It is never impossible to teach an old dog new tricks. Training an older dog requires adaptability, patience, an overall understanding of your pet’s current health and lots and lots of LOVE.
Senior dogs love to learn and are able to continue to learn as they age. When you are considering training an older dog, you have to keep in mind what kind of medical problems your elderly dog may have. Keeping their minds active will turn their intelligence toward improving the quality of their lives.
There are some considerations you need to think about when training an older dog. Older dogs may have joint problems that can inhibit them from accomplishing some tricks, such as jumping, sitting and lying down. It can be physically impossible for your elderly dog to perform any of these commands due to possible joint issues. The most important thing to remember is not to become impatient with an elderly dog. You can change up this trick by incorporating a subtle change in the exercise such as stay and settle instead of sitting. Sitting may be very painful to an elderly dog because of joint stiffness.
Many elderly dogs may have trouble hearing. This is another factor to consider in training your senior dog. If you are not totally sure that your senior dog has hearing loss, there is a simple test you can try. Stand in back of your dog, without him seeing you and call out his name. If your dog does not respond or turn towards you, he likely cannot hear you.
Teaching your elderly dog signals is very important while your dog’s vision is still good. This training method will serve as a backup if your dogs’ hearing fails. Signals are a fun way to teach your elderly dog. They relate much better to hand signals than to actual spoken words. Signals are a more natural language to dogs and adapt quicker and easier to them. For example, incorporate hand signal into your training by holding your hand flat, palms facing away from you to teach him to stay.
Senior dogs may have bladder issues as well. Potty training may be a challenging trick. Frequent trips outside may prevent any accidents that your elderly dog may have. Treats are always beneficial in letting your dog know they have done well. Having plenty of treats on hand will not only make your elderly dog joyous and happy, but will make your efforts run smoothly.
When you keep all of these special considerations in mind, you will have far better success in the training of your senior dog.