The Golden Retriever Club Inc.
New Zealand

The Older Dog

If you are not prepared to go through the trials and training of a puppy, an older puppy or even a mature dog can be a good alternative.  Especially in households in which the family pet may have to spend much of the day unsupervised.  Goldens are very adaptable and a Golden Retriever of any age with a good temperament can become a member of the family in a very short time.  There are many reasons why an older dog can become available.

Breeders sometimes hold onto a puppy until it is old enough to determine its show or breeding potential, or circumstances have changed and a breeder is trying to help re-house a much loved pet.  There are many reasons but whatever they may be, the grown dog is available, house-trained, knows commands, and has formed behaviour patterns.  If the dog has been loved and well taken care of he will continue to give love and devotion to his new owners because a properly raised Golden loves and needs people.  Never be hesitant to take an outgoing, good-natured older dog into your home, although it may be confused at first and cause a few problems.  Patience, consistency and reassurance are the key words.  The dog’s self confidence will return and it will adapt readily to your routine.

Try to find out all you can about the older dog you are considering taking home, so that you can determine if his temperament is compatible with yours.  Learn, as much about his habits, diet, likes, and dislikes, daily routine and past history.  It is important all of your family members meet the dog before its adoption and agree that this is the one they want.  Try and stay with the dog for the first few days.  A long weekend is ideal.  Time must be taken to make clear that the dog knows where it is to sleep, relieve itself, where and when it will eat, what it can and cannot do in the house.  Give the dog a month to settle and gain confidence.  Once you both know what is expected of each other then the reward will be a loyal and devoted companion.


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