3 Absolutely Essential Things You Need to Know Before You Start Training an Older Dog!
A lot of people decide to adopt an older dog or train the one that has been living with them for a few years and experience difficulties with training him. This is because older dogs have already plenty of bad habits rooted deep in their brains and will be more resistant to getting rid of them than puppies. This is why training an older dog requires a lot of patience and consistence and may seem like a daunting task. However, if one knows the right things to do it is possible to speed up the process and make it very rewarding. Below is the list of 4 crucial elements of training an older dog.
Training An Older Dog Part 1 – Stay Focused And Be Consistent
While training an older dog make sure to use only one command for a specific action you expect from your dog. For example, using few different words while ordering your pet to come will make him confused and will slow down the entire process. Also, make sure to tell other family members about the techniques and commands you use as each person plays equally important role in training an older dog. Decide on the rules that everyone has to obey as well (for example: don’t play aggressively with the dog, don’t let him sleep on the couch etc.). Make them aware that breaking any of these rules will slow down the training and reinforce the bad habits you’re trying to fight.
Training An Older Dog Part 2 – Become An Alpha Male
Now that you have a new pet (or an old one that you want to retrain:) you need to make sure that he knows who’s the leader. Dogs are naturally pack animals and they instinctively look for an alpha male within their new family. If there is no one above them in the hierarchy they will feel obliged to take over this role in order to protect the pack. If this happens your pet may become uncontrollable and act aggressively. In order to eliminate the likelihood of such situation occurring you need to take appropriate steps. For example:
a) Feed your pet only after you had your meal first.
b) Be firm and consistent in executing the commands you give to your pet.
c) Once in a while roll him onto his back and hold in this position until he stops wriggling (this technique is copied directly from the behavior of bitch who uses it to show dominance over her whelps).
Training An Older Dog Part 3 – Make The Training Sessions Short And Fun!
As mentioned above training an older dog is all about consistency. However, because you’ll have to spend so much time teaching your dog various things you need to make sure not to bore him to death. Dogs, as majority of animals are very impatient and can be easily distracted so try to make the training sessions last no longer than 5 – 10 minutes. Also, prepare plenty of treats to use as rewards and every time your pet does something good and desired shower him with praise. Dogs want to please their owners instinctively and if you’ll give your pet a chance and show a bit of love he will eagerly learn every single thing you want him to.