Posted by Zoe Geoffrion , on Dec, 2015
There’s a saying that says “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Nothing could be further from the truth, however, and many senior dogs can benefit from learning new tricks or obedience at their advanced ages. Training a dog of any age requires patience most of all. Like children, dogs can sometimes be a little stubborn and some will pick up on things quicker than others. With the right level of patience and understanding, even the oldest dog can learn a brand new trick!
Having a Steady Tone of Voice
Training can have its stressful times for both the dog and the human. It’s always important to keep your temper and have plenty of patience throughout the entire session. You know exactly what you want when you are telling a dog to “sit” but he has to learn through trial and error what you are expecting of him. It might take a few minutes, or a few days, but with a level temper and a steady tone of voice your dog will eventually pick it up. Once he knows what you were asking and receives the praise from doing it correctly, additional requests to “sit” will be done much quicker and easier!
Sometimes He Might Forget
Senior dogs may occasionally go through “phases” where they seem to forget everything they once knew. This can be frustrating for the owner and stressful for the dog. Underlying causes may be hearing loss, aches and pains, or just simply losing focus on the task. Whatever the reason, getting upset with the dog can only make matters worse. When training older dogs, it’s important to keep an incredibly high level of patience. You will hear that word a lot in training any age of dog, but especially the seniors. Losing your patience and ending the training session on a poor note will upset both you and your dog which will make him afraid or unwilling to join you for other training sessions.
Ending Each Training Session on a Positive Note
Whether or not your senior canine did a great job during your training session, it’s always important to end on a positive note. For example, if you are struggling on attempting to learn something new, try requesting something he knows how to do such as sit or lay down. When he does it, you can praise him heavily and consider that the end of the lesson. This positive note is exactly what dogs are looking for. They want to please you and when you are happy they are happy too!
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