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For some people, coping with a new puppy can just be too much. So adopting an older dog can be the solution. Sometimes your new companion may come from a breeder who no longer wants to breed from this particular animal for one reason or another. Or it may be a show animal that is not quite up to show standards. It may also be a pet from someone who has passed away. All these different situations can present their own problems.
Adopting an older dog from a breeder needs to be undertaken with care. If it is a reputable breeder with animals that are well socialized and well groomed, you should have no problem. Whether male or female, your new companion will be delighted to be in a home where he or she has your undivided attention. Also, he or she should have no problem with being left alone for relatively long periods of time, so well adapted for someone who is working outside the home.
If adopting an older dog who has been used or brought up for show purposes, you will probably have an easily manageable, well trained animal. This would allow you to have a beautifully groomed animal with relatively little work on your part, apart from regular daily maintenance brushing and combing which will be a pleasure for you both and will reinforce your bond with your new friend.
If you are adopting an older dog who has been left after the death of his owner, you are at the mercy of whatever training he has had before. Be prepared to spend some time and lots of patience finding out what he likes and how he is used to being treated. If he was very attached to his past owner, he might spend sometime not eating very much and generally being very miserable. Only lots of love and attention can get around this. Don’t take an animal that has lost his owner unless you have the time to spend with it.
Wherever you find your pet, if you are adopting an older dog be sure and have it checked out very thoroughly by your vet. It is not unknown for unscrupulous breeders to sell animals with very serious health problems. Do not trust their own vet, and have him looked at by your own. Any reputable breeder will have no problem with this, and will even encourage you to do so. If they become annoyed or offended, look for your companion elsewhere. Putting your heart before your head at this point can lead to massive heartache – and expense – in the future.
Make sure your new friend has a comfortable bed. If he is ageing, then maybe one of the orthopedic type beds such as Canine Cushion Orthopedic Fabric and Fleece Dog Bedor memory foam might be helpful. With stiffening joints in old age, creature comforts become important. Also feed him on easily digestible food and give only non fattening treats. He might not want to play as much as a puppy, but might still appreciate a small soft toy to keep him company.
All things considered, adopting an older dog can be an excellent solution. Your new friend is much happier, you don’t have the problems of puppy training, and you can see immediately what your pet looks like and how he behaves!