Most train their dogs when their puppies or young but, if you own an older dog that you would like to train, it is never too late. Teaching an older dog may even be easier since dogs are more easily distracted when they’re younger. Just because your dog wasn’t trained as a puppy doesn’t mean they cannot learn. No matter the age of a dog, they are able to be taught how to listen and obey. Continue reading to learn how to train an older dog!
Un-train Any Bad Habits
Although it is never too late to train a dog, you may need to un-train some bad habits the dog may have. Throughout older dogs years they may have picked up some bad habits that will need to be trained away. Un-training old habits might take some time, but older dogs are still eager to learn and make their owner happy! To work on this, use positive reinforcement so your dog will learn that the new habit is a good thing. Giving your dogs treats while training will create more motivation.
Bad habits that may need to be un-trained could be chewing on clothing or shoes, wrongfully barking, begging, etc. With adult dogs, these bad habits could’ve been learned in a previous home or if they were raised elsewhere. You may need to teach your dog boundaries that they were not previously taught. The key to un-training bad habits is to redirect the dogs behavior to positive actions.
Fixing Poor Housetraining
One area that may need more attention is housetraining. Older dogs may need some retraining with things such as mealtime, bathroom time, crates, and more. It is great to establish “house rules” when training your dog no matter the age. If your dog has accidents in the house, that’s okay, just work on retraining going outdoors. Also, when housetraining your dog it is smart to use words or phrases for things such as eating or “going potty”. Once the words or phrases are used enough your dog will recognize what this means. Creating a schedule for your dog is also a great way to help with housetraining such as taking them out at the same time everyday, feeding at the same time, etc.
Never Too Late For Socialization Skills
Typically, the best time to socialize a dog is when they’re a puppy. But, if you need to train your older dog how to socialize, it’s not too late. Introduce your dog to new people and animals slowly, and pay attention to how they’re acting when doing so. It is best to find a place your dog is comfortable and socialize them there first such as in your yard. When introducing your dog with socializing, reward them by giving them treats and being patient. Even if your dog doesn’t enjoy being social, continuing to have them socialize can help your dog be friendlier and less scared in these situations!
Try an Obedience or Training Class
For an older dog, teaching them obedience is good, it keeps them stimulated mentally and physically. If you need some help training your dog that’s okay! If you’re not getting very far with your training at home, there are plenty of great training classes to enroll your dog in. Enrolling your dog in a class can be great for both the owners and the dog. This will allow professionals to assist your dog, and give you some great tips!
Contact Canine College
If you’re interested in enrolling your dog in training courses, contact Canine College today! From simple training tips to in-depth training courses, our team can help with your dogs needs. Working with a professional will give you the confidence to continue the training process on your own and actually be successful with it too! View our list of dog training options here and fill out our contact form or give us a call at 781-767-3908 to get started.