You’ve heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but is it really true? At Chicagoland Dog Training, our Founder and Lead Trainer Nick will be happy to tell you this old adage is not at all true. All dogs, no matter the age or breed, are able to learn obedience commands that allow them to be happier and even healthier. The key is to teach the commands, practice the commands, incorporate the commands into daily life, and give plenty of time for praise, rest, and play.
Teach the Commands
Dogs of any age are ready to learn. Older dogs are not always stubborn; in fact, an older dog can have the maturity that makes training much easier than with an easily distracted puppy. Older dogs can learn obedience commands, including leash manners and safety commands like Sit, Down, or Stay.
Practice the Commands
As with anything, practice makes progress. Older dogs will not retain new commands if they are not given the chance to practice them. Most owners do not have the time to practice commands with their dog regularly and consistently. However, it is this regular practice, especially in the first few weeks of learning new commands, that will increase success.
Incorporate Commands into Daily Life
Older dogs are more likely to retain commands, just like younger dogs, if the commands become a part of daily life. You can have your dog Sit while you get their leash for their morning walk, or go Down while your family eats dinner every evening. Making obedience a habit for the dog and for their family is a crucial part of success.
Praise, Rest, and Play
Finally, older dogs need just as much praise and positive reinforcement as puppies during the training process. They also need a bit more rest to recharge and prepare for their next training or play session.
Training a dog, no matter their age, is overwhelming for most owners. Fortunately, you don’t have to train your dog on your own. In fact, it works best if you allow a professional dog trainer, like Nick and the team at Chicagoland Dog Training, to give that initial education and practice. Then, the dog is equipped with expectations and the owner is equipped with realistic ways to practice at home.
What are you hoping to accomplish with your obedience training? Let us help. We would love to give you and your dog the headstart you need to form a healthy relationship. Call us today to get started.