Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks? Read Our Training Tips For Older Pups and Find Out…

old dog new tricks

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We’ve all heard the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, but here at Tug-E-Nuff we’re experts in dog training and we’re here to tell you that it’s simply not true. Older dogs CAN be trained. Not only that but they often enjoy training and can be easier to train than a brand new and very excitable puppy.

Many of our customers have adopted an older dog and seen them make remarkable progress once they are given the chance to learn and develop. However, it’s fair to say that you might need to take a slightly different approach if you’re training an older dog. So here are our top training tips for helping older dogs reach their training potential…

  1.    Manage your expectations

Don’t expect an elderly dog to be able to leap and run around in the same way a six-month-old puppy would. It’s important to assess your dog’s physical ability and design training sessions to fit in with this.

  1.    Establish a trusting relationship

Older dogs respond much better to training if they already have a trusting, established relationship with their trainer. So if you’ve just adopted an older dog, it’s a good idea to work on building a bond before expecting to be able to train them or teach commands.

  1.    Have clear goals

This is an important tip to bear in mind whether you’re teaching an old dog or a new puppy, but older dogs can respond particularly well to structure and by having clear goals in mind it can help you both to focus.

  1.    Be patient

It can take time to iron out bad habits your older dog might have picked up over the years so it’s important to be realistic in terms of time scales and to have plenty of patience. Expecting too much, too soon, will only result in both you and your dog becoming frustrated.

  1.    Use a favourite toy

At Tug-E-Nuff, we know how much difference the right toys can old dog new tricksmake to your dog’s training. If you’ve never used a training toy before, we highly recommend our sheepskin dog toys. Cleverly designed and handmade using real sheepskin, they can excite your older dog and tap into their instinctive urge to play. And as we all know, the most effective way to learn is through play. Whether it’s our Sheepskin Bungee Chaser with Tennis Ball or our Sheepskin Bungee Ring, we’re sure one of our sheepskin dog toys can be the perfect tool to help you teach your old dog n ew tricks.


danny-rouseAbout the Author: Danny Rouse is one of 4 directors of Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, a family business based in Exmouth that has gone from a small local firm to an internationally recognised brand in the dog sport market. His role focuses on customer satisfaction and driving the business forward. In his spare time he enjoys long walks with his dog Horatio and loves sampling good food out and about in Devon. Danny and Horatio also train regularly at East Bowerland Farm with Devon Dogs.

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