How to teach an old dog new tricks

So maybe you’ve just adopted or rescued a new dog, and you bring your new family member home, only to realise that they are not trained. Don’t worry; it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

Realistic expectations

The first thing to note is not to expect drastic results from your dog right away. Older dogs are not as quick to learn new skills and tricks as young pups. Keep your expectations at a reasonable level and progress with love and patience. Older dogs sometimes have health conditions or an age that prevents them from doing anything too demanding. But as for the basic commands, there’s always a way.

Get to know your pet

First things first, consult your vet to make sure you’re aware of any conditions or ailments your dog may have. If age is an issue, you can inquire about adding fatty acids to your pet’s diet which has been known to combat brain ageing. Once you have a good understanding of your new arrival, you can proceed with dog training.

Each breed of dog responds slightly differently to varying types of training, and some are more effective than others. Take the time to research your pet’s natural abilities and whether there are some commands that they are more responsive to than others. The most important thing of all is to be patient. Never lose your temper or become frustrated with your pet. This will dampen their trust and will stunt any dog training progress you have made.

Begin training

Sit, down, stand and heel are basic commands that can be taught at home. Check out our dog training classes for more advanced techniques or behaviourally challenged pooches. As always, begin by finding a treat that your dog responds well to, as this will be the main motivator of performance. Be sure to keep your training sessions brief, to begin with, about 10-20 minutes twice a day will do. You don’t want to push your dog to any point of boredom or exhaustion. Training should be fun and engaging for both you and your pet.

But it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Check out the rest of our website for some key results.

old dog new tricks