How To Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

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Many people believe that old dogs can’t be taught new tricks. There have been many debates about this matter over the years. It is, in fact, possible to teach an old dog new tricks. You just need a lot of patience and good teaching skills. It is actually good to keep the old guy occupied by teaching him new things. It not only improves his ability to serve as your pet, it also stimulates his brain and keeps him from getting bored.

The ability of an old dog to learn new tricks is especially astounding when you adopt an elderly dog. You would think that he’s too old for new tricks but not only does he prove to be brilliant, but also quick with his learning skills. Adult dogs can even be easier to train than younger dogs. Young puppies usually lose focus easily and won’t pay attention to the task at hand for long periods of time. This is not a problem with older dogs. They have more discipline and will listen to you as you speak. Here are some tips that you can use in order to make your training easier.

  1. Train him with treats.

    Don’t let the age-old misconception that old dogs can’t learn new tricks stop you from teaching your elderly dog new tricks. Even an elderly dog can easily understand a reward system. Reward him for good behavior and chastise him for bad. This is a learning process and he will be grateful in the end. Remember to have patience. You can’t rush the process.

  2. Get him a crate.

    This might be a little uncomfortable for you as he is an older dog and constricting him might seem a little odd. But it is important that he learn boundaries. Make sure you get a big enough crate and get him to adopt it as a den. Keep his food bowls there and give him treats in the crate. By doing this, you’re associating positive emotions to the crate.

  3. Keep tabs on his health.

    It is important to go in to visit the vet on a regular basis especially because an older dog is more likely to develop more problems. Consult the vet before training your dog for anything beyond the basics. Keep in mind that because he is an older dog, there are some limitations that need to be considered.

  4. Have lots of patience.

    As it is an older dog that you’re training, he is more likely to get tired and lose interest quicker than dogs in the prime of their lives. Keep in mind that you can’t train them like puppies because they don’t have that youthful exuberance. Learn their signs of exhaustion. Some common signs of exhaustion may include:

  • Drooping ears
  • Yawning
  • Lifting his front paw
  • Excessively licking his lip
  • Sniffing the ground
  1. Take it one step at a time.

    Don’t try to teach him multiple tricks at once. All that will do is confuse him. You can introduce more complex tricks once he’s mastered the basics.

When you take all these things into consideration, you will find it easier to train him. Don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t get it immediately. Keep your cool and have patience.

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