Adoption Advice Part Two

Posted: July 1, 2012 in Helpful Advice
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Puppies Vs. Adults

Another major thing you should be thinking about when adopting a dog is, do you want a puppy or an adult dog? This should also be considered when adopting a cat or kitten.

Puppies: Puppies are a LOT of work and I’m telling you this from experience. They are very much like having a toddler in the house. They will get into anything and everything. It is a wise decision to puppy proof your home before bringing one home. This means hiding wires, keeping trash and plants out of reach, and blocking off any stairs. If no one is home for long periods of time, house breaking can be difficult. Puppies are small which means their bladders are as well. Expect trips outside every hour for the first few months if you want the least amount of accidents as possible and successful house training. (Note: Positive reinforcement is the best training method. Treats, kisses, and praise after a successful trip outside will show them that great things happen when they do their business outside!)

When you bring a puppy home, it is entirely up to you to shape a small impressionable being. If you do not take the time to provide proper training, you are guaranteed to have an out of control dog when it gets older. It won’t know right from wrong, because you didn’t teach it! Training should always be fun for you and your dog. If you are boring, the dog will find something more entertaining to do. Good times make for great learning and bonding.

Adults: Adopting an adult dog can be intimidating for some people. People automatically expect that because an older dog is at a shelter or rescue it is because of behavior problems that were unbreakable. I would guess that this is untrue 90% of the time. A lot of the time a dog has been dropped off for one of the following reasons; owner could no longer afford food and healthcare, owner moved to a non-pet friendly place, allergies of children, owner didn’t research breed before bringing it home, or any combination of these.

So let’s focus on the positive side of adopting an older dog. Adult dogs have seen a lot in their lifetime, so socialization may not be a big issue. They may already be okay with other dogs, cats, small animals, or kids. Or they may not be okay with one of the previously mentioned groups. In this case, you know that this animal is not a good fit for your home. Always ask the shelter/rescue about this. Older dogs have also grown into their personalities. You will know whether they’re mellow or would rather be running most of the day. Many times, since they may have come from a home situation, they might already be house broken.

Old dogs can still learn new tricks! The key is finding what motivates them, food or toys. (Again, I will note that I find positive reinforcement works the best.) If they do have some sort of behavior that you find undesirable, take the time to train them to do the right thing. Training is an easy way to build a bond with your new best friend.

Go ahead….bring your face closer! Mwahaha!



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