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How old is too old to adopt?

techpuppy
January 7th, 2006, 07:25 PM
Hi Everyone,

We've started the process of looking for a new family member since Hank passed away. All of you provided such great support and compassion I thought I'd get some more advice.

We visited a no-kill shelter today. It was a bit overwhelming. There were over 100 dogs all trying to get our attention. It was a wonderful facility. I had visited their website and found a few candidates that fit our needs. But the shelter hadn't updated their website so one of the puppies is now over a year old. Of all of their canines only 3 were less than a year old and two of them were recovering from illnesses as they had been dumped. The other I assume had been abused as it shied away from all human contact.

My question is, how old is too old to adopt a dog and still be able to give it socialization, obedience training, housebreaking, etc?

Our hope was to find a young puppy that would grow up to be a medium sized dog of around 45 - 50 lbs. As selfish as it sounds, we've also been hesitant to adopt an older dog because we would have so much less time with it. Hank just made it past 10 years and that seemed way to short.

The folks at the shelter said that puppies were adopted very quickly, but that so many of them were returned when they grew up. I know that's completely off this subject, but it makes me mad anyway...so much for committment.

Thanks for your help and advice!

raingirl
January 7th, 2006, 07:35 PM
I think most people here will say no dog is too old. All dogs can learn new things. Some older dogs may never be able to get along with other dogs if they weren't socialized, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be a good dog to adopt. As for training and housebreaking, that can be done with a dog at any age.

Prin
January 7th, 2006, 07:40 PM
I know old dogs are in need, but even a 4 or 5 year old has a bad chance of getting adopted...

I know a border collie mix who needs a home (he's not good with kids) and nobody wants him. He's young (under 2) and nobody wants him (did I say that already? :o). He was in a foster home for around 7 months before a friend of mine adopted him, without knowing he was aggressive with kids... If you won't have kids for the next 15 years, maybe he would be ok...
Mikey (http://www.petfinder.com/pet.cgi?action=2&pet=5376663&adTarget=&SessionID=43c06d58048151d9-app3&display=&preview=&row=0&tmpl=&stat=)

coppperbelle
January 7th, 2006, 07:44 PM
I don't think there is such a thing as being too old to adopt. It all depends on what you are looking for. Older dogs usually come house trained and may even be obedience trained. Recently I fostered a 6 year old boy. He was a perfect gentleman the whole time he was in my home. He never once had an accident and knew all his basic commands and even a few tricks. He was great with my own two dogs and with anyone who came to the house to visit. He was calm in the house and did not require tons of exercise.
On the other hand if you are looking for action then a puppy is the way to go.
Regardless of what age of dog you decide to get I am happy that you are looking at rescuing one from a shelter. There are so many dogs that need a good home.
Good luck

BMDLuver
January 7th, 2006, 07:53 PM
How about this sweetie? :)

Lucky Rescue
January 7th, 2006, 08:22 PM
There is no "too old" as far as training and bonding with you are concerned. If you're looking for a running partner, that's different!:)

Older animals are so wonderful. Most of them have no interest in tearing your house up and just want someone to love them.

If you're near Quebec, here's one desperately needing a home, who is going to die merely because people who don't care decided to abandon her.
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=22770

Shamrock
January 7th, 2006, 09:29 PM
To me... an older dog (or cat) offers the best of both worlds.
The end result - without all that work.
I understand your concern about the dog's lifespan, especially with the loss of Hank at just 10.
Longevity varies for lots of reasons - just as with people, but a 40-50 pd dog is medium size, and should be expected to enjoy good health for many years and live a long time,.

Smaller dogs often live considerably longer than their heavier counterparts, if that is something you might consider as an option.

I was looking specifically for a small adult dog, adopted mine at 5 yrs old.
As he had no background history, I was a bit worried - did he have bad habits that now might be hard to break?
There were none - just lots of love, devotion and energy. He's always been very receptive to learning new things, and now 10, hasnt slowed down a bit. I could see him going another 10.:D ..or close to it.
The bonding was immediate - like we were meant to find each other.


