People say that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Hopefully we can help you prove them otherwise with the tips and tricks in this article. All of the methods have been hand picked for your older dog that you either have never trained, never trained well, or obtained from someone else.
To be successful at training your dog, focus on teaching one command at a time. Trying to teach multiple commands at once can be confusing for your dog and frustrating for you. Instead, by focusing on one trick, your dog will be able to learn the command thoroughly and get it down before moving on to another.
When giving commands to your dog, never come down to their level. Maintaining eye contact and a fully erect, dominant stance imparts control to the dog. Your dog will be receptive to commands given from this posture much easier than a crouching owner who is seen as an equal or playmate.
Never cave in to bad behavior. Your dog will always love you, but it needs to know that you’re the boss. Don’t encourage bad behavior and let your dog know that any such behavior will be met with punishment. At the same time, make sure you reward good behavior as well.
One tip to keep in mind when training your dog is to stop your dog during the behavior you want to change. This is important to ensure that your dog knows when to stop a certain action and what to replace it with. An example would be to never allow it to jump on anyone, and always discipline and correct the dog mid-action.
To teach your dog how to sit on cue, first find a good, soft, smelly treat that your dog will find irresistible, like a piece of cheese or a slice of hotdog. Keep the treat small, about the size of the nail on your pinky. Then, take the treat in your fist, and hold it over your dog’s head, low enough that his nose comes up to reach the treat, but not so high that he tries to jump for it. Smoothly move the treat backwards, and as his nose comes up, his butt will go down. Give the dog the treat as soon as his butt hits the floor, and say your cue word at the same time.
Teach your dog the “down” command. This command is useful to build upon, or on its own in emergency situations. A dog that knows his “down” command well can drop to the ground at a moment’s notice in a testy situation, making it a great command to keep on hand for safety’s sake.
Your house shouldn’t be like doggy prison. Your dog should have a wide variety of social interactions daily. This will ensure he’ll continue to blossom as a social animal, and he’ll be able to use up some of his energy meeting all these exciting new people and dogs. You’ll both benefit from the experience.
In conclusion, training an older dog can prove to be extremely difficult but not impossible. Depending on how the dog has been raised, your challenge may vary greatly. As long as you follow the specialized tips provided in this article, you are set up for success in training your older dog.