Recently I got a call from an 80 year old woman with an 8 month old high drive German Shepherd. I have also received calls from others like the 75 year old woman that can hardly walk and needs help with a one year old lab. You get the idea. High energy dogs with low energy owners!
There are others but you get the idea. In both of these particular cases they received the dogs as gifts from their kids.
What were they thinking?
These ladies could not handle these dogs. Even going for walks was a huge problem. The ladies were being knocked down, scratched and mouthed so badly that their arms were a mess with cuts and scratches.
Again these are only 2 recent examples. Over the years I have seen this same story over and over again.
So I asked the lady with the shepherd why she got a shepherd. She said that she had owned 3 of them in the past and they were all great dogs. This happened in the very distant past when she was MUCH younger.
Big high drive dogs need exercise and training. They also require an owner that has the strength and energy to handle, train and care for a dog like this.
So what kind of dog should a low energy person own? That all depends on how low energy you are. But for simplicity let’s talk about these ladies in the 70’s and 80’s.
Since these ladies are not out walking on a daily basis and they don’t jog I think a good guess would be that they need a dog that loves to be in their lap. Yes they need a dog that does not require long walks.
These ladies each wanted a dog to give them something to love and care for. A dog allows elders to feel needed and loved. However remember that we need to be smart when helping our older family members and help guide them to a dog that is appropriate when it is fully grown.
Just because you owned a large dog in the past does not mean that is the right dog for you today.
One last thing. You are probably wondering what happened to the two dogs we have been talking about in this article. Well I was able to help them find a new forever home for both dogs.
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Until next time,
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About Wayne: Wayne Booth is owner of which is headquartered in Nashville, TN but serves clients all over the U.S.. If you have a dog with aggression, behavior problems or simply needs training feel free to contact him.
Wayne has also been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of Canine Behavior Specialists Network. If you would like to become a Professional Dog Trainer he can get you started.