Good luck in your search, and kudos to you for going through a shelter to find your doggie!

jawert1
January 7th, 2006, 09:45 PM
Simon and Peaches were adopted at approx. 3 years old and we had adjustment growing pains, but overall, I don't count their adoption age as lost time. It's what you do with the time ahead of them that matters :)

coppperbelle
January 8th, 2006, 08:02 AM
There is no "too old" as far as training and bonding with you are concerned. If you're looking for a running partner, that's different!:)

Older animals are so wonderful. Most of them have no interest in tearing your house up and just want someone to love them.

If you're near Quebec, here's one desperately needing a home, who is going to die merely because people who don't care decided to abandon her.
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=22770

OMG is she still available? Is someone going to help her?

LavenderRott
January 8th, 2006, 10:54 AM
I know a lovely woman in Montana that adopted an 8 year old rottweiler last year. Her husband has been training him and there has been some talk of entering him in some shows this summer to see if he can earn his first obedience title!

Frenchy
January 8th, 2006, 11:22 AM
Bailey was 6 years old when I adopted him and Daisy was 8 years old.They are the bests!And never too old to learn new tricks,and even if they have a history,sometimes the people who "dumped" them just say things as an excuse to leave their dogs.Daisy didn't like other dogs than Bailey.I had about 6 fosters since september and Daisy got used to seeing dogs coming and going and has no problem now.As for the time left with older dogs,I say quality over quantity.But in the end,it's your decision.

SnowDancer
January 8th, 2006, 11:45 AM
We adopted a 7 year old Beagle from the Humane Society who lived to be just shy of 20. He had been bounced around and life began anew once he found his forever home. He was a puppy until the day he died. Our youngest dog after that was 6 months old - and he died at 7 years and 2 weeks of age - he was supposed to live until he was 16 at least. Most of our rescues were of varying ages but for the first time in July 2004 we adopted a 13 week old puppy. He is a darling little angel/DEVIL! who is now 21 months. I had planned on adopting a dog that was at least 3 or 4 due to my age - but well puppy we have and I can tell you for sure training an Eskimo puppy has been harder - and less successful - than training/retraining Alpha Dachshunds. Good thing he is so sweet natured - and he does understand the commands - he just decides when he is going to follow them. I am not even a fluffy white dog person, but he is adorable - and counts on it.

Cflat
January 8th, 2006, 01:34 PM
The pet is too old if it isn't breathing anymore. Before that is the optimal time for adoption. Older animals have SO much to give and I dont' think that I would have a puppy or kitten again (ok never say never). :love:

Beautygirl
January 9th, 2006, 05:48 PM
The pet is too old if it isn't breathing anymore. Before that is the optimal time for adoption. Older animals have SO much to give and I dont' think that I would have a puppy or kitten again (ok never say never). :love:

LOL....That's so true. We adopted our 1st dog as a puppy.When she passed away we adopted another that was a little over a year. After her illness and death we adopted another female that was around a year old. The last 2 from shelters.

lm9012
January 9th, 2006, 06:12 PM
i agree with everyone here. I adopted my pup about 3 months ago. Our vet GUESSES he's around 5. At the shelter they told us he was a year old. In a way I'm glad they didn't tell us the truth..I shudder to think what we would've done had we known the truth. Honestly, we were hoping for a young dog, 1-2 yrs old. I know...BAD MOMMY!!! By the time we took him to our car we were in love and by the time they told us his age, we didn't care! He's so laid back, doesn't require much exercise..just lots of love. He's well trained and so low maintenance! He's happiest on my lap getting a belly rub. I don't know what kind of life he had before..but like another poster stated...it's what you do with them after that counts. We wonder all the time how long we have him for..we figure we'll take whatever we can get. He's completely changed our lives for these past three months, that's what counts!
Point being..don't look at age..you can have an idea of the breed, size, or sex that you prefer..but the bottom line is the doggie picks you, not the other way around! :angel:

BoxerRescueMTL
January 9th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Never too old!! Olive (in pink) is 10 yrs old, and Dudley (in blue) is 8yrs old. We adopted them both this fall/winter. I bet you couldn't look at these faces and tell them they're too old ;)
http://www.breederoo.com/users/monty/images/photos/gallery/10496.jpg

Boubou
January 9th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Well, adopted my most recent one at 16!!!! Actually we thought she was 13, but the ex-owners have assured me she is 16. She was a dog who lived her life chained to a dog house on a four foot cord and she is amazing. No arthritis, only slightly deaf and a bit of cataracts, but she can walk and walk and never get tired. She loves to play AND she is the boss of my other two, they know not to go near her when it is cookie time or a piece of food is dropped accidentally on the floor - she's hilarious!

