They say you can’t teach old dog new tricks. Tell them they’re wrong because we’re showing you how! Believe us, it is not an impossible task and something you should be starting right away. Most dogs, even in their older years, are perfectly fine in physical terms and even better in mental ability. Even for those who aren’t, there are a lot of options. For example, dogs with jaw issues should not be taught tricks that involve the mouth and the same goes for dogs with hearing disabilities, vision problems and specific injuries.
So here are some things to keep in mind when you’re teaching them the tricks:
1. Treats Galore!
The only way you’re going to get their lazy butts off the ground is treats. It is essential to maintain just the right balance between giving them too many treats and too less. If you set really big goals for them in terms of the task you’re trying to teach them, they might get tired and bored so it is important to reward them regularly. So set small goals and every time they take even a small step towards achieving the final task, reward and appreciate it. But even giving too many treats can be counterproductive.
2. Gather your supplies
While training outdoors is the best way to do it, we might not always have access to clean parks and even then, stray dogs, other people and hard surfaces can cause a lot of problems in distraction as well as injury. So if you’re going to be training your dog inside the house, you will probably need a good quality hair remover brush because old dogs shed hair more and all that running around is going to get hair on a lot of your furniture.
3. The fun stuff
To make sure your old dog is really interested in learning tricks, get them excited about it by introducing new toys instead of using their old ones. The charm of a new object will make them much more responsive. They might have stopped needing a leash over the years but they’ll definitely need one now to keep them in control.
4. You Must Know..
There are so many benefits of teaching tricks to older dogs. In the later years of their life, when they’re not as energetic as young puppies, going out into the outdoors again and using their body in new ways can be a great boost for their physical health and can prevent a lot of health problems. Even mentally, they might have built up a monotonous every day routine which does not involve mental stimulation and this is brilliant for making their mind aware and active again.
Do you know what is the best part about this?
This can help rejuvenate and refresh your relationship with your dog by playing with them again, giving them attention, treats and lots of love. More than anything else, remember to teach them with patience and set small targets. Your dog will be as fresh and happy as a puppy in no time!