They say you cannot teach old dogs new tricks; but that is just not true. Just like people, dogs learn new things every day. Often the trick to training older dogs is teaching new behaviors to replace old ones. Dogs are creatures of habit, and making changes and teaching them new things will help break old habits This will take patience and consistency.
Be sure that your dog is physically fit enough to go through training. Older dogs tend to get tired out faster than say a 2 or 3 year old dog. This means that he may lose interest in the new training more quickly, especially if they are overworked. Your dog needs to exercise anyway especially if he is overweight.
You should use more repetition and shorter time periods of training. Make any running shorter in distance. If you are teaching your animal to fetch, Do the throw 3-5 times rather than how many times you would with a puppy, especially if your dog starts getting tired. If your dog wants to continue, then as long as he is not showing signs of fatigue it is okay to continue.
Make sure that your dog gets enough rest between training sessions, as it will take your dog longer to get his strength back. He can also be more easily injured, so watch for signs of injury of a joint or ligament. If your dog is overweight do not over exert him, start slowly and work up to a higher level as he loses weight.
Do not give your dog a lot of food treats; even though you want to give him treats, your dog can gain weight much too easily, and because your dog is older it will be that much harder for him to lose the added weight. That can cause some serious health problems.
Being consistent when training your dog is just as important as it was when he was a younger dog, and training sessions should start and end about the same time each day.
Create a routine for training your older dog that he can handle and still enjoy. Continue to be consistent with praise and treats for good behaviors. Just be watchful of his energy levels and you’ll be amazed at how much he can still learn.
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