Who Says You Can’t Teach Old Dogs New Tricks Why You Shouldn’t Shy Away From Adopting Older Dogs

As a nation of animal lovers, we understand how difficult it can be when it comes to choosing your family pet. With such a wide variety of animals to choose from, it can be a tough job narrowing the search down to any specific breed, let alone considering things like age!

At Carla Lane, we have been rescuing animals for nearly 30 years, and in that time we have had quite a variety come through our doors; from kittens and puppies to more senior cats and dogs through to chickens, ducks and even the odd goat! As such, we consider ourselves rather knowledgeable about what it takes to make a great rescue pet, and today we want to share a little of what we know with you.

Why You Should Consider Adopting An Older Dog 

Over the years we have had hundreds of dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes under our care whilst they wait for their forever homes. Unfortunately, we have seen an on-going trend in those more senior canines being overlooked for younger dogs and puppies.

All of our animals need dedicated and loving owners, so of course, we love it when any of them are adopted by people who will love and care for them. However, it is a little heartbreaking to see the same beautiful dogs being bypassed time and time again simply because they are a little older.

So, we want to share a few of our thoughts when it comes to rescuing older dogs, and ultimately why we feel they make the greatest pets (albeit we are a little biased of course!)

You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

We have all heard the age-old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but we are here to say that is simply not the case! Over the years this idea that older dogs are much more challenging to train has been driven home repeatedly, which sadly has led to many potential owners shying away from the older breeds.

Older dogs are often (but not always!) much more laid back than pups, meaning that they are less easily distracted, and more eager to learn! They can actually have fantastic attention spans, and will often go above and beyond to please their owners or just to get a treat!

Now, we understand this is not always the case, and some dogs will present more challenges than others when it comes to learning something new. But all dogs want to learn, and every dog CAN learn.

Many people assume that training an older dog is incredibly difficult work, and whilst this can be the case if your dog has picked up some bad habits over the years, it is certainly not an impossible task. We also like to remind those considering the pros and cons of adopting a senior dog that whilst it may be tricky at times, it can be just as hard (if not more so) to train a brand new puppy!

Older Dogs Aren’t “Problem Dogs” 

In our line of work, it is common that we get dogs coming to us that have had very difficult upbringings. This could be a dog who has suffered from being young, or one that has found itself in hard times later in life before being brought to Carla Lane. In all cases like these, there is a need for extra care and attention so that we can be sure they are fit for homing, and go to the best possible home when the time is right.

Sadly, due to their turbulent backgrounds, these are often the dogs who are dismissed as being “problem dogs”, and consequently can spend months or even years with us waiting for a forever home.

Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to know the history of every dog we get here, as many are picked up from pounds or simply off the streets. However, each of our dogs gets a full assessment when it arrives, which allows us to get to know the dog’s temperament and character, and gives us a much better idea of the type of home it should go to.

It is true that most of these dogs will require extra care, extra time and a lot of extra patience, however we have seen first hand just how loving they can be when given a chance, which is the most rewarding part of the entire process.

Great For First Time Dog Owners

If you consider yourself an inexperienced dog owner, adopting an older dog can be a fantastic way of learning all you need to know, as well as giving you the opportunity to offer a brand new chapter to an older dog’s life!

The vast majority of older dogs will already have the basic levels of training in its arsenal, which is great news for you if you aren’t knowledgeable about training techniques yet! This can allow you to really get to know your dog’s character, its likes, and dislikes and how much it knows without worrying too much about teaching it the basics.

In our experience, those who have adopted an older dog from us have found that they have fit into the family seamlessly, as usually, they have already established a demeanor and temperament so that you can gauge right from meeting them whether they would make a good fit for your family.

Adopting An Older Dog Can Be Incredibly Rewarding

Last, but by no means, least is the pure joy and reward you will get from giving an older dog a second chance at a family life, which is by far the most incredible feeling!

In an ideal world there would simply be no need for rescue centres such as Carla Lane, but sadly the truth is that we take in such a high volume of dogs many of which come to us for valid reasons where owners may have passed away or can no longer care for their dog, but many of which have been abandoned, abused or otherwise mistreated

These dogs have known a whole different life before they come to us, and despite our best efforts to provide care and home comforts, kennels can be pretty scary places. So when someone comes along and takes in one of our older dogs, we love to hear all about how they are doing, and the stories of how they have completed the family make it all so worth it!

We find that the sense of reward that comes with giving an older dog a new home is unlike anything else, and in fact will keep on giving as the bond grows!

So, Should You Consider Adopting An Older Dog?

With the UK pet population being at an estimated 9 million dogs, it is more often than not that we receive dogs that are no longer classed as young dogs. So it goes without saying that the majority of rescue dogs are “older”, but should you still consider adopting them? Absolutely!

We understand why many families opt for puppies; they’re great – tiny, playful, exciting and above all else – CUTE! However, we get many of those pups coming through our doors a couple of years down the line when they are bigger and have grown into their personalities, often resulting in them being a bit too much for the owners!

We couldn’t recommend enough that you consider finding out more about a rescue dog before ruling them out, they have so much to give, and could really complete your family perfectly.

We currently have over 30 dogs across a range of ages desperate to find a place they can call home, so please consider popping in for a visit, we are open every day of the week and we will be happy to take you around and tell you all we can about each dog to make sure they are going to be right for you!

Check out our rescue dog page to see some of the wonderful faces we have in our care right now!