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Considerations when taking in an older dog?


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Will spare you details but considering taking in an older dog into our home.  Curious if anyone cares to opine on thoughts on below topics..

 

1.  How do older (say 5-8) dogs typically adjust to listening to a new "leader" or owner?  From both a basic obedience and hunting perspective.  I assume this not an issue but thought I should ask..

 

2.  Generally how hard is it to convert an older "kennel" dog into a "house" dog?

 

Thanks!

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I got my Setter at 13 months old and she was a kennel dog, she was actually spooked when she first entered the house. Crated her at first and she house broke in no time. Now she sleeps wherever she wants and that’s usually in bed with us. 

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I took a 10 yo setter in. Kennel dog that had never been in a house. Had him for 4 1/2 years and had a young setter at the same time. Besides having to teach him what stairs were, he adapted very quickly with few issues. Was great with the young dog. Great with my family (young child). One of the best dog moves I’ve made. 

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ScenicRoute

My experience has been older dogs are great.  Only downside is your time with them is less.   I’ve had several dogs I got as older dogs and they were the best dogs I ever had! 

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Good questions. I’ve never taken in an older dog so am all ears.

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A year ago we took in a 10 year old Jack Russell.  His owner, now 107, was in an assisted living place and it became too much of a chore and expense to have the dog walked several times a day.  The owner will be 108 in January.  Toby made the huge mistake of looking in the mirror and seeing a Rottweiler.  Willa my 6 year old Britt taught him the difference.  They now get along fine only after Toby paid the price and had a vet visit as a result of starting something he couldn't finish.  My 10 year old Britt and Toby have always gotten along.  He trusts her, but doesn't  fully trust Willa which is a good thing.  Toby has had an interesting life.  With the exception of 2 years in assisted living facility, he lived most of his life on a 28,000 acre barrier island off our coast where he had access to the outside which was not fenced.  He had a contentious relationship with the wildlife but he survived.  He is housebroken 28-29 days out of the month.  During the 3 days in which he isn't, he has  a preferred spot.  Without a doubt, it is out of spite that lets it fly.

"You didn't feed me on time; you shouldn't have scolded me, etc."   Fortunately his act of revenge is on a porcelain tiled floor. Gil

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Gosh I've know hundreds of folks over the years who've adopted older dogs from all sorts of backgrounds and, ASSUMING NO SIGNIFICANT BEHAVIORAL ISSUES WERE ON BOARD, very rarely has the new dog not fit in seamlessly. 

 

Kennel to house, house to house never mattered.  House to kennel would likely be a disaster however IMO and IME; separation anxiety of the highest order.

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1 hour ago, Setter58 said:

Also how hard is it to convert a kennel dog to a house dog?

Mind was only a year old but was 100% kennel dog. Same procedure as a puppy with a crate. No problem. 

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I adopted a 5 year old GSP six years ago. Remington had been a kennel dog whose owner had passed on.  I was unable to find out very much about his prior life from any of the contacts I had.  When I brought him home it was clear that he hadn't been hunted much, more had he had much obedience training.  He adapted to home life relatively quickly, eager to please, only a couple of accidents in the house before he was trustworthy about going out.  The crate at night for six months, then he slept in his bed without concern.  He was an able counted surfer, unlike my previous labs he could reach what he smelled on the counter.  I had him work with a professional trainer on his pointing and retrieving skills which quickly developed.  

Somewhere in his previous life a women with long hair must have abused him in some manner because he would really exhibit aggressive tendencies toward some women.  It got to the point that I had to rehome him again as it just wasn't working in my neighborhood.  

Unfortunately the aggression continued and he eventually had to be euthanized.  

I often wonder "why" and "what I could have done" as in the home with just my family he was a loving all dog and great companion as well as a fine dog afield.  He just couldn't be trusted.

Find out all you can about your potential dogs previous history.  Had I known more, I might have been able to "save" mine. Still makes me 😢 to think about Remington.

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greg jacobs

Adopted a Rot. They figured he was 3. Nearly starved to death. No history. We were a little nervous. A couple days in he had gone out into the back fenced yard and we heard a commotion. Looked out the window and he had something and was throwing it in the air, running around playing. Never looked back. He knew he was in a good place now. Turned into a really special dog. Raised 2 shorthairs with us. Went everywhere with us. Just lost him this last year. He is missed.

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Alaskan Swamp Collie

Took in a rescue golden once to rehome. Was a runner, as soon as she could she was gone. Tried a couple places and got her back through the pound. Never intended to hunt her, but put an e-collar on her to get her back in the yard(no fences just acres of woods). She learned to love the e-collar and would get really excited when we got it out, that meant she could run free and than come home. Lived her life out as a happy dog in our house.

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  • 1 month later...

We just adopted a combo Lab and something else ? ,She is the sweetest dog ever. She is anywhere between 7 or 9. very obedient but hard of hearing so you have to keep an eye on her when she is in the front yead. No trouble with housebreaking and the only problem I have with her is she doesn't share my bed. Settles down right in the middle and it's a heck of a job to move her over. I push her romp over so she moves her hesd over to my side I move her head over so she moves her rump back to its original position. Loves people especially kids but not keeen on other dogs.Doesn't fight just walks away.. When  we got her she was 2 days from being put down.

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Ray Gubernat

I have only had one dog in the house and he came from an outside kennel into the house as an adult dog ~ 7 yrs. old and lived out the rest of his life in the house.  I had to have him put to sleep at 18.     In over ten years, I can count on the fingers of one hand the times he messed in the house and each time it was because one of us thought the other had let the dog out and in fact no one had.   He was housebroken from day 1.  

 

I can say that I know of several field trial "retirees" that went from a cramped dog box and chain gang existence toa dog bed, living room sofa and grassy back yard lifestyle. 

 

My understanding is that each of those dogs understood that they just grabbed the brass ring and hit the lottery...all at the same time.  Dogs might not be Mensa candidates, but they mostly know enough not to mess up a good thing. 

 

RayG

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  • 3 months later...

We adopted an Oklahoma Roadie. Followed us home on a walk one Sunday morning in OK. Vet estimated he was 12 weeks old. We don’t know what his history was but he had obviously been thrown away and left on the street. He stayed with us 15 more years.

I could not hope to get a better dog. Easily housebroken. Got along with the cats and other dogs.

Knew his job. Every day the postman came and stole our stuff. He kept trying to tell us and warn him off, but we were never smart enough to figure it out. But he kept trying. It was his job after all.

Bottom line is dogs are very adaptable. Once they figure their place in your home or pack, they will fit right in.

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