Congratulations on your decision to bring home an old dog! Adopting an old dog is just as exciting as adopting a puppy or a younger pooch, but there are some things you need to consider before you go all out on your new old dog. Old dogs are just as adorable as their younger counterparts. Still, old dogs have their specific, different needs, which you, as a responsible pet owner, need to meet. That being said, here are four tips to remember from HalleBalleDog.com when taking home an old dog:
1. Never act like a Beta Wolf.
Be kind and be patient, but make it clear from the start that you are the leader of the pack. While a puppy will know that he’s not in charge, an older dog might try to establish dominance to feel safe. Use a steady low voice when talking to your dog. Puppies and prey make high pitched noises; make sure you don’t.
2. Never do Jazz Hands.
Never, ever raise your hand or an object above a dog’s head. If a dog has been hit in the head or face before, that dog will feel attacked if it sees your hand move into position to strike.
3. Never Forget how hard your new Dog is Working.
You know you aren’t a dog abuser, but if your new dog’s last owner was, your dog will expect to be mistreated. Your new dog is learning so much, and it is pretty overwhelming. Pack order. New routines. New rules. It’s tough! So never forgot that your new furry friend needs some appreciation, even if he ate a sofa cushion or knocked something off a table. Teach and correct when you need to, but make sure you give your dog some love every day.
4. Never Give Up.
Old dogs can learn new tricks, but it takes a lot of patience. When you are mopping up pee for the fifth time that day, it is easy to conclude the dog is simply incapable of learning. But with consistency, you’ll get there and one day you will realize with joy that you didn’t have to clean up any accidents all day! Lavishly reward the behavior you want and you’ll eventually see more and more of it. Read another tip at the original post
While adopting an old dog may mean time and effort on your part to teach your old dog new tricks (yes, this is entirely possible!), the pros far outweigh the cons, something this new old-dog owner discovered.
Have you ever adopted an old pooch? Tell us about it!