Want a dog but don’t really have the time to deal with the daily needs of a dog – let alone those of a puppy? Today’s hectic lifestyles mean for many of us, adopting older dogs could be the perfect solution…
The Problem with Owning a Dog
As wonderful and exciting as having a furry companion can be, it also requires a huge amount of work, especially if you have a puppy. Pups need so much more than food, water, a clean place to rest & sleep and the ‘occasional walk’– to grow into the happy, obedient and loyal companions we long for, they must be:
- Taught basic house rules, limits and boundaries
- Trained properly
- Exercised regularly
- Mentally stimulated
Having to learn what’s right and wrong and how to behave properly both at home and when ‘out in the real world’, pups look to us for guidance and leadership – and giving them what they need takes both TIME AND LOTS OF PATIENCE.
Why Adopting Older Dogs Could be the Perfect Choice
Older dogs, on the other hand, tend to be less demanding in terms of time and work. Full of love, they are usually also less inclined to display controlling or dominant behaviours and, once you have made sure they know your household rules, tend to fit in really well.
Contrary to common beliefs, they can also be taught a great deal of things (including new tricks!) and can often be easier to train than younger dogs.
My best dog ever, a 10-year old Labrador called Rosa, is a wonderful example of this. Rosa had a rather strong presence, something I assume came from her running her household with energy. This wonderful dog settled into the rules in our house within a week and I ended up taking her to consultations with me.
Incredibly wise, she was partly responsible for my success. Even when facing dogs ready to seriously harm, even kill her, she was never phased – always “cool, calm and collected”, she just didn’t seem to care – and her mere presence was sufficient to calm dogs in most cases.
As fantastic as Rosa was, I do believe that she must have been a real handful at a young age. Animals tend to calm down as they age, and although having an excited young dog is lots of fun, it is also lots of work.
In a nutshell, if you want a dog but have little spare time at your hands, I strongly recommend looking at this oven overlooked group of dogs. Give an older dog a loving home and you will have a loving, loyal friend who will rather sit than jump, lick than bite, shake than growl, sleep than cause mischief and give much more than they will ever take.
My Rosa was a real treasure and I miss her sorely.