I have a dog named Coco and he is a handsome, loving, and gentle chocolate labrador who steals the hearts of all my friends – many have fought for the right to keep Coco if something happens to me. It is very common to hear people say “I would love to have a dog like Coco.” Well, Coco was not so well behaved in the beginning.
Coco is the first dog I ever had; a neighbor brought it to me on December 31st, 2010. He was skinny and had scratches all over his body; Coco had been roaming this hotel for weeks and fighting with other dogs. That first night I left him inside the house (I didn’t have a fenced yard) because I was going to go to a New Year’s Party and when I came back he had “accidents” (both kinds) all over the house. So the first thing was to train him and put up a fence.
Then, one day as I am walking Coco on the beach he approached another dog in an aggressive way; someone suggested I should neuter him. So the next week Coco was neutered and we started working on his behavior towards other dogs. Other things that happened? Coco chewed furniture, destroyed dog beds, and knocked over the neighbor’s trash can and distributed all the trash evenly throughout his yard. One time he even managed to get in some stranger’s car. I put flyers all over town until someone said where they have seen my beloved Coco: he was drinking beers in the pool at the stranger’s house.
So how did this 80-plus-pound mischief turned into such an amazing dog? Love. And patience. And training. And more love. Coco helps me train all the fosters that come into my house; many of them fall in love with him and don’t leave his side. When I got Coco the veterinary told me he was between three and five years-old. So it is possible to train an adult dog. Many people want to adopt a puppy thinking that is the only way they can train them the way they want, but all my fosters have been adult dogs and, once they are treated with love, they end up being wonderful dogs.
Please consider adopting an adult dog. With patience and love, you may end up with a dog like Coco.