Many accept the old saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. But is it really? Science says that it is possible to teach old dogs new tricks. However, keep in mind that it will depend on the age of the dog and any resulting physical or mental limitations.
That said, if your dog is still active and the vet gives you the go-ahead, you can teach him or her some cool new dog tricks or engage a reliable dog training service to assist you.
This is how:
1. Practice patience
Patience is one of the most important tools to use when teaching an older dog new tricks. Note that they may not be as active and as willing to learn as when they were younger.
That said, by using treats to steer and motivate dog behavior, you can get your dog to learn something new. Don’t be surprised to find that it is easier to teach older dogs new things as they are better at focusing and are less distracted than younger dogs.
2. Consider previous training
It is always a good idea to take into account your previous dog training classes. Studies show that it takes much longer for older dogs to unlearn bad dog behavior. This goes for humans as well when compared to learning something new.
This is also one more reason why it’s important to remain patient. By learning what your dog already knows and their response to certain commands, you can improve on their dog behavior. This allows you to correct bad habits or making good ones even better.
3. Check for signs of fatigue
Don’t forget that the older your dog is the less active they are. They are also prone to get tired much more easily. When dog training, make sure to always check for signs of exhaustion. These include regularly lying down, dropped ears, sniffing the ground, and yawning.
When you notice such signs, end the training and pick up on it another time. This has the benefit of also keeping your dog willing to learn.
4. Teach one thing at a time
It is possible to teach a younger dog two tricks at the same time. However, with a dog that has advanced in age, you want to ensure the training sessions remain easy for them to understand.
The last thing you want is to confuse your dog as this may make them less willing to learn. Thus keep training sessions short and simple. Once you are confident that your dog has understood a trick or command, you can move on to the next trick.
5. Use the right type of treats
High-value treats made of your dog’s favorites meals, are best when teaching them new dog obedience tricks you need to use something that your dog would drop any activity for. This means they will be more eager to please. This also means that they will learn the new dog tricks faster.
Make sure however to use small-sized treats as this will help prevent you from overfeeding your dog. After all, you don’t want is your dog to add unnecessary weight as this could be harmful to their overall health.
6. Consider the type of tricks
What you teach an old dog will also depend on their overall health be it mental or physical. If for instance, your dog has been showing signs of arthritis, then you do not want to teach them how to catch a frees bee.
If your dog is showing hearing problems then you also want to add hand gestures in your dog training.
It is possible to teach an an old dog new tricks. With the right amount of patience and knowledge you will be able to teach them new tricks. If you are in need of dog trainers to assist you, our services might be suitable for you. Dog Training Singapore offers basic dog obedience classes in groups and private dog obedience classes.