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How to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

If you think your elderly pooch is beyond educating, these tips will show you that any dog at any age can be taught a new trick.


  • Step 1: Assess physical abilities Assess your dog's physical abilities. Don't expect an older dog to jump, leap, and run like a puppy.
  • Step 2: Choose a clear goal Choose a clear goal such as teaching your dog to sit, speak, heel, or lay down on command.
  • TIP: Older dogs are calmer and more receptive to commands, since both owner and pet have a trusting relationship.
  • Step 3: Reward good behavior Focus on rewarding your dog with a treat or toy for good behavior. Don't reward bad behavior, but don't punish them, either.
  • Step 4: Work in small steps Work in small steps and keep training sessions short. This is especially important for older dogs that may tire quickly.
  • Step 5: Give commands consistently Give your dog commands consistently, and give the reward immediately after they do something good.
  • Step 6: Remain patient Remain patient and don't expect miracles with your older pet. But if you're consistent, you should notice a difference within a few weeks.
  • FACT: Did you know? A recent poll found that half of all pet owners consider their furry friend as much a member of the family as the people in the household.

You Will Need

  • Dog treats
  • Patience

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