Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reasons to consider adopting a Adult/Senior dog

In my last post I blogged about how we were considering adopting another dog into our family. Well in this post I've blogged about reasons why you (if your considering adding a pet to your family) should consider adopting a adult/senior dog. Now I'm not knocking puppies and puppy ownership, but there are some families out there in the world who just don't have the time, money or even the energy for a puppy and all that comes with puppy ownership.

The first dog that we ever owned was a 2 year old Black Lab/Cocker Spaniel mix named Shawna. My Grandfather adopted Shawna from the local animal shelter for my brother and I about 17 years ago. To this day Shawna has been the best dog that we've ever owned, more than likely because she was the first dog that we ever owned, but does that really matter? A little over 13 months ago we adopted Laci a then 5 year old Cocker Spaniel from the same shelter that we got Shawna from and couldn't be happier. So below are a few reasons that we've come up with for adopting a Adult/Senior dog plus a few that I found on the internet.

1. You’re not starting from scratch. When you buy/adopt a puppy, you're basically bringing an "infant" into your home. An "infant" who is completely untrained, possibly undersocialized who thinks that the crate you bought for him/her is a jail cell. And like a human baby will wake up during the night to get out. That newspaper you wanted to read before heading off to work, well with a puppy, that's just another thing that needs to be shredded, your shoes...well they are sooooo much tastier than the rawhides you bought for your puppy to chew on. Your brand new carpet....well that's just an excellent subsitute for grass when nature calls. Because rescue dogs spend time in foster homes before they are adopted, they come to you with at least some social skills and some degree of housebreaking!

2. Training is easier. Whatever additional training needs to be done with a rescue dog will be much easier than training a puppy. It’s like the difference between training a one-year-old child and an eight-year-old. Dogs who have been around for a while just “get it” faster than puppies-especially housebreaking!

3. The bond is strong. Dogs who have not gotten off to the best possible start in life-who have been neglected or even abused-tend to be very loyal and affectionate. Remember that dogs are pack animals, and they take their treatment by the “pack”-their owners and families-very much to heart. A dog that has been neglected or abandoned once is usually eager to become part of a loving pack, where she feels safe and secure, and is likely to act accordingly. We find that rescue dogs are generally eager to please their new owners. Puppy mill rescues often want to be in your lap at all times and will follow you from room to room, just to be near you.

4. Fewer vet fees. Rescue dogs have had physical examinations, have been spayed or neutered, have been tested for heartworm, and are up to date on shots. When you buy a puppy, you pay for the dog AND for puppy shots, spaying or neutering, and any other basic medical expenses.
What you see is what you get. When you buy a puppy, you can never really be sure what type of dog you’re going to get. All puppies are cute and playful, but their adult personalities aren’t visible until they’re about two years old. So you don’t know whether you’re getting a dog who wants to play all the time (ALL the time!) or a couch potato. When you rescue a dog, you know what the dog’s personality is like and whether it fits with what you want in a dog companion. You also know, in advance, about any problem areas the new owner will have to address.

5. It teaches your children good values. Face it-we live in an extremely materialistic society, in which TV teaches kids that everything can be bought, that they should get their parents to buy them everything, and that anything worth having costs a lot of money. Adopting a rescue dog for your family presents a wonderful opportunity to teach your children basic values of compassion and caring, and also about the value of second chances.

6. If your looking for a purebred....They can be found in shelters, plus there are breed specific rescue groups all over the internet....A good place to find to find rescue groups or animals that are looking to be rehomed in your area is petfinder.

7. What you see is what you get....When you adopt a adult/senior what you see is what your going to get. With a puppy, especially if the pup happens to be a mixed breed, your never quite sure what your going to get size or personality wise.

8. The "frosting" on the muzzle?.....well that's just icing on the cake. Don't let the "frosted" faces fool you. Technically, most dogs are considered to be "seniors" when they are between 5 and 7 years of age (depending upon size). A little "frosting" doesn't mean "old" and "run down" be honest some dogs just have "frosting"....Our dog Shawna had a frosted muzzle from the time we adopted her at the age of 2. Our Shawna moved around and acted 1/2 her age (she almost saw 20 years old) almost right up until the very end, even more so after we added Laci to the brood.

