Five Reasons Why Old Dogs Rock

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 11:00am

You know it’s true: Senior dogs are the best. As much as we can’t resist puppies, there is something about an old pooch that really makes our hearts sing. In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, we’re counting down the top five reasons why old dogs rock.

1. What you see is what you get. Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements.
2. Seniors are super-loving. Adopted dogs already in their golden years are devoted and grateful. They create an instant bond that cannot be topped!
3. They settle in quickly. Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!
4. Seniors enjoy easy livin’. Couch potato, know thyself. Consider adopting a laid-back canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who needs constant monitoring.
5. They’re CUTE! Need we say more?

Did you adopt a senior dog? Tell us about your elder states-pooch in the comments below.

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I recently rescued an 11 year old Chocolate Lab. The owners were being evicted and were going to take him to a shelter. From the scars all over his body I believe he was a puppy mill dog but what a mush he is and loves my other dogs.


Over the last 15 years I have owned 7 what I call "re-treads". The youngest of them was 4 when he came. I have had 4 collies that came when they were 9 or 10 years young. The maltese that still graces our home came 5 years ago when she was 8 and being released from a puppy mill. The latest collie came in January and he is an absolute delight. Also took a friend's 12 year old Jack Russell for about a year when they were relocating. Love(d) them all and happy to take the seniors who have manners, love and a great personality.


I adopted little Peanut from a rescue when she was 10 yrs old. We instantly bonded and she was such a loving little girl. Unfortunately she died very unexpectedly at 12 years old. My heart was broken but, after a while I wanted to adopt another older dog because Peanut showed me how special older doggies are, how loving. So I adopted Ashie at 11 years old. She was dropped off at a kill shelter but taken in by a rescue group and I found her through PetFinder. She is also a special, loving little girl. I have discovered that older dogs DO ROCK. It's as if they have this innate sense that they have been blessed with a second chance at life and their love is so encompassing. And, there is no house training, no shredding of paper all over the house, no chewing of shoes, LOL. I will now always look for the older doggies who need a loving home because I have gotten back the love a hundred times over.


I have adopted two old dogs and one is still with me and they are the best. The best thing about adopting them is that they are house trained and give you all the love you can ask for.My last 4 dogs have been adopted and I will always adopt until I die. It is the best feeling in the world to give these dogs a new life.

sami smith

I adopted a 6 year old collie/lab who was "unadoptable" and turned in to shelter because she did not like children...believe she was abused... She trained and became a therapy dog for children, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and grieving Hospice Center for children. Rescue dogs, making a difference, one paw at a time!


Seniors are the best! My Maggie Mae, who is featured in your "In Praise of Older Dogs, passed away last year at the age of 18, and we miss her so much. In 2008, I adopted Marie, another senior dachshund who was found wandering the streets, ill and emaciated. She went on to become a two-time cancer survivor but unfortuately lost her courageous battle just seven weeks before we lost Maggie. My 7 year old dachshund Venice now has two new doxie "sisters" - Farrah, who is about 13 and is also a former stray; and Peanut, a formerly abused 10-year-old. Venice and Farrah join me at work every day, and Peanut is doing a great job learning his "office manners" so he will be able to join us soon. I encourage everyone to adopt a senior - nothing matches the love of a senior dog for his or her rescuer!

Jennifer Akers

I volunteer at a dog rescue and ended up adopting a 12/15 year old cocker/golden retriever mix, he is so darn sweet and follows me everywhere I go. He was an easy addition to the other 2 in my pack as he gets along with everyone :) I dream of doing a senior dog rescue someday!


I was looking for an older dog to adopt when I went to the APL after seeing a picture of a small gray poodle that they took in after he was dumped at the city kennel. When they received him, he had rotten teeth that needed removed, an infected eye they removed and he was also neutered at that time. After everything this little dog had gone through, I knew I wanted to save him. So I adopted Monocle, the one-eyed wonder dog.
My 8-year-old terrier mix has become his protector and Monocle has given him company while I'm at work. I will always adopt senior dogs from now on. It makes me happy when Monocle trots around following me. It's been the best decision I have ever made.

Sherry Capehart

I wish EVERYONE, just once in their life, could have the wonderful experience of a dog like, Pogo. He was a 7 yr old Bichon mix. He was the most loving, well manored dog I ever had. My whole neighborhood loved that dog. He was one of those dogs that just knew what a good life he had and was always by my side. I had him for just 5 short years (cancer) but what a loving, rewarding expierence. I've continued to have older shelter dogs. What a blessing they can be!

Leslie Miller

I have 2 11 year old shelter dogs, 1 9 year old foreclosure dog and a 10 year old hospice foster. Old dogs rule. I also have a 9 year old guinea pig that I got from the shelter 8 years ago. He just keeps going. He is on his 4th companion