Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

  • Added:
    Sep 08, 2013
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My Fräulein
My Fräulein
Photo by jesse?

When faced with the possibility of adopting an older dog, most people will probably think it is a risky thing. After all, older dogs have already been in the hands of other dog owners and probably learned a whole lot of things that the new candidate may not want to face.

The thing here is to try and learn first who was the former owner and why did he want to get rid of the dog. There are breeders that do get rid of their older dogs simply because they are of no more use to them. If a female dog, for example, has been bred enough times it would be impossible or her to continue producing healthy puppies, or if it happens to be a male dog, perhaps as a stud he has lost his previous potential.


Older pure dogs may be sold because of some health conditions that do not serve the breeder’s purpose, or they may have simply been retired.

There are also times when a dog owner has to either sell or give his older dog away because the owner himself cannot take care of him adequately any more.

As can be seen, there are valid reasons for a breeder to get rid of his older dog, and none imply the dog has any problems whatsoever.

On the other hand, if what the possible new dog owner is trying to do is adopt, and he or she is faced with the fact that there are many more older dogs than puppies at the time of adoption, the possibility of him or her learning about the dog’s past is practically none. So, what to do then? Cancel the idea because of fear? Perhaps punish the dog for something it never did and not allow it to have a proper and loving home for the rest of its days?

It is commonly said that you cannot teach an older dog new tricks, and that is quite commonly the reason potential new dog owners use to avoid bringing one home. Boy, they don’t know what they are missing!

First of all, what is the main headache the owner of a new puppy typically has?  The training, of course. And it really takes a lot of patience, knowledge, perseverance and time in order to teach the puppy what you want it to learn. Do you have all of these? Sometimes people think that dogs learn through osmosis, but they really do not. Then again, neither do children, and if you have one, you better have all the qualities named above and then some more if you want to raise a good child.

When thinking about the benefits of adopting an older dog , many come to mind. We already mentioned the training. Normally, these dogs have already been trained, especially if they are dogs that are facing retirement because they cannot continue performing whatever tasks they were performing before. Because they are not as active as a younger dog normally is, they can focus on you much more easily and therefore, learn faster what you are trying to teach them.

Because they are more experienced, they are more mature and therefore, wiser. What I mean is, they can identify their new owner’s needs and wants faster and more easily. They are more loving and less attention seeking creatures, like puppies normally are, and require less attention to physical activities like running or playing, in case you are not a physical type of person.

Supposing you already have another dog at home and are scared there may be difficulties with the older dog adapting to the new pack; that is not necessarily what characteristically happens. On the contrary, they adapt themselves much more easily and sometimes even help teach the other dog how to be a part of a pack. They have been seen even to become the “mothers” of the other dogs when there is none present.

Because they have already been housetrained, the new owner will be faced with many less messes of all kinds a new dog leaves when in the learning process, so there is also less stress in the household. If there are children, remember those leave their own messes, so it is always good to be free of some.

Another of the benefits of adopting an older dog if the new owner is not a youngster himself is the fact that the need for mutual company will probably be much faster be met by both parties, since the energy levels are more or less the same.

We humans are supposed to learn all the time throughout our lives and one of the things these magnificent older dogs can teach us is what love, acceptance and gratitude are if we just give them a chance.


The benefits of adopting an older dog are definitely many more than what the fear of doing so may make the possible new owner try and think twice.

Author's Profile

The author is running a site and a blog related to dog training,grooming and dog care. For more information about dog training and dog care, pay them a visit.


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