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8 Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

There are few things sweeter than puppies. They’re adorable, silly, and come with boundless energy that is infectious.

However, adult dogs have a charm of their own. If you are looking for a canine companion to share your life and home with, you might consider these eight reasons to skip the puppy stage and adopt an adult dog.

  1. You can save a life. Once a dog crosses the age of 5, their chances of being adopted decrease significantly. Sadly, they are often the first euthanized, even though many of them have plenty of good years ahead of them.

  2. Older dogs in general have an undeserved bad rap. You may hear cautions like “You don’t know what you’re getting into with an older dog.” However, this is often not the case. There are many reasons why dogs wind up in shelters, and most of them have nothing to do with behavioral issues. Most shelters perform a series of temperament tests and interview the surrendering family to understand the dog better. This actually gives you a better idea of what to expect than with a puppy whose personality has not fully developed.

  3. Older dogs are usually house trained. Most have already lived in a home and are well aware that inside the house is a “no no” when it comes to going potty. If they are not, they are often easier to house train than puppies due to being fully developed. If you’re worried about house training an older dog, download our H.A.B.I.T. Method here which teaches how to communicate with your dog in a way they understand. Many of our community have experienced first hand how easy house training can be with Porch Potty.

  4. Older dogs are often easier to train in general. Many already know basic obedience commands, but if they don’t, their longer attention spans lend to easier training.

  5. Rescuing an older dog can be a two-way street. We have all heard heroic stories of dogs like Sadie, who was turned away by three shelters before she finally found her furever home with Brian Meyers. A few months later, Sadie saved his life by helping him to his cell phone after he collapsed in the middle of the night. While not all stories are dramatic as this one, stories of the rescued becoming the rescuer are far from uncommon.

  6. Older dogs are calmer than their young counterparts. If you have small children, puppies and younger dogs in their excitement can often play too rough. An older dog is less excitable and often gentler with little ones around. Most shelters will state if a dog has proven himself to be good with children.

  7. Older dogs can be your exercise buddy right from the start. If you’re looking for a dog to join you on long runs, you might consider an older dog. Puppies need to be leash trained, and as their bones and muscles develop, they may not be up for long runs for some time still. An older dog is ready for those long happy jogs right from the start! Read how Peety and Eric saved each other’s life and became marathoners together!

  8. You can adopt the breed of your choice. Is there a specific breed you have always wanted but never got? Maybe you always wanted a husky, but their long “puppyhood” has discouraged you or the cost of buying a purebred from a breeder was prohibitive. I promise you, you can find an adult dog of any breed right now in a shelter for a fraction of the price you’d pay at a breeder.

Honestly, this list doesn’t even skim the surface of the many joys of adopting an older dog. There is no reason to believe that bonding with an adult dog is harder than bonding with a puppy. If you are looking at opening your home to a new canine companion, I urge you to consider all options.

Please keep in mind that when we make the choice to bring a dog home, it should be a lifelong commitment. With any dog, there will be hurdles to cross and with older dogs, there may very well be some kinks to work out. However, with time and enough love, we know these hiccups can be overcome. While it may seem overwhelming to consider, know that Porch Potty is here to help you on your journey.

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