An older dog won't bond with a new owner!!?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 10:54am PST 
Why are people so surprised that our dogs bonded with us after we adopted them as adults? It seems like so many people believe that an older dog won't bond or won't bond as well to a new owner. I've even had people who have rescued/adopted an adult dog or an older dog tell me that it's just not the same, and if you raise a dog as a puppy and that the bond is different. How is it different? We have never raised a puppy yet so I don't know if it's actually different or not or if people are just romanticizing it. Why do people think that an adult dog or an older dog won't bond with a new owner?

Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 11:11am PST 
Having grown up with both breeder puppies and adult rescues, I do have to say there isn't a significant difference. I think those who claim adult rescues won't bond well don't know what they are talking about from my experiences.

However, the bond is slightly different. Dogs raised from puppyhood tend to be more dependent on their humans and are more "in tune" with the humans whom their formative years were spent with. Adult rescues seem to be more loyal, possibly because they are grateful or do not want to be abandoned again. They are also a little more independent from my experience. Same degree of closeness but in different ways.

Again, this is just from my experiences growing up with both. Someone who has more experience with dogs obtained as puppies vs adults could prove me wrong.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 1:33pm PST 
I haven't found any significant difference, to be honest. The difference to us, I think, is how WE bond with them when they're adults rescued versus puppies raised.

Maya was six when I met and bonded with her, and seven when I took her home. She was attached to my hip and I absolutely adored that dog. Sure, she wasn't Charlie, she wasn't my heart dog. But NO DOG can ever replace her either. I rescued Charlie at eight months and we have a stronger bond, but I fully believe that has more to do with our personalities than how old they were. smile

That said... Ria was got as a puppy, and isn't BONDED to me much at all. She likes me, she listens to me, but she's my fiance's Velcro Attachment through and through.

Having experienced both puppies and adult dogs, both with bonding and training, I actually prefer the older rescues... I find they're easier, bol. laugh out loud


The Snuggler
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 3:01pm PST 
I prefer adopting and older dog over getting a puppy any day. I have fostered a 4 month old bcx, took her to training classes, house trained her, etc with a lot of ease. I didnt really have time to bond with her that much. Roman and i have bonded really closely. Hes my velcro puppy. We haven't gone to classes yet but if I get stuck I certainly will! He's eager to please. I privately adopted my last dog, who was 4 at the time, another BCx. She was smart and we bonded really well together. All in all, I don't have a preference. The only preference I do have is I like to rescue my dogs and not buy from a breeder.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 5:49pm PST 
Jewel, my adult rescue, and I bonded in like a week. We have a weird co-dependent relationship now.

This is the first time in my life I've ever had more than one dog at a time so that might factor in but I'm not near as bonded to my new puppy. She follows me around the house and likes to be close to me but she likes when other people hold her and doesn't mind staying with other people. Jewel thinks other people should admire her for 20 seconds and then leave her alone so we can always be together.
Somerwynd- Tell Tail

Mr. Personality
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 7:25pm PST 
I don't think there is any difference. I adopted two senior dogs a few years ago - ages nine and ten. They really bonded with me instantly. I adopted them sight unseen from across the country and met them at the airport and it was amazing - they ran right to me as soon as we let them out of the crates at the airport (Atlanta has a grassy dog run where they can be offleash). It was love at first sight for all three of us. Despite the fact that both dogs were deaf I was able to get a CGC with both less than six months later. They were just really bonded and worked well with me. I only had three years with one and four years with the other, but I have never regretted adopting them or our short time together. Every day was a treasure. I would definitely adopt an oldster again.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Fri Jul 19, '13 12:45am PST 
I never noticed much difference with other dogs, but I will say that adult German Shepherds are difficult. They seem to take an unusually long time to trust new humans once they have been abandoned. They do and it's worth the wait, but they really dislike rehoming.

Barked: Fri Jul 19, '13 6:42am PST 
It's funny, I mentioned this to my SO whom before moving in with me, had only one dog in his past.

Even he said the statement was ridiculous. His parent's dog was adopted at 2 years old, and became inseparable with his father almost immediately.
I've watched the dog while they were on vacation, and while he isn't necessarily "bad" when they are gone, he seems lost.

The bond between those 2 is incredible, yet Buddy was not raised from a pup by them.

And Rigby, while she is bonded quite closely with me, I find that her strongest bond actually lies with Cobain. I thought that was a little interesting... thinking

bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Fri Jul 19, '13 7:43am PST 
Nicky was estimated to be around 2 when I adopted him. He took to all of us quite quickly but you can tell who's dog he is. He is also far from independent. You just can't get rid of him laugh out loud

Paris I think was a bit younger when my mom found her. We guessed around 6mos to a year but we really don't know. She is extremely bonded to my mom. If she leaves the room, she stares at the door until she comes back. If she leaves the house, she waits at the front door or in front of the window. Dad ranks second- she is quite fond of him and it shows. As for me... I'm 'not mom' to her laugh out loud If I try to take her to potty when she knows Momma is home, she just pulls towards the house!
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Fri Jul 19, '13 12:47pm PST 
I think it is different in general. My GR, raised from a puppy, bonded with both us us. So did my 5 month old rescue. My 1 1/2 year rescue only bonded with my bf. In fact, he has SA for only him

My latest rescue was 2 or 3. He is a total momma's boy. Perhaps because I picked him up first and stayed at a motel that first night, perhaps also because he distrusts men. He has learned to appreciate the bf, but he will always be mine!

I think bond can be built well through training. That said, handler bond is also dependent on breed or breed mix. It's much harder to build with certain breeds. And it's really not the same thing as "clingy" or "needy."
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