Adopting an Adult Dog Will Make You Happy!

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You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks


Maggie May

This article points out several myths about adopting an older dog.  It is worth the read.

We’re entering this post in the first Blog the Change for Animals Blog Hop today as this is a real CHANGE we can make for all the seniors out there looking for their final home…

Our last 3 adopted dogs were all adults/senior Labs: Becca, a 10 year old former service dog, Jack, a 7-8 year old (and the inspiration behind SlimDoggy), and Maggie, an 8 year old ‘breeder dog’.  And we really couldn’t have been happier to have them.


As the article says, you know what you are getting with an Adult dog– no surprises about their demeanor or general behavior.   Further, we have noticed that these dogs had little trouble ‘bonding’ with their pack (human and otherwise), another myth buster.


We also notice that with proper exercise and a steady leadership hand, you can, indeed, teach an old dog a new trick!  In each of these cases, and with Jack and Maggie particularly, we have had success with changing behavior markedly.  Jack had a lot of behavioral issues- digging, ignoring commands, growling, to name a few.  He now is extremely well behaved.  Maggie was completely different from Jack– she was a fearful dog and apparently abused based on the scars and bite marks all over her body. She wouldn’t even eat out of a dish, not even steak, when we first brought her home.   She too, has changed for the better.  She has been growing in confidence no doubt in part to a regular exercise routine, and is truly becoming the princess of the household.  We are so proud of both of them  and feel an extra level of gratification in knowing that we made a real difference in their lives.


How about you?  Have you adopted an adult/senior dog before?  Or have you shied away and chosen to go the puppy route?  Please share your experience in the comments below.


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  1. what a wonderful topic to pursue! Yes, adult dogs do, indeed, make wonderful pets. We need to dispel the negative myths, and you do so concisely and completely here.

    And yes…I’ve adopted an adult dog. In fact, Buddy was the best dog I’ve ever shared my home with!

    Here’s to more homes for adult and senior dogs!!

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
    Kim Thomas

  2. Thanks Kim. Great to hear about Buddy! Thank you also for blogging change for animals. We can make the change if we blog the change!

  3. I adopted Logan as a an adult. He was the German shepherd I always wanted. He was also the most loving and loyal dog I’ve ever had. We had him 7 years. When he died I started blogging to memorialize his life and work through my grief.

    I hear people against adopting an adult dog say that they “want to start with a clean slate” or they don’t want to deal with “pre-existing problems.” Logan’s biggest problem was heartworms. We treated that. He also had a squeaky toy obsession. We fed that (sorry!) As far as clean slate goes, it’s not as great as one may imagine! We recently got a puppy. This “clean slate” is cute, but he poops on the floor, chews everything he can find and doesn’t sleep through the night. Logan came housebroken and leash trained. I didn’t realize what a big deal that was!

  4. From our experience with fostering dogs, we absolutely know that you can teach an old dog new tricks 🙂 Great post!

    • Fantastic, thanks Heather! Fostering is a noble and rewarding undertaking. Thanks for doing!

  5. How wonderful! I’ve only ever adopted one dog, my little pound pup, but we have helped facilitate the adoptions of a few adult dogs through our fostering, and have found them all to be great, wonderful pets. Thanks for posting your happy endings!

    • Fostering is so important and helps the rescues a lot. Thanks for doing that and please foster again if it is possible.

  6. Thank you for participating in Blog the Change Day! Although, we adopted our dogs as pups, I know people who have adopted adult dogs, and they do make great pets. I’m involved with a Pit Bull rescue group that has saved dogs from dog fighting situations and worked to place them in loving homes, That to me is definite proof that you can work with older dogs. Thanks for sharing!

    Vicki Cook
    Team BTC4A

    • It sure is Vicki. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing as well!

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