There is a picture of her under the topic "13 year old tied up outside" (Petunia the mix keeshound) - so this also qualifies as an update as well!! Wish I could post a recent pic of her at New Years. She is an absolute delight and we love her to death. I know we will have her for many years to come.

It is never too late to adopt a dog. I'd take and intelligent, mature dog anyday over a silly, goofy little puppy. I just love the look an older dog has in his face, they look so wise and sweet......:pawprint: :pawprint:

Prin
January 9th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Just don't get your hopes up though. You can decide on an elderly dog and be ready for every eventuality except the rescue turning you down.;)

techpuppy
January 10th, 2006, 11:56 PM
Hi and Thanks Everyone!

I can see that adopting an older dog is not a problem. That's good news. I appreciate the comments and advice.

Things have really changed since last time we adopted. Prin is right about adoption applications. Just about everyone has one. They average about 3 pages long. And many shelters won't even let you see their dogs until after the application is approved. One shelter which is a three hour drive away insists that the application be completed in person with no adoption possible until the next day. I don't blame the shelters for having applications, although it would be nice if there was a standardized form.;)

Inverness
January 11th, 2006, 12:16 AM
Never too old!! Olive (in pink) is 10 yrs old, and Dudley (in blue) is 8yrs old. We adopted them both this fall/winter. I bet you couldn't look at these faces and tell them they're too old ;)
http://www.breederoo.com/users/monty/images/photos/gallery/10496.jpg

CRYSTAL !!! I love the pic ! Olive and Vegas look like newly weds !!! :love:

BoxerRescueMTL
January 11th, 2006, 08:33 AM
Oh Inverness! That's Dudley not Vegas! Here's the three stooges though, including Vegas. People always ask me if Vegas and Dudley are the parents and Vegas their baby.
http://www.breederoo.com/members/monty/images/photos/gallery/9750-thumb.jpg

Inverness
January 11th, 2006, 09:39 AM
Oh Inverness! That's Dudley not Vegas! Here's the three stooges though, including Vegas. People always ask me if Vegas and Dudley are the parents and Vegas their baby.
http://www.breederoo.com/members/monty/images/photos/gallery/9750-thumb.jpg

DUH ! I knew that ! Sorry for the confusion in names, I mean did you see at what time I posted that comment ? I guess it was way past my bedtime !!! :rolleyes: Still, I say it again: I LOOOOVE that pic. I feel like throwing rice everywhere ! HUH, well I think maybe that would not be a good idea with the dogs... :crazy:

BoxerRescueMTL
January 11th, 2006, 09:47 AM
LOL! I should have realized that you know better! I am just so used to it. Even though the 3 look completely different, people are always mixing them up.

meb999
January 11th, 2006, 10:10 AM
People always ask me if Vegas and Dudley are the parents and Vegas their baby.
[

So then Vegas would be his own parent?? LOL!

meb999
January 11th, 2006, 10:12 AM
I also love that pic of the 3 stinkers!! Olive looks like such a girlie girl with her pink coat!

BoxerRescueMTL
January 11th, 2006, 10:30 AM
People always ask me if Vegas and Dudley are the parents and Vegas their baby.

oops, I can't even get my own dog's names straight!
Olive looks like such a girlie girl with her pink coat!
lol, ya she is such a princess. she is growling at me for food right now. she only had breakfast an hour ago!

Beautygirl
January 11th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Oh Inverness! That's Dudley not Vegas! Here's the three stooges though, including Vegas. People always ask me if Vegas and Dudley are the parents and Vegas their baby.
http://www.breederoo.com/members/monty/images/photos/gallery/9750-thumb.jpg


OMG! They are the cutest things. Love the pic!

SnowDancer
January 11th, 2006, 05:04 PM
Have you asked Hank's vet, assuming you still live in same area, if he/she knows of any dogs that would be suitable for your home? You will already be known to the vet so that will not be a hurdle - and would most likely continue to use same vet so everybody is happy.