Teaching any dog a new trick requires extreme patience. However, positive reinforcement can go a long way. When we train puppies, we use positive reinforcement through treats, but as a dog gets older and is loyal to you, they learn to make these habits. When we look to train an old dog, we need to remember two things. Our older dog needs praise and rewards, and, for the best chance at success, we need to be super patient with them as most of the training sessions will be short.

Should I Teach My Old Dog A New Trick?

The first thing to consider is if your old dog’s health and condition will allow you to teach them this new trick. Also, be mindful of the signs of exhaustion: sniffing the ground, dropped ears, excessive licking, and yawning. Throughout their young years, you or their previous owner may have taught them how to beg, which is now causing a ruckus during dinner time. This trick can still be corrected through proper training. Although you may know your furry friend well, learning and respecting their limits is essential. Keeping training sessions short may be the best way to keep your dog’s attention span high to train them. At their old age, treats and praise will go a long way as you have a deeper understanding and bond with them.

In With The New

Starting step-by-step is best if you wish to teach your old dog a new trick. Old dogs, like humans, find it harder to unlearn something and more accessible to learn a new skill or trick. If you have adopted an older dog, remember that their previous owner may have taught them bad habits unknowingly. Try to learn as much as possible about their past and proceed accordingly. If you cannot gain knowledge of their past, start with the basics and see how much they know. Remember that there is nothing love and patience can’t achieve with your furry friend!

Critical Tools For The Job

Two critical tools for the job previously mentioned are the need for people’s patience and dog treats. Patience is vital to reaching your old dog’s training potential. The quantity and quality of these tools will give you and your furry friend the best chance at success. First, you need to remember that your dog is older and would probably rather be napping than learning a new trick. To keep their attention span high, grab a handful of their favorite treats or food as a reward for their excellent behavior. As the trainer, our patience needs to come in a large quantity because your older dog has most likely learned the classic commands such as sit, down, and stay many moons ago. 

Canine College

We offer puppy kindergarten and elementary dog training for our younger furry friends but look into our private and group training sessions to find the results you are looking for. We are located in Holbrook, MA, and can’t wait for you to see the results. Call us today at 781-767-3908 to get more information about our training sessions!

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