Old dogs and new tricks

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There’s an old 16th century English saying that an old dog is not capable of learning new tricks. This is wrong. You can teach an old dog to learn many new actions. This is as canines at any age are excellent learners. Dogs are inquisitive by nature and interested to experience new environments. The fact is that if a dog is awake, it learns. The animal constantly monitors the environment. They respond to any new smell or sound, They approach anything new.

Older dogs better

Contrary to the popular saying, it is easier to teach an old dog than puppies. This is as older canines are not as much active as younger ones. The older dogs are not as quickly distracted as pups. They can focus for a lengthier time period. This ability to concentrate assists them to learn new tasks faster. This said you should start teaching your dog new actions as early as possible. Puppies should be trained from eight weeks onwards. Even though an older dog has more focus, you start with a clean slate with the puppies. It could be a pain to “unlearn” some actions present in older dogs prior to teaching it new ones. The older canines possess habitual responses to the environment. To give an example, they may chew the newspaper while bringing it to its owner.

All said it is easy to adjust the behavior of the dog. The animals live for every moment. They do not worry either about the past or the future. Adopted dogs love nothing more to have owners who provide and unconditionally love them. The canines like to bond with owners while learning new tricks. For puppies, learning is a fun activity.

Factors to keep in mind

There is a possibility you may feel that your dog is not picking up new tricks. This is applicable for both older and younger dogs. The learning methods although the same for dogs of all age groups, could be tweaked as per the age of your canine. Similar to the case of humans, all tricks are not right for all dogs and some tricks are better taught to puppies than dogs in their advanced years.

When it comes to older dogs, the less strenuous tricks to teach include high fiving, shake, crawl, keeping the toys in their correct place, push a ball, shake, walk backward, and retrieving slippers and covering you up with a blanket. Do understand that older dogs could have difficulty comprehending what you say. Many senior pets suffer from hearing and vision problems which makes them harder to understand directions. Use hand signals in case your dog suffers from hearing loss. If it has bad eye-sight, stay within its line of sight. Use your loud voice to the max.