It appears many people prefer adopting a puppy over an older dog on the belief that they will bond better with the puppy. Sure an older dog that has been in rescue will probably have a bit of baggage (who doesn’t!), but in most cases, their past will not inhibit their ability to develop an emotional bond with a human.
TNR Trust took Dora in when she was still a puppy. Due to circumstance, she did not fit in well with her adoption family and ended up back at the TNR Trust kennels. She remained with us for about a year and her foster parents were actually quite okay with that.
Dora took upon herself the role as a “service dog” at the kennels: she was very special in her endearing behaviour towards any newcomers who are often nervous or depressed on arrival. She would greet everyone in the morning when they went out in the yard – large and small, cats and dogs.
She loved playing with all the dogs, but was just as happy playing by herself with a toy. In the house she was calm. She was a very gentle dog but an excellent guard dog too.
There are numerous reasons why you should consider adopting an older dog
You might think: “more than 1 year already, isn’t she a bit old?” Let’s get one thing straight first: old dogs CAN learn new tricks! After showing behaviour such as jumping when excited, Dora re-learned some basic obedience behaviour from our volunteers. Together with the volunteers, she made good strides towards calming herself down.
Aside from this, there are more reasons why older dogs are often a better fit for a family:
- They won’t chew your shoes and furniture like puppies
- They are more independent
- They are house-trained much faster (if they are not already house-trained)
For starters, be as predictable as possible. Older dogs that have come with “baggage” (neglected, abused, abandoned, …) might have had their trust in humans broken and it is up to you to rebuild this trust. Dora learned this through TNR Trust and its volunteers, all of whom believed in her 100%
And how is Dora doing now?
Dora was adopted by a fantastic couple with tons of rescue dog experience. Upon arrival, Dora trotted around the garden with such confidence and picked up a ball too. She quickly became friends with the other 2 dogs of the household.
Dora walks really well with me and now knows all the dog’s en route. She throws the ball around the garden for herself. She has been in the car twice and was fine. Eating well and puts herself to bed before me!!! I can’t thank TNR Trust enough!
– Dora’s new adoption family