The Benefits of an Older Dog

I can’t get an adult dog, they can’t learn!

Two Dogs Lying on Grass

All too often it is said that you cannot teach and old dog new tricks. Well this is far from true! Yes, old dogs may have some habits that can take some work to train out, but this does not mean they cannot learn.

As with all training, you have to combine fun with sometimes firm but always fair, consistent training and do many short practice sessions a day. Once you have their trust and respect, they train quite fast if your methods are such that they enjoy working with you! Working with an adult dog can often be easier than working with a pup or adolescent dog.

Puppies are so cute and learn fast!

Puppies are only that small, cute stage for a short time, then they hit adolescence! Puppies have shorter attention spans and puppy behaviors like nipping and jumping that they have to be taught are not acceptable ideally before they hit adolescence. The "teenage" period is often the time when many dogs are given up for adoption. The antics and testing of adolescence dogs are just more than some owners are willing to handle. And adult dog that is out of adolescence may be less overwhelming to work with.

Adult dogs are given up for behavior problems.

So many adult dogs are out there for adoption and will never find homes. Puppies find homes at a great speed simply because they are puppies. People look over the sweet adult dog and often think that adult dogs are given up due to behavior problems. This is often far from true.

Many dogs are given up due to a move, divorce, new baby, lack of time, etc. I have even heard "I redecorated and the dog does not match my house anymore." Many dogs are the victims of irresponsible owners.

Wiemaraner Dog

Just because an adult dog is in a rescue situation does not mean he was given up due to serious behavior issues. With some time, love and effort on the human part, the dog can be a wonderful companion. Plus, an adult has that longer attention span and greater bladder control!

What are the advantages of an adult dog?

What you see is what you get. You know how big the dog is how long the coat is, etc. All you have to do is take the time to get to know the dog and make sure he is a good match for your home.

An adult dog in good health is ready to compete in various sports once he has a grasp on basic training and the sport itself. There is no waiting for a pup to mature physically. It can be a long two years waiting for some breeds to mature enough to handle some sports.

Even senior dogs can make wonderful pets. They can still learn and many senior dogs want to work or do some activity. I have seen adopted senior dogs in good health competing in Veteran’s Obedience classes, Agility, doing Therapy work, etc.

When considering adding a dog to your home, please do not overlook the adult. Rescues or breeders placing retiring dogs are excellent sources for your next companion.

Personally, my senior boy really started his "Agility Career" at age nine. By 9 1/2 he had his first title with two first places. We dabbled for a bit but got serious later on in his life. You can teach and old dog new tricks!