Adult Small Dog Behavior
Every adult dog that ends up in rescue programs or at the shelter has its own story of how it got there, and none of them are happy tales. When you take in an adult dog, you need to be aware that your home is at least its third place of residence.
When they are in the shelter, dogs don't always display their true personalities. They may be grieving, traumatized, or terrified by the changes in their lives or the by noise of that environment. Expect your older dog to need time, love, and understanding before it feels at home with you and your family. If it has had any behavior problems at the shelter, spend time with a counselor or behaviorist before you take it home so you can learn how to help it overcome these issues. Good shelters and rescue programs take the time to match their canine adoptees with suitable owners, so learn as much as you can about your dog's history before you bring it home.
Adult dogs are the best choice for those who don't have the time or patience that a puppy requires. When you choose a shelter dog, you are also saving a life!
Unlike puppies, adult dogs are usually housebroken and socialized. They don't feel the need to chew on everything they can get their teeth into like puppies do. Some may even have mastered basic obedience. Further-more, there is no truth to the old adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. With time and patience, adult dogs can master both basic obedience and pet tricks. Like puppies, they do best with a routine. Teaching them early on to recognize you as their leader helps them feel safe and secure in their new environment. They also thrive on praise. Like puppies, harsh treatment can make them fearful, withdrawn, defensive, or aggressive. Expect to witness your adult adoptee's true personality emerge into full bloom as it learns it has found a safe and loving home with you.