For example, a well-trained older dog will make it a lot easier for you to move into your home, or give an example of a puppy that has just joined the family!
Dog training for seniors and adults enables you to bond, have fun, and help your dog stay physically and mentally drained. And once they learn the basics, you might be surprised at what else you can teach them. Perhaps there is a more fun way to get their toys out of the garden: you could teach your friend to put them in a box for you! Or why not train your older dog to get your slippers or find the missing TV remote?
A well-trained adult dog is also a much safer dog and will be more fun to be around other people. If your dog gets overexcited in public, or if a visitor calls, it can lead to a scene, but with a little training, your dog will be the most well-behaved person in the room! Basic obedience and much more can be taught to almost any dog, regardless of breed, experience, or age.
Training adult dogs and older dogs
To start training your adult or older dog and meet other like-minded owners and dogs, join a reputable, reward-based training club with a variety of training classes for dogs of all ages and backgrounds. Many dog owners return to the same club where their puppy first learned obedience training and meet the same people and dogs they first befriended – after all, it is both a fun and educational experience! For details on a club or coach in your area, see www.apdt.co.uk, www.capbt.org, or look for our Directory for dogs.
If you need help training older dogs, a weekly training course will give you regular time to devote to your dog, improve your skills as a trainer and handler, and let your dog practice their concentration skills. Your dog will benefit from the way classes provide structure, while practicing the exercises at home will help keep them mentally stimulated too!
Ongoing training of your dog will depend on your goals and your dog’s abilities: why not talk to a professional trainer about it? Perhaps you need a refresher course in obedience, or if your dog is new or has hailed from a rescue home, one-on-one teaching with you or contacting other adult dogs is better. You could even try out a new hobby together and be trained in a dog sport like agility or flyball!
If you don’t want to attend a training club, there are numerous books available to help you learn a lot about training an older dog at home. Check out your local library or search for dog training books online to start your new hobby with your best friend.
Training older dogs
It turns out you can teach an “old” dog new tricks – in fact, training older dogs is just like training adult dogs! Challenges are important to keeping dogs sharp at any age, and learning new things is critical to maintaining good cognitive function. Think of the brain as a muscle. If not exercised, it can become weaker. And whether you’re starting out with an untrained veteran rescue dog or just teaching your older family dog new exercises, they’ll enjoy the time you spend with you. Properly motivated and rewarded, they’ll be a willing student, and if you’ve known each other for years, so much the better: training older dogs with someone they love can be as enjoyable and enjoyable for your dog as chewing their favorite lifelong toy!
Special considerations for training older dogs
As with reward-based training for all age groups of dogs, make sure that all feed premiums count towards your dog’s daily amount of food. This is especially important for older dogs as they have slower metabolisms and can be prone to weight gain. You want them to stay in tip-top shape, which means they are getting proper nutrition. Depending on the breed size, dogs are considered older at different ages. On average, however, an “older” dog is any dog over the age of seven (small breeds become seniors later and large breeds sooner).
When training older dogs, consider your friend’s specific health needs. For example, if your dog has arthritis, try not to overstretch his joints with too much physical labor and be careful not to exercise him on slippery wooden floors.
Your older dog wants to please you and keep having fun, so they may not want to let you know when they have enough for a session. Be careful not to tire them as they may stoically continue to do their best to please you even when ready for some water and a nap! Training an older dog requires a lot of focus – and possibly physical exertion – and it can be very strenuous. Short but frequent training exercises are far better for him than occasional marathon stays and also more exciting.
As long as you keep track of your dog’s needs and develop a fun, non-strenuous training plan, you will both be having fun in no time – and maybe you just have the best-trained dog you know!