So you’ve heard you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but is that true? It may be “double the trouble”, but it isn’t impossible to train your older dog.
By that, we mean your dog may have learned some “bad habits”.
Don’t consider this a problem, but it means it may be necessary for your dog to “unlearn” poor behaviour before you “retrain” them the desired behaviour.
Training an Older Adopted Dog
Perhaps we adopt an older dog from a shelter. Common problems you may face with an older dog include boredom, anxiety, fear, digging, barking, and personality traits you didn’t expect.
When you bring an older dog into your home, first give him time to settle in and become part of the family before you attempt to train him. Trying to train him immediately might prove a frustrating fail.
There’s no reason you can’t take an older dog to a professional trainer – they’re pros after all. This can also be beneficial to your older dog in helping them socialise. Many rehomed dogs weren’t properly socialised in their younger years, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t start now.
Why You Should Never Stop Training Your Older Dog
Your older dog may no longer be able to jump through hoops, but he is perfectly capable of learning new things.
Just give him your training help and commitment.
Pro trainer John Debeutz of Melbourne states “Training older dogs is fantastic for keeping their minds and bodies active, and this will enhance their lives and help build a bond between you and them.”
Don’t be apprehensive about an older/senior dog. You can train dogs until the end of their lives – they want your attention after all, and proactively training them makes them feel involved, and loved.