There is nothing quite like bringing a new puppy into the home and starting them on a life together with you and your family. They often take over our hearts very quickly but through it all, we want to ensure that we are giving them the proper training. What do you do, however, when you adopt a dog that is older rather than getting one that is just a young puppy? Do you still train an older dog?
Perhaps you have heard the saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This saying is not often applied to dogs but rather, it is applied to people who are set in their ways and not willing to adjust according to their current circumstances. In reality, it doesn’t have anything to do with dogs at all but it is just a clever way of talking about humans. After all, it is not only possible to teach an old dog new tricks, you may find that it is easier than training a puppy.
One of the benefits of training a young dog is the fact that they don’t often have any bad behavior that needs to be corrected. Older dogs, on the other hand, may have spent an entire lifetime learning the wrong things and doing the wrong things. If you suddenly thrust them into the middle of a training program and stick to it rigorously, you may find that it’s a little bit too much for the older dog. It is much better for you to take it slow and to teach them one thing at a time.
As far as the specific training process for teaching an old dog, it really doesn’t differ much from teaching a younger dog. In fact, you might even find that you will have both old and young dogs in the same professional obedience classes. The difference is, you do need to be a little more persistent with an older dog and if they are stubborn, it may take a lot of persistence on your part.
Another thing that you have going in your favor when you’re trying to train an older dog is the fact that they have a longer attention span. If you have ever tried to train a little puppy, you know exactly what I am saying. They may pay attention at first but soon, they are all over the place. An older dog, on the other hand, is likely to listen to you and to continue listening to you.
Adopting an older dog is a wonderful treat and it is something that many people consider, rather than buying a young puppy. Keep in mind that it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks and in fact, many people are doing so. As long as you use the proper methods and reinforce things positively, you can see the benefits of training an older dog very quickly.