Can an old dog learn new tricks? What to Know

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Examples show that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. A recipe that has been proven to be successful is a mix of people, patience and reward training, also called positive reinforcement. This method uses dog treats as a means to steer the dog’s behavior and motivate him to learn new things. As a dog lover, take time for this training and most importantly, show a lot of patience to your old dog buddy. He might not be in his best shape, but he is definitely one of your best companions, so treat him with lots of care and patience. Don’t forget that an older dog has the capacity to focus longer. Therefore, teaching them new tricks might be, in some cases, even easier than with puppies.

Pay attention to these signs of exhaustion

The age and health condition of your four-legged friend should be seriously considered before deciding on the teaching sessions. Remember that your dog buddy is not a puppy anymore, so consequently, don’t treat her like one. Your dog will get easily tired, so be aware of signs of exhaustion. These can include:

  • Sniffing the ground
  • Dropped ears
  • Excessive Licking
  • Yawning a lot
  • Boredom
  • Forget the old, learn the new

    If you are a dog owner and wish to teach an old dog new tricks, start step-by-step. Practice shows that both human and dogs require more time to unlearn already existing skills (good or bad), than they do for learning new ones. As such, take the training history of your four-legged friend into account. If you’ve adopted an old dog, try to learn more about their previous parents and how they were treated. If you can’t find any previous information on your adopted old dog, give them some basic commands like sit or stay. Should your dog not show any reaction to this, start from scratch with the basics.

    In addition, unlearning dog bad habits, such as chewing furniture or destructive digging can be also a challenge for newly adopted dogs. But don’t worry, there’s a solution for that! Make sure to keep your furry buddy well exercised and busy with the right chew toys. Always remember that there is nothing that patience and love won’t achieve. The best thing to do is to know your dog well, create a trusting bond and only afterward start teaching them new funny tricks.

    Can Old Dogs Learn New Tricks?