When planning to take a puppy into the family, most people usually consider only one option – small puppy of the breed you like. The belief that there will be no problem with a dog bred from young age, unlike a dog taken from an early age, is very common. But is that really so? Even if you had no idea to take an adult dog home after reading this article, you may want to consider this option as well.
What Should I Know Before Getting an Old Australian Shepherd?
Most people are afraid that an adult dog has behavioral problems, and that may be true. Animals living in shelters are often in a state of restlessness, suffering from fear of loneliness, food aggression (when the animal defends itself after seeing food). However, not all dogs have behavioral disorders, as there are often abandoned pets, and they are certainly not bad, they are just very lonely. Good thing is that you can find out more about the selected dog from the shelter staff.
Of course, all adult dogs, same like adult people, have their own habits, and are not always good. An adult dog may like to scratch in the trash or disagree with other dogs. However, similar traits can develop in a dog, even if you get it small and raise it yourself. In order to properly influence his character and control his personality you will be able to only partially and never know what he will be like when he grows up. Even the influence you will make later is the result of serious work that requires patience and vigilance.
How Do You Bond With an Older Australian Shepherd?
Some people think that is impossible to bond with a dog if you get him older already, and that you won‘t have that good relationship that you could if you start raising a dog from an early age. But in reality this is not the case. Of course, if you plan to get an older Australian Shepherd, it will take some time to bond with him. Just like us humans, we need more time to trust, respect and love new humans in our life. The puppy also needs time to get used to the new home and life without mother. Those animals that are very attached to their owner are more afraid of loneliness.
Another good thing, when you take a dog out of a shelter, you feel the satisfaction of saving his life and not leaving him in a cage. You can also give a dog a lot of love, care, tenderness that he lost being alone. Dogs from shelter are able to express their devotion and gratitude to a new owner who treats them well.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Adopting an Older Dog?
When you take an adult dog home, you will already know its character. And the dog will no longer surprise you, as can happen to a young puppy. When you buy a small puppy, you will not predict whether it will be calm, nervous, hyperactive, friendly or timid. You can draw some conclusions based on the knowledge of the breed and the temperament of its parents. But this will not give you any guarantees. When you take an adult dog, you can really know who you will be dealing with.
In some cases, an adult dog is more suited to an established human lifestyle than a puppy. Especially if you are elderly or have little free time. Puppies, like children, need a lot of attention, case and patience. They need to be trained and socialized properly. Puppies do not know the rules, commands and what should be the right behavior in the human world. They fail to concentrate for long on what fascinates and at the same time can be disappointing.
In addition, the puppy needs to be vaccinated during the first year of life, shown to a veterinarian many times. On the other hand, an adult dog can get seriously ill and treatment can cost money. But these problems can occur in the future, even if you will get yourself a puppy Australian Shepherd.
Steps On How To Prepare For an Adult Dog
- If possible, feed regular meals at the beginning
It is necessary to take care of the usual dog food for at least a few weeks in advance, so make sure to get the food as it was fed before moving into your house. Because adding other foods to all the changes can upset your digestion.
- Plan where could be his own place at home
When planning to get an adult Australian Shepherd, take care of its place or cage in advance. Think about where could be his own place. If the animal will live in an apartment or a private house, choose a slightly more secluded living space or even a separate room where the dog can easily get used to the changed living environment, as well as have a place to rest and relax. Slowly, observing from the side and from a safe place, the dog will get used to the new home and its household.
- The animal should be introduced to the family members gradually
It is advisable to invite the dog to approach the person himself, which shows his willingness to communicate. If the dog is not yet available, do not rush the events, do not go straight to him, because walking directly towards the dog, bending over him, putting his face close can be interpreted by the animal as aggression, a threat.
Proper Communication and Friendship
- Human leadership and proper communication are important
A dog expects not only self-confidence from a person, but also clear communication and the ability to make the right decisions. You, as the new owner, need to show that you know what you are doing and that the dog must listen and respect you.
It may be that a new member of your family will even want to check on you sometimes, this is a very important period. You should not show aggression, but you have to show that you are the leader here and you set the rules.
A brave and strong dog who lacks leadership is likely to aggressively raise an owner or his family members. A caring dog will take care of the owner or the whole family, which can eventually lead to separation anxiety problems.
Meanwhile, a cowardly dog, not feeling behind the owner like behind a wall, will be prone to even greater fears.
- Discover what you could do together
Once the dog recognizes the leadership and other needs are met, then it is already possible to talk about deepening the relationship. Because if you want to have a strong connection with your pet, you have to get to know each other, which will definitely not happen if you just let the dog run around your fenced yard every day without any games or time spent together.
When choosing a dog, you have to decide what is better for you. Are you ready to take a very energetic dog or a guard dog that will require more attention. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take a small puppy and enjoy it from an early age, but often adult dogs are more suitable for a long-established lifestyle.