Too old to get a puppy? update #44 Puppy has been sold

Looking for unbiased advice.

I am 78 years old and except for a recent health scare I am very fit and independent. I still work out 2 hours a day 4 days a week, look after three horses, do all my own chores, live on a 50 acre farm and can still handle my chain saw.

My last dog died just recently. It was unexpected, rapid decline due to bone marrow cancer. It has been weeks but I am still devastated. He was my constant companion.

My friends think I am too old to get a puppy. I have always owned Bouviers and love their independent but loyal disposition. I had hoped to adopt an older Bouv but they are few and far between. I decided to have an open mind and applied to adopt a 5 year old German Shepherd but the rescue hasn’t even bothered to reply. I am sure they think I am too old and feeble to adopt.

I contacted one of my previous breeders and it just so happens that he has a 5 month old male Bouvier puppy for sale. The dog is related on the dam side of one of my previous dogs purchased from this breeder. He was also the only puppy left and already 5 months old. He turned out to be the best behaved and balanced of all my dogs and lived to be 13.

Now the breeder has someone coming to look at this puppy this coming week-end. What do I do? I thought I would wait to see if they purchase him. If not I really would like to buy this puppy.

What is the sensible thing to do??

Your unbiased opinions will be appreciated.


You are buying from a breeder you know and have a history with, that I assume if something horrible changes in your life would be willing to take this lovely dog back and rehome it.

Because of this reason I think you getting this dog/puppy is a wonderful idea!


Go get the puppy if it makes you happy!

Make sure to have a plan for the puppy/dog in case something should ever happen to you, god forbid.

Post lots of puppy pics!


How could I have forgotten this part. Yes. Post photos. We will need lots of photos!


If the people this weekend don’t take him, that’s your sign that the universe says yes to this puppy. I’m a firm HECK YEAH to getting a puppy! (even if it’s not this one!)


I have already contacted the woman in charge of the US and Canada Bouvier rescue. She is willing to take him and find a home for him if and when the time comes. Apparently she is named in sever wills already and I will make sure this is in my recently updated will.

I am terrible at posting pictures, Sometimes I am successful today I don’t seem to be able to do it. I did post pictures of my previous puppy in the Off Topic “what packing material is this?”


That is exactly what I have been thinking.


Another vote for Team Puppy. Frankly, your friends sound jealous of your independence and chutzpah.


There are several ways to post photos. I find the easiest for me is to simply copy and paste the photo into the body of my post.

When you get your puppy I am sure someone will gladly help you get the photos up.


I hope you’re calling right now and purchasing this puppy ~ you don’t have any reason to doubt your heart and spirit ~

Jingles & AO ~ for pictures this evening !


As long as you have a plan for the dog outliving you than I would say go for it. Just make sure to socialize. Have other people take the dog on the odd sleepover, or drop off at doggy daycare once in awhile. If the dog needs to be rehomed in the future you want to make sure that transition isn’t too stressful.


I don’t think you’re too young to buy a puppy, but I might use caution with a large breed. Just because of the size/exuberance issues. If you’re retired and have the time/capacity, I’d get the puppy into obedience training right away so you can better manage the size.

I say that as someone with a 15 month old Brittany who is impervious to correction and gets away with a lot of bad behavior because I have 2 others and am a busy person. (E.g. he does a lot of flying “greetings” which are rude and annoying, but if he were bigger it would be dangerous too.)

But even every day things like leash walking, bathing, getting in/out of the car will need to be trained for larger dogs rather than being able to lift them or physically maneuver them safely (e.g. small dog on a harness.) Since you know the breed you should be ready.


I’m lol’ing at this as I almost broke my neck Monday on my daughters dachshund puppy that weighs like 5 lbs.

My bigger dogs don’t trip me up like that puppy.


My opinion is you go and get the puppy NOW !

You are not too old and at 5 months you are past the ( or should be) needing to go out multiple times a night. I think he is just waiting for you.


This pup sounds lovely and perfect and I’m selfishly wishing you were first in line for him Cat_Tap!

If not him then because you are leaning towards another dog in your life the universe
will provide ; )

So many people jump in and get a pet with far less forethought. Your future pal on the other hand will have won the new owner lottery and be living in doggie heaven.

Please keep us updated! :slightly_smiling_face:


Get the puppy. Lifeis for enjoying as long as we can. You can set up care for him in your will if something changes. Enjoy!


Team Puppy™️ here, with a single caveat: make sure he or she can move fluidly through the world without you.

Had a houseguest for a couple of days last week. She’s a good friend with a year-old Corgi. Said Corgi did not present much of a problem because my friend was on constant alert for Corgi-ish mischief, stealing food, near constant barking, chewing, etc. Her prey drive was so strong that we worried that she would break a Corgi-height window going after neighborhood critters.

On hikes, the dog pulled harder than any husky and would not be deterred from hauling my friend directly to other people on our path. My friend was in a constant state of apology, reassuring strangers that the dog was, “…really friendly.”

When, under duress, I shaped the dog’s behavior a few times, my friend marveled, as if the most minor correction or positive reinforcement was some kind of mystery.

Because you have horses, I’m guessing any dog you raise will be exponentially better behaved than my short-legged guest, and that you have a support system that functions without you.

I tell this story to give credit to Maine trainer Liia Becker, who told me decades ago that we should raise all our creatures, human and otherwise, to be without us. Because we can set a dogs’ overall behavior so quickly, almost entirely in the first year, you definitely want to go get that dog.


All my dogs and I attended obedience school in the past and we practiced in my arena. My first Bouv was 120 lbs. and was taller than I was when he stood on his hind legs. We failed at obedience school as he would not allow the instructor to use him for demonstration. He was a one person dog always obedient with me and a great guard dog without being dangerous.

Dog #2 and I walked out of an obedience session. Instructor showed how to knee the dog in the belly when jumping up on me. This dog had already learned from me never to do that. The idiot instructor wanted me to encourage him to jump up and then for me to punish. I said thanks but no thanks and we left.

Last and most recent dog loved doggy school especially the agility part. He jumped all the hurdles, tunnels and teeter totter but when he finished he ran and ran around the arena. I tackled him in order to stop. We were asked to leave as this was too upsetting for the others.

As far as leash walking Bentley was strong. He didn’t pull as long as I walked as quickly as he did. I did find the gentle leader gave us full control.

So I think my previous dog experience will provide me with the tools required to deal with this puppy should I get him.


Thinking through all the concerns, which I completely understand and feel are true considerations, I also say GET THE PUPPY!


In the past I always had someone else drive when picking up a puppy. This time I have to do it alone. I am thinking of using my puppy sized crate in the back of the car, Honda CRV. I am afraid he might get under foot if sitting on a seat. Don’t want to tie him up as he could strangle himself. What is your thought about the crate. I do have a large crate for him inside the house.