Most older dogs have mastered basic obedience. But that doesn’t mean training is no longer important. Old age doesn’t stop a dog from learning new tricks, and continued training is a big part of maintaining mental and physical health. There’s also the fact that senior dogs aren’t perfect, and training can help them get rid of problematic behaviors.
Whether you’ve loved your dog since they were a pup or recently adopted them from a shelter, here’s what to know about training a senior dog.
Evaluate Their Training History
Spend your first few days evaluating what level of training they’re on. Test them by saying things like “sit” and “lay down” and observing how they react. Some older rescues go to new homes already knowing a lot, but for others, simple things like wearing a leash are brand new. Once you have an idea of what your dog already knows, you can move forward based on their previous experiences.
Consider Physical Limitations
As dogs age, they start to slow down. Their joints become stiff and their hearts have to work a little harder to keep blood pumping. Many suffer from arthritis, obesity, and other health conditions related to old age. Physically demanding activities, like agility and dock jumping, are no longer safe for some seniors. Before you start a new training regimen, think about your dog’s physical limitations.
Every dog is different, and it’s a good idea to talk to your vet before moving forward with training. You never want to ask your dog to do something that puts their health at risk.
Take Frequent Breaks
Old dogs don’t have the stamina they used to. They get tired easily, and long training sessions can be too much for them. Depending on what you’re doing, repeated actions—like rolling over 10 times in a row—can end up hurting them. If this happens, your dog will be reluctant to continue, and you’ll both end up frustrated.
It’s best to keep your training sessions short and sweet. Only go for a few minutes at a time and give your pooch plenty of down time in between. If you notice signs of them becoming physically or mentally tired, don’t push them to keep going. You can pick up where you left off in a few hours or the next day.
Use safe gadgets to train
You may consider purchasing remote dog training collars to train your old friend as they are safe and useful when it comes to training. Especially 2 In 1 Compact Remote Citronella Spray Collar | T400, unlike most training collars, Remote Citronella Spray Collar | T400 doesn’t come with shock. You could train your dog with spray or sound which are less harmful and could be of a stimulation for your old fellow. You may check out this link to purchase Remote Citronella Spray Collar | T400 :https://www.petdiary-ecollar.com/citronella-spray-collar-t400
The belief that old dogs can’t learn new tricks has long-since been proven false. They are, however, at a slight disadvantage compared to puppies. Puppies go through developmental stages where their brains are specifically wired to take in new information. They’re primed with a blank slate and have plenty of energy and enthusiasm. Older dogs are past that stage in their lives, and decreased cognitive function is a common side effect of old age. As long as they’re generally healthy, however, they shouldn’t have a problem learning new skills. They’ll need your patience and commitment, but with the right strategy, they’ll be happy to work with you on continued training.
It doesn’t matter whether your dog is 12 weeks or 12 years old, training is an important part of their life. It keeps their mind working and their body moving, and it also offers an opportunity for man and man’s best friend to spend quality time together. Training your senior dog isn’t much different than training a puppy, but it’s still important to consider their specific needs. Don’t push them too hard and be patient while they learn new skills. If you do it right, it will be a positive experience for the both of you.