Choosing an Adult Labrador RetrieverA puppy is all potential. She is the result of her genetics and the care she’s received as a baby, but other than that, she’s just ready for the world. An adult, on the other hand, is already formed. What you see is what you’re going to get. If you want a big Lab or a smaller one, or if you want a bold dog or a quieter one, the adult dog is already what she is going to be.
The adult dog also has a history. Perhaps she was in a loving home and lost that home due to a divorce or a death in the family. She may have been in a home where she was neglected or even mistreated. The things that happened to her have shaped who she is—she may always be worried about large men with sticks in their hands, or she may always be attracted to older women.
Although some Labs can hold a grudge for a long time, they are, for the most part, very forgiving. Many Labrador Retrievers who have lost a home, good or bad, will grieve for that home when they lose it. Labs are very devoted and will love even the worst owner. When allowed to grieve, they will, but then they will accept and adapt to a new home.
Tests used on baby puppies do not work on adult dogs; so when adopting an adult dog, you need to rely on any information you can get from the people who have been caring for her.
It is important, though, to find out as much as you can about the dog and her first home so that you can help her adjust to your home. If the shelter peo¬ple say she appears afraid of brooms, for example, once she’s in your home, ask a trainer or behaviorist for help desensitizing her to brooms.

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