Wednesday, October 2, 2013

You can teach an old dog new tricks!

The Lovely Shane with our Senior Beagle, Cody
Many of you know that I really love adult and senior dogs! I only adopt the older guys. This is because the older guys have a difficult time finding forever homes.  I suppose also that like me, they are a little less active than they used to be :) .

Some adult or senior dogs really never learned good manners. As you may be aware, I always say, "Polite Dogs.... Happy People". It is possible to teach these older guys to be very polite little guys and girls.

Our little Beagle, Cody is a senior guy. When we adopted him and added him to our home, he had some, what I would call "bad manners". He was not good on the leash ( he pulled pretty hard). He also really had no door way manners. He knew how to sit but had not quite mastered stay. He also did not get the concept of "leave it". I wanted to have him leave things alone that I may drop on the floor.

With persistent work, all these things improved greatly within the first couple of weeks.

Cody does have some limitations, however. When he was a younger dog, he apparently broke one of his hind legs. The leg never healed properly. He can no longer really jump and he can not really do the down position.  So, I never taught him down, roll over, crawl or anything that would require too much stress on the hind legs.

I mention Cody's limitations because it is important to know your dog's limitations. You should not really expect to train a dog to do something for which he is not physically capable.

That being said, barring physical problems, you can really teach an older dog anything that you can teach a younger dog. Sometimes it takes a little more patience because the older guys may have developed some bad habits that you have to break. However, it is very possible to train an older dog.

Another thing that the Lovely Shane and I like about older dogs is that they are long past the puppy stage. We like this because we don't have to worry about teething( and the chewing that goes along with teething). Also, as a general rule, older dogs are not nearly as hyper as the young pups. Since we already have older dogs in our pack, the really hyper little guys do not fit in as well as adult guys.

We do sometimes foster puppies. In fact, our current foster boy, Biscuit is an older puppy (he is around 9-10 months). Biscuit is actually learning from our adult guys. It is really cool to watch. But, I have to make sure that I give Biscuit plenty of  physical exercise because our older guys do not play nearly as much as Biscuit.

If you are thinking of adopting a dog, an adult or senior dog may be an excellent choice for you. This is particularly true if you do not have children or if your children are teenagers. We really do love our adult and senior dogs!

Copper, our Whopper Beagle is not a senior guy. He is about 7 years old or so (we are really not sure exactly... even the veterinarians guesses vary between 5 and 8). I actually chose him to be my demo dog. I knew when I first saw him at an adoption event, that he would make a great demo dog! I had to work with him quite a bit but, within a month of adopting him, he was helping me with dog training!

The point I am attempting to make here is that if you have an older dog and he/she is not polite and well behaved, do not give up! You can teach your dog to be polite and well behaved!

If you are thinking of adopting an adult or senior dog and are concerned about training, don't worry!

Please contact me at anytime and I will be happy to help you train your dog to be a well behaved, polite dog!

Till next time


William Moore Canine Training

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