Yes, You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!

Sit Now Stay knows no dog is too old to learn some new tricks — or obedience commands! Teaching senior dogs obedience can be a highly rewarding experience for both owners and elderly pups. Many pet parents worry that their canine companion may be too set in their ways to adapt to new manners. However, senior dog training in Kansas City is the perfect place for your silver fox. 

Join a great community of dog lovers for tips on house manners, leash training, behavioral management, and more. We’ll get you started with a few simple tips and need-to-know facts about training older dogs. 

Positivity Pays Off

Always approach dog training with an attitude of pawsitivity. Experts have found that positive reinforcement yields long term results when it comes to encouraging good behaviors in companion animals. This technique is especially important for senior dogs who may be wary of changes in their routine. A few simple ways to practice