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Posts Tagged ‘australian shepherd’

Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and very strong-willed dogs. My Aussie, Kaycee, likes to be the one to call the shots. She is very animated and, at times, argumentative! Since she was little she has never been very fond of the bathtub. So when she dropped her monkey into the bathtub, she became very anxious about how to get it out. I decided this was an opportunity to help her conquer her fear of the bathtub, and let her decide how to retrieve her toy with just a little encouragement and praise from me.

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by guest blogger Susan Wright, DMV

When you are looking for a new dog to join your family, don’t overlook the older dog that 

has through no fault of his own found his way into an animal shelter. Often these dogs are quiet and well behaved, and have already had some obedience training. They have learned to potty outside and are well past the boisterous puppy stage.This takes some of the pressure off a busy household that has just added a new canine family member to their family.

Australian Shepherd

However, before you choose a senior citizen, you need to be aware that it won’t all be fun and games, and there will still be challenges you will have to work through.
1. An older dog may be confused by his new and unfamiliar circumstances and may appear nervous and anxious. He may wander around looking for his old owners, or he may forget his toilet training. This should settle down when he is in his new home but be prepared to give him time to get used to his new family.
2. Make allowances for your old dog’s limitations. His hearing may not be good or he may have poor vision. If that’s the case, don’t surprise him from behind, and give him every opportunity to see and hear your commands. You can also expect him to sit and drop more slowly, because his joints may be a bit uncomfortable.
3. You will need to be prepared to cover the cost of any medications. An elderly dog with arthrtis will need pain relief and this may be an intermittent expense or he may need tablets every day. Either way, make sure you have room in your budget to give him what he needs to stay healthy and happy.
4. Keep in mind that elderly canines are like elderly people. They can’t go for long walks so aren’t suitable for very active families. However, if you prefer the quieter lifestyle with the occasional gentle stroll, then give some thought to sharing this lifestyle with an older pet.
5. It’s not easy to think about but it’s important to remember that you won’t have your dog for as long as if you adopted a puppy or young adult. You’ll be faced with the grief of losing a four legged friend that will have wormed his way into your heart. You can take comfort in the fact that his twilight years were spent with someone who loved and cared for him very much.
If you are prepared for all of these scenarios and you still want to welcome a canine senior citizen into your home, you’ll enjoy the company of a calm and loving dog that will bring you much pleasure. As the saying goes, “There’s life in the old dog yet”

Susan Wright DMV is a dog expert, a vet and a freelance writer often sharing affordable ways to raise dogs.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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