Could You Give A Working Dog A Happy Retirement Quickly and Easily With These Key Factors?
When you’re considering getting a dog, it’s hard not to be enchanted by the idea of a delightful pup to play with.
However, for some households, the mess and energy that a puppy can bring isn’t something they can handle – but of course, that shouldn’t bar you from dog ownership.
Adopting a more mature dog is the obvious solution, but there is another idea that you might want to consider: giving a working dog a retirement home.
“What?” you might be wondering, and justifiably so, but think about it: thousands of dogs “work” every day. Jobs that dogs do include:
- Police work, including sniffer and tracker dogs.
- Dogs for herding sheep and working with shepherds; even in 2017, this is fairly common practice due to just how good dogs are at it!
- Guide dogs for those with visual impairments
- Racing dogs such as greyhounds
And so on and so forth; it turns out there are plenty of dogs who spend their lives working, even if they do it for free apart from the occasional “good boy”!
These dogs will enjoy long, happy, and distinguished careers in their roles – but there’s a point when time catches up to us all.
At a certain age – which varies depending on their career – they are ripe for retirement.
“Don’t their handlers just adopt them?”
Not always – sometimes it’s just not feasible.
While some working dogs are also the family pet (most often the case with sheepdogs), for police and racing dogs, this is unlikely to be the case.
In these instances, they are often adopted out to new homes who are happy with an older, well-trained dog.
“Do working dogs make good pets?”
Yes, they do.
It might take a small phase of adjustment as you go through introducing them to the world of a domestic dog: occasional vet visits, their own basket, a regular flea treatment and grooming from the same person – but most will adapt with no issue at all.
The only dogs that are offered for adoption are those that seem to be able to handle the transition to a non-working life, and the group you adopt them from will be happy to help.
“Do they not get bored?”
It might seem likely after years of working or racing that these dogs are prone to boredom, but that’s not the case.
Dogs only “work” for the approval of their owners; not for any particular enjoyment for themselves.
If they get that same approval from rolling in the backyard and sitting on the sofa for a cuddle, they’re more than happy with that!
You’ll need to exercise them and keep their mind active, but only to the same extent you would with any dog.
“Where do I look to adopt working dogs?”
Programs are usually set up on an area-by-area basis, so check your local listings or contact organizations that work with dogs.
There might be a waiting list and a few checks you have to go through but, again, the same is true of any dog adoption process, so why not see if this would be a good fit for you?