9. Not ALL dogs in shelters have "issues".....A lot of people have misconceptions about dogs that are in shelters. One of the bigger misconceptions is that the dog has "issues"....While yes there are some in shelters that have "issues" animals end up in shelters for any reason....Our Shawna was surrendered because her family was moving and she couldn't go along. Laci was surrendered due to a death in the family and financial struggles.

Now let's open this up for discussion. I seriously want to hear your thoughts or stories about this post. Do you prefer the puppies or are you like my family and love the adults too? Have you ever adopted? If so, I would soooo love to hear your adoption tale(s). If your someone who is considering getting a dog, was this post helpful to you in considering an adult/senior dog?


  1. I like the idea of a non-puppy dog. Puppies ruin a lot of things.

    My husband is so allergic to most animals. I'd like to have a bigger dog but we are stuck then with a poodle or labradoodle or something. And I'm not into the poodle thing. So we have this Yorkie. I wish we didn't. She's enough dog for me. (My kids love her though.)

    This is a good post. I hope people who might be on the fence read it and adopt a dog who really needs to be adopted right now!

  2. I think it's wonderful your thinking of adopting :) I just wish everyone would be as thouhtful and not run off to breeders and pay high prices when there are tons of needy dogs languishing in shelters in desparate need of a loving family , I adopted asnd it's the best thing I ever did , I already had a dog a little collie cross before that and a cat and after my little joshua died we fouind out we couldn't have anymore children I knew just the thing to help cure my ache a little another doggie :) At the time My other dog sasha was going through a phantom pregnancy so the timing of adopting was perfect cause she got to be a mother to the puppy I adopted from a shelter named the dog's trust and have never looked back she is a different kind of bundle of a joy althogether lol
    she is HYPER , loud fast and bouncy as hell but we love her to peices she's now a year old and has grown way bigger than my 6 year old collie ! we never expected that in a million years
    my little furry family took a little bit of getting used to this jumping hyper fluffy ball of a dog , but now she and the cat are the very best of friends and my other dog is a great playmate although things do get hairy sometimes and they have little fights over toys and stuff generally they get on great I woulod say totally do it it will be the best thin you ever did dog's = unconditional love :)

  3. Both our doggies are rescues. Two greater dogs you'll never meet! Both were adults when rescued. My son has two rescues also, both were puppies when he got them. Great dogs too. I guess it's like being a Chevy person or a Ford person!

    The Texas Woman

  4. That was a great post. Our sweet pure bred Springer Spaniel that we adopted was very much loved at our house. At first the kids didn't like him. ( he humped everything) After he got over that little issue and calmed down he was the best dog ever.

  5. Dropping by from SITS roll call to say hi. I like this post. Very thoughtful and informative. You have a generous heart to be rescuing adult dogs. If we were to get a dog (and first we'd need a bigger house with an actual yard) I would take your advice and adopt a home-needing, potty-trained, pre-neutered lapdog, though my husband would insist on a big dog. Maybe someday we'll get two! I'll check back soon to meet your new family member! have a great day!

  6. "frosting" cute!!!

    Yes, it would be nice to skip that housebreaking stage.

    We have a shelter here that I go to a lot and I just wanna bring them all home with me. :(

  7. We are big into adoption and adult dogs at that. I hate puppies, everyone sees puppies as cute. Me not so much. I guess I'm too much of a realist but I can't stand the destruction, and most importantly, the potty training. Gimmie a dog with a full sized bladder any day and I'll take that one in a heart beat. The youngest I've ever gotten was 9 months and the only reason we got him that young was because we have 1 dog already that is 'mental' and we needed to find one that was submissive. It took us almost 2 years to find the right dog and 9 months was still pushing it as far as I'm concerned.
    Older dog, always better in my mind.

    BTW, I can say the same about men. I prefer ones with some experience under their belt. I call them 'pre-trained'. Trust me on this one.

  8. I totally agree we adopted a little dog who was 4 years old and he's the best!


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