DJF asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

adopting a shelter dog... how does their age effect training?

i have had several dogs growing up (lhasa apsos and a mastiff, as well as other family and friends' dogs) and trained them very well socially and in obedience. but i had these dogs from the time they were like 8weeks old and got them from good breeders.

most dogs i see in the shelters are 10 months to 2 years old. how well can a young adult shelter dog be trained in terms of attention, obedience, social skills, etc? can ALL their bad habits be worked out with good, consistant training?

i would love to adopt a pit bull/am staff, a rottweiler, german shepard, or any other strong breed, but i just dont know what to expect in terms of their behavior. i need a very good family dog. i am willing and able to put in the time and effort with a dog, i need to know if a young adult shelter dog can live up to my expectations... or is it better to go with a very young shelter dog or even from a good breeder.

thank you all so much for your time!

11 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Age does affect the learning curve in that it takes much more time and energy to accomplish your goals. It's much harder.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Training, teaching and learning is an ongoing process, age will not effect this. Training will not necessarily be "harder", but it will be effected by other factors, like the dog's personality and temperament, their readiness to learn, and of course it will depend on your commitment and patience.

    If you are not confident in adopting a dog and fully training it yourself, you should enroll both you and your dog into obedience classes. Not only will a trainer help you with your dog, but this will give you a solid chance to bond with the dog. Many trainers will give you discounts on basic obedience classes if you bring in proof that your dog came from a shelter or rescue organization.

    Not all shelter dogs have bad habits, not all shelter dogs were given up because of bad habits or behavior. If you adopt, you may get a dog with a few nasty habits, or you may not. Even a puppy that you acquire at a young age may develope bad habits and undesirable behavior. Most "bad habits" can be worked through with consistent training, but you will have to deal with that if and when that time rolls around.

    We recently adopted a 3.5 year old dog from the shelter about three weeks ago, I do plan on getting her into basic obedience after her surgery, she has already learned a handful of valuable things. This dog was already housebroken and had the most beautiful temperament anyone could ask for, she is a fantastic dog - great with kids, loves other dogs, is fine with cats, is crate trained, walks wonderfully on a leash, listens well, and I could never possibly tell you how affectionate she is. Within a day of being with us, she had already acted as if she had been here for years. Her only "bad habit" is snatching full toilet paper rolls and carrying them around the house, it's pretty funny though.

    It is not a matter of which is better - adopting a very young puppy, adopting an adult dog, or purchasing from a responsible breeder? It is a matter of what YOU think would be the best route to take for YOUR sake, for YOUR lifestyle. Would you rather raise a 12 week old puppy of a breed of your choice from a responsible breeder? Would you rather keep a look out for a youngster at your local shelter? Or would you rather adopt an unfortunate adult dog from a shelter or rescue?

    Adopting an adult dog comes with a million benefits, but buying a purebred puppy from a responsible breeder comes with their own benefits too.

    I found some great articles and web pages with fantastic reasons why you should consider adopting an adult dog as opposed to getting a young puppy. I think you should read them.

    http://www.joycefay.com/articles/adoptadult.shtml

    http://www.chathamanimalrescue.org/adoptadult.shtm...

    http://www.atlantapetrescue.org/www_ver2/whyoneart...

    http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_adoption_information/...

    Good luck with your decision.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • I got a 2 year old Rat Terrier and she was not house trained, she was used to being on a farm outside 24/7. Within a couple weeks she was totally house & crate trained. She is great!

    We also got a 13 month old English Mastiff and she used to growl at men and was scared to death of other animals, with leadership from me as the pack leader and lots of TLC she has turned out to be an all around AWESOME dog. She was pregnant when we got her and we did not know, we later found out that the man of the house beat her and she was often left to roam the community (hence the pregnancy).

    When you take in any dog, they need to know you are their pack leader - the boss - and you should not have any problems that you can not work through.

    We have had both pups and older dogs and I think the older ones were easier to train.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Age and or behavior doesn't effect trainability. However it might be more difficult to train and older dog that has had a life where he didn't receive much training and or socialization. Some dogs fitting this critiria develope obessive behaviors that are much harder to break or train. Find out as much as you can about any dog thats been in a shelter or another home. As long as you are consistant in training and are willing to work with an older dog you can achieve great things and the dog will meet your expectations.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    I think you and the family should visit the shelter or a rescue league before you decide on the breed of dog that you want. That way you can see how the children and the dog gets along. Don't take the first one you see once. go back to the shelter and see the dog again . Get to know the dog before you adopt it. Some of those dogs are trained before and house broken. Give the dog the run through the basic commands like sit and come.

    Source(s): Visited the shelter with the grandson in tow to find a new dog.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    It's different, but not necessarily harder. Remember, many obedience and schutzhund dogs don't ever stop learning and often aren't high level until they are well into adulthood. It's more about the personality and the GENETIC temperament.

    I'd want to adopt from a GOOD rescue group that has temperament tested the dogs. This way you'd have a better idea of what you are getting into. All 3/4 breeds have pretty active rescue organizations based out of the national breed club, so perhaps starting there would be a good bet.

    GL!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    you ought to ask the seem after: a million. Her eating conduct. 2. Her habit in direction of different pets and strangers and human beings. 3. What her character is like. 4. How lots means the canines has and how lots workout it needs. 5. in the event that they be attentive to something approximately its history or previous. 6. wellbeing problems and/or concerns, or if the canines has specific needs. 7. See if the canines has been spayed or neutered, and spot in spite of if it quite is up with it quite is each year vaccinations (some shelters furnish this, and comprise microchips, too), and additionally, if it takes drugs. 8. the different issues you are able to must be attentive to relating to the canines (like coat care, etc). additionally, you ought to spend time with the canines and get to be attentive to it, which shelters maximum possibly enable you do, and in case you have any pets, deliver them in to ascertain how the canines reacts with them, and the relatives. Shelters maximum possibly make you fill out an utility (they did as quickly as I accompanied), and it quite is amazingly advantageous; shelters close to me enable 3 human beings on the main take a carry on an animal, and purposes are ordinary to fill out an complete, oftentimes. desire this helped, and that i'm chuffed which you have concept approximately adopting; it quite is a sturdy selection! :D <3

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Age doesn't affect training. Old dogs can learn new tricks. A shelter dog can learn just as well as a young pup.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Understand Your Dog http://DogTrainingClasses.emuy.info/?v2Dy
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Such a true statement...age doesn't affect trainability at all. I adopted my boy Rockie: approx 4 years old, Timber: approx 3 years old, and Diamond: 9 months old...all have been very trainable!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Age doesnt matter. If you have the dedication, time, and patience to train the dog, then it will learn what ever you teach it.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.