When the time comes to adopt a dog, most pet owners choose a puppy. However it is also possible to adopt an adult dog. It’s a good way to give a second chance to an abandoned animal and offer them all the love they deserve!
Advantages of adopting an adult dog
An adult dog is calmer than a puppy and has often been educated to live in a house. You won’t need to take charge of their education and socialization from A to Z, but only to teach them the rules of their new environment. Plus, by adopting an animal from a shelter, you have the opportunity to be briefed about their history and character. Therefore, you can choose a dog that suits you, your family (children, other animals) and your lifestyle.
Preparing for the arrival of the dog
To be under the best possible conditions to welcome the new member of your family, choose a long weekend or holidays. You will have plenty of time to meet your dog, get to know them and secure them. Make sure the house is secured and bring the whole family up to date on what the dog is or is not allow to do. Give your pet time and serenity. Make sure no one is petting them too much or pushing them to play, especially a child who can’t wait to make a new friend! It is essential to give your dog a place of their own, symbolised by a basket, a pillow or a blanket. Also remember to ask the shelter about their habits and try to respect them: give them the same kind of food and offer them the same physical activities.
Acquiring good habits
Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not too late to teach good manners to an adult dog. Unlike puppies, adult dogs are more attentive, for a longer time and more motivated to learn. You must avoid punishments: a misunderstood punishment increases anxiety and stress. Instead, it is better to reward your pet. At the beginning, rewards must be automatic when they behave well. When your pet gets more reliable and gets used to their new environment, reward them less frequently. When your pet is about to do something forbidden, divert their attention to avoid a frustrating confrontation.
A dog from a shelter may have lost the habit of living in a house. However, be forgiving if the animal relieves themselves inside your house and do not punish them as they may be emotional. You will need to offer your dog walks often to readjust their habits. You may need to be patient to make your dog aware of the new rules.