Training An Older Dog (8 replies)
Hello, How are all you pet lovers? My name is Tiana Bowens & I am in the ib program and being in the ib program I have to do a personal project. For my personal project I will be demonstrating that no matter the age of the dog, their ability to learn is always their. I have been doing more outside research so I have a couple of questions. Do any people who either have experience with dog training by themselves and or with a trainer or even a person who knows a bit about dog training, any tips/tricks on training an older dog? Also, any other research ideas? People I can interview, email. Thank you so much for your time 🙂
Hi Tiana! Unfortunately, I am not a trained or credited trainer. As a pet sitter, I do believe that dogs have the capacity for learning all their lives, but that's a personal opinion.
Excellent project 🙂 I'm also not a certified dog trainer, but I trained our two dogs over the years. Many years ago, we rescued a Smooth Coat Collie. He had been abused and neglected (Long story). We immediately enrolled him in obedience classes--BEST decision ever! The trainer taught us how to teach him. He was smart and learned quickly. Gradually, I taught him tricks. I taught him to sing (in his own doggy way) when I played my flute, jump through a hula-hoop, to speak, to crawl, to roll over, to sit, to stay, to come, to stand, to heel and walk slowly or quickly, to wait for a treat, and more. He was young, but I believe all dogs can learn. Fast forward into recent years, and I also trained our Bichon Frise Dog, Pip. Equipped with the knowledge from working with Lucky, Pip also learned all the basic obendience commands and many tricks. Pip jumped through a hula-hoop, rolled over, played pat-a-cake, jumped over our knees, jumped onto our backs and stayed there while we crawled around, and more. I think it just may take more patience with an older dog. Sounds like an interesting project and I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress. Thanks for sharing!
One thing that did occur to me after reading Karen's post:
One of the dogs that I walk is a 14 year old Shih Tzu. She is adorable, smart, fun, and incredibly stubborn. It's her way or NO way and don't you forget it. Lol!
She is also blind, which makes it dangerous for her to be left unwatched in places where she could injure herself or even when walking on a leash. If you're not watching her every second, she will zip right under your feet, tangle the leashes, or fall into a sewer grate hole. One of the things I have been working on is trying to get her to stop on command - to me, this is something she absolutely should know to do because she has the potential to be so injured by a fall.
It's simple - when I want her to stop, I say her name and then "stop". "Billie, stop!" It's been about a month or so. We've had mixed results. Sometimes she will stop, but other times she is just like "pffft. My way, remember?" and keeps on going.
I do think she knows what I mean. She is just stubborn as all get out and very sassy!
How is your project coming along?
I just remembered something. We've fostered some older dogs over the years. We had a few for longer periods of time, and yes they can definitely learn. I remember two seniors in particular--Sassy and Maggie. Sassy was a senior with a heart condition and Maggie was an adult dog who'd lived her entire life in a puppy mill until she came into rescue. Both of these little gals were very capable of learning. Sassy learned easily to come, stay, walk by my side, and maybe even a trick or two (That was years ago.) Maggie, on the other hand, was smart and capable of learning, but she was stubborn and mostly I worked with her on learning to accept human touch, and to walk well on a leash.
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