How to Teach an Old Labrador New Tricks

Just because a dog is not a puppy is absolutely no indication that he cannot still be trained. In many ways dogs are a lot like humans in the sense that they continue to learn things throughout their entire life. Contrary to what many believe, older dogs can be as easy, if not easier to train than puppies.

The reason that this is true is because older dogs are more settled; they are not as playful so they tend to have a longer attention span than a puppy would. Think about a small child in school compared to an adult that decides to continue on with their education and maybe you will get a clearer picture.

Older dogs are familiar with the fact that they have a master and they know who that person is…they also understand pecking order…plus they are used to being told what to do and listening from this person. Older dogs are more likely to react to your commands simply because older dogs have the desire to please their owners because they seek praise.

The puppy stage is unquestionably the best time to initiate training, but in certain circumstances when an adult dog didn’t get proper training earlier in life, it becomes essential to teach an adult dog. Dogs react well to rewards and praise regardless of what age they are. While you are training be consistent and repetitive with your efforts.

The way to start training an older dog is to keep in mind that he has probably previously been trained before regardless if it was done right or wrong. This means that the dog has a pretty good idea of what is acceptable and what isn’t. If you want to modify one of these behaviors you have to change the dog’s way of thinking.

Always give the dog plenty of praise and love since this strengthens his good behavior. These rewards are imperative in training older dogs because they help in retraining their minds that this conduct is excellent and is rewarded, consequently making them desire to duplicate the behavior.

In order to teach an old dog something new you have to first recognize the dog’s prior training and then decide what is appropriate and what needs changed. Then reinforce the good parts of the dog’s behavior with ample rewards and verbal praise. Redirect the areas of the behavior you want to bring to an end. It is crucial to make changes gradually rather than a complete change all at once. This process is easier on an older dog and not quite as confusing. Small steps help the dog feel like he is learning new tricks rather than a total behavior change. It is crucial to use persistence and be consistent so that you may train your old dog some new tricks.

Any dog can be trained regardless of his age. You just need the right information and the right tools to get the job done.