Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

A question we get asked often.

Older dogs or even K9 Senior Citizens are often overlooked when it comes to stimulation and interaction. Their health can be a key factor in deciding if training or fun games and participation is warranted. As with humans if they are not engaged in things to do, achieve and work with they can lose interest in life if their brain is, at least, not being challenged with even the smallest tasks. New training tricks for an older dog can be a lot of fun, it can re-build your relationship with your dog and also give your dog something to look forward to. We all know that as dogs get older we tend to spoil them a little more and ensure they are comfortable and do not exert too much energy on them but working on small challenges with rewards, be they treats, an extra hug or a longer snooze on the sofa can make your older dog’s world so much more interesting and fun to be in.

What about behaviour challenges?

Your dog’s behaviour will probably change as they get older. Their responses will be slower, they maybe dealing with old dog health issues for example arthritis or not see as well as they used to so your responses to these ailments needs to be re-adjusted and allowances made for this. If you are not feeling well or have aches and pains then you will probably be grumpy, less patient and need a bit more space, the same goes for dogs. If you have serious behavioural concerns then rule out any new health problems by visiting your vet first but if all is OK and no change then speak to a dog behaviourist, get an assessment done and work with them on gentle re-patterning of their behaviour and work through the issues with your behaviourist. The Homely Petz’ Dog Trainers and Behaviourists are on hand and have over 30 years experience in behavioural changes in a dog, just get in touch with us, we’re here to help.

Click here for Homely Petz Dog Behaviour support

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