1. Adulthood: In most cases, Seasoned Labradors are well past the chewing and digging stages of life. They cause less destruction than puppies or younger dogs. They also have a longer attention span, making them easier to train.
2. Peace of Mind: Over 90% of older dogs are housebroken before they go to a second home. In addition, an adult dog has a larger bladder and can go for longer periods of time without relief, such as when you get stuck in traffic.
3. Experience: Most seasoned Labradors have been socialized with other animals. They can provide an example and calming influence to younger dogs.
4. Tolerance: Seasoned Labradors are good first dogs for children because they are patient with tail-tugging and rough petting. They'll walk away from a playing child rather than hurting the child.
5. Companionship: Senior dogs don't demand constant watchfulness and attention. They're content just to be in the same room while family members are working or relaxing. A Seasoned Labrador will be just as happy with a sedate walk as with intense exercise.
6. Dignity: Seasoned Labradors are generally calmer than young dogs; they won't scare small children or the elderly by jumping up to greet them.
7. Adaptability: An adult dog will adapt more easily to changes in your household, such as a new baby, relatives or guests visiting, or being left alone for long periods of time when there is a sudden burst of overtime at work.
8. WYSIWYG: (What you see is what you get). A senior dog is fully grown, and most of its health history is already known (hereditary diseases, arthritis, and hip dysphasia are some). There are no guesses about how big it will get, whether it will bark a lot, or what its energy level will be.
9. Personality: A senior dog arrives with its own set of likes (soft places to sleep, belly rubs, tennis balls) and dislikes (cauliflower, squirrels, vacuum cleaners), and each one is different. Discovering all the facets of a senior's personality makes life with them truly enjoyable.
10. Memories: Even if you have a Seasoned Labrador as part of your life for only a few years, the days and the adventures you share are precious. The love and joy you receive every day from a senior will more than compensate for the sadness of eventually losing such a wonderful companion.
Reprinted with permission from Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc.