that many adult dogs posses which puppies usually do not.


selling adult dog and obedience training
Add some obedience training before selling an adult dog.

When you buy a puppy, you have to have a lot of spare time and patience to train them through good behavior and required commands. An adult dog, on the other hand, should already have a base knowledge of appropriate behavior and tricks.

These can take days, weeks, and sometimes months to train to perform. It can be both worrying and frustrating during the training process, especially considering negative behaviors that put your pup at risk. For example, puppies may chew destructively or not come back when called, the prior is frustrating but the latter can be a safety issue, which may be especially distressing for a first-time owner. Advertise that your dog is already trained and well behaved in and outside of the home. This will make things easier and far less time consuming for the owner and will be a selling point.


Trying to potty train a puppy discourages many from purchasing one. Many families want a dog but, especially with rentals, cannot afford the accidents. An adult dog is a prime solution to this problem. A grown dog should already be potty trained and therefore new owners will not have to worry about accidents on the carpet. They still get the pleasure of owning their own dog without this negative drawback.

Even those with mortgages may have worries about potty training a dog if they have children or work long hours. Parents may worry about the unhygienic consequences of an un-house trained puppy and a young child, especially if you leave the room and there is a time period with no supervision. Furthermore, those who work long hours may not be able to maintain the schedule required to effectively or quickly potty train a pup.

Neutered & Spayed

The costs, major surgery, and healing times for a neutering or spaying procedure can worry any potential owner. The procedure can be quite distressing for a first-time owner and many need to be able to monitor their pet directly after the procedure. With certain working times, it may not be possible for an owner to remain with a recently operated on puppy, and leaving it alone is not an option. Even though there are kneels which could watch pups, some owner may not feel comfortable giving their new puppy to a kennel each day and possibly causing them more stress.

Most adult dogs will have already been spayed or neutered, which takes away all the worries about this procedure with a new pet. However, in the case of an ex breeding dog, you need to make sure you advertise that this is not the case.

More Time to Focus on the Owner

As much as we all adore puppies, we can admit they are much more demanding than an adult dog. They require more attention, hours developing a bond and training and even just supervision. Before they are properly trained they are able to cause a lot of chaos and be quite destructive. Overall, a puppy is time-consuming.

Buying an adult dog, however, should be much less so. Of course, you will have to spend time getting them used to their new home. However, they will rarely need training, supervising and not nearly as much attention as a puppy requires. This leaves you with more time to focus on yourself, which is especially beneficial in a family home or for an owner who works a very stressful job. The breed type of your dog will influence their needs for attention but generally, they are all calmer and more independent as adults.

No Chewing

When you acquire a puppy, you must be aware that they will be untrained and usually teething. This leads to a bad combination of your possessions and self being chewed on regularly! To prevent this you will have to keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated with walks and play to make sure their frustration is not adding to destructive chewing. Furthermore, you will have to train them to not perform this behavior, which can take weeks to do so.

Instead, consider an adult dog who has learned not to chew human possessions, their lead, or even their owners. Furthermore, you can provide them with their own toys and bones and as long as they are given some play and walks when required, they can usually amuse themselves. Never assume a dog can always be left to its own devices, but it does not need as much involvement as a grown dog does.

selling adult dog and return policy
What is your return policy when selling adult dogs?

Factors to Consider When Selling Adult Dogs

Selling an adult dog is not as simple as deciding a price and advertising. You have to consider the perfect home for your dog by analyzing elements such as their personality and the potential owner’s experience. Obviously, you but consider the right balance of selling at the right price and potentially reaching profitability.

There are legal considerations when you are thinking about if you can sell your adult dog. Some dog breeders will have you sign a puppy contract when purchasing a puppy that states you cannot resell your dog. You need to be careful about this clause and analyze any paperwork before you begin selling your adult dog. If the original breeder finds out you have broken the contract, they are eligible to take you to court. A contract may be in place but you are truly unable to care for your dog, in which case you can either contact the original seller and see what compromises they are willing to make or see if you are able to rehome the dog for free.

If you did not originally sign a contract with the dog’s breeder, then you should have no problem with legally selling the dog. Make sure that you consider putting a contract into place to check that the dog is being well cared for and the agreement of price has been signed by both individuals. Finally, never lie in your advertising. Your dog deserves a good home and the new potential owners deserve the truth. Any lies can be pursued with legal action.

Your Dog’s Personality

Your dog’s personality can influence what kind of home is appropriate for them in more ways than one. Firstly, what are your dog’s energy levels like? Is this a pup who requires a lot of exercise and an owner with the time to provide it? Families without children or those who enjoy exercise are often most appropriate for these individuals.

Secondly, what are your dog’s main traits? Are they aggressive or fearful? In which case they are not suitable for a family home. Is your dog instinct-driven and enjoy chasing, then they will require an owner who does not have other small pets and does not mind walking them on a leash. Are they gentle and enjoy affection, if so, then this would be an ideal family dog. Their behavioral traits influence the kind of care they need and what family they are most appropriate for. Make sure to advertise their main traits, problem traits and what kind of owner may be most appropriate.

Your Dog’s Friendliness with Children

This consideration spans across two areas: is your dog okay with children, is your dog too energetic for young children.

Firstly, how tolerant is your dog? They should be calm and gentle as children can be easily hurt in general, especially by a larger dog. Can your dog deal with children possibly sitting on them or pulling their ears? It is not ideal, nor how a dog should be treated in a home, but a possibility in a home with children. Therefore, the possibility needs to be considered. If you think your dog may growl, snap, or bite in this circumstance, do not advertise them as child-friendly.

Next, you need to consider if your dog may be too boisterous for children. This applies especially to larger breeds as this increases the chance that your dog may accidentally be knocked down. Furthermore, they are stronger so may cause more damage. If your dog is very energetic, has problems with being told no or jumping, they are not ideal for a house with young children but may be okay with older.

Try Selling to People Who Have Bought from the Dog’s Litter

If you are a breeder and are considering selling a bitch or sire, you may want to consider contacting buyers of their litter to see if they would be interested in taking your old breeding dog. This method comes with multiple benefits for your dog and you. Especially in the case of a bitch, your dog will be more comfortable living in a home with a dog they already know.

Furthermore, you can gain comfort in knowing that your dog is going to an owner who will care for them as they deserve. When selling a puppy, we recommend all breeders put owners through a screening process and sign a contract for moral and financial agreements. As they have already passed all the tests and you felt comfortable placing a dog in their care, the idea of re-homing a breeding dog to them should not be a worrying prospect.

Our Guide to Selling Adult Dogs!
Our Guide to Selling Adult Dogs!

Consider Handicapped People

Handicapped people may require a dog with a calmer nature and who is more empathetic. Whether it is a physical or mental disability, your dog will need to be more patient and gentle than some others. In the case of mental disabilities, some dogs may struggle to understand certain body language and may act playful or aggressive out of confusion. These elements must be evaluated and your dog’s personality and reactions to all of the possible owners must be considered before re-homing them.

The New Owner’s Experience

When selling adult dogs, you need to make sure that the owner is prepared for all the behaviors of your dog. You may have a large breed of dog who is normally very calm but when the postman comes, they bark and jump. If this is a potential owner’s first dog, they may not be well equipped for this kind of behavior. This is especially relevant when your dog is more prone to displaying aggressive or fearful behavior. The more severe a behavior, the more experience you may want to consider a potential owner having.

The New Owner’s Time

Any kind of new dog requires time and patience, some require more than others. Can this new potential owner give your dog what they need? Puppies are time-consuming and require hours of attention and training. Most adult dogs do not require this much time, however, this depends.

If your dog has anxiety, especially separation anxiety, a potential owner may need to consider going out for shorter periods of time or finding a dog sitter. However, if they are a high energy breed and require long walks, would the owner have enough time to give them this daily?

Can the New Owner Afford the Dog?

The initial cost of a dog is only the beginning when paying for them. Some of the costs that need to be considered include:

There are many other costs to consider and if these alone are too much for a potential owner, they should not be owning a dog.

Accept the Dog Back if Things Don’t Work Out

The scenario may occur that the dog is not right for the new home. You need to be prepared to accept the dog back if this is the case. Your pet may be scared, may not get on well with some animals or family members. The reason doesn’t matter. When a dog is placed into ownership, it should be the owner’s priority to care for them and do what’s right. In some cases this means re-homing them, in others, it means accepting them back and searching for a new home. Regardless, their welfare should always be the priority.

One comment on “Guide to Selling Adult Dogs”

  1. Katherine Shaffer

    I adopted a 6 yr old St Poodle former dam. Best thing I ever did. As a handicapped senior a puppy was just too much, but my lady is perfect

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