Can Old Dogs Learn New Tricks?
Everyone has heard that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. The reigning assumption is that if your dog is older, less mobile, losing his sight or hearing or simply set in his old ways, he will not be receptive to learning new tricks and thus, you’ll have to rely on whatever he’s already learned. Luckily for senior dog owners, this just isn’t true. No dog is hopeless or beyond learning more, and it is simply up to the owner to keep at it and have the same faith in their dog as they did when it was younger.
Older dogs will sometimes change their behavior in ways that can be problematic or confusing for owners. Some owners will see a difference in territorial behavior or an increase in laziness or aggression. When an old dog begins to slack on its manners, it is important to keep up your normal training routine — just because he’s old, doesn’t mean that you drop the training. Letting a dog get away with bad behavior will normalize the bad behavior and make it harder for you to turn it around. While these behaviors aren’t necessarily tricks, they are often the first concerns an owner has when trying to keep their dog on track in their old age – although, your old dog can certainly pick up new tricks as well.
With some brushed up obedience training and a firm set of routines and goals, you can establish new boundaries for your senior dog or simply remind him of the correct behavior to keep him on track in his old age. If you find yourself struggling to correct your senior dog, drop us a line at 405.493.6490 and tell us about your problem. Our in-home training programs can help you take the next step for your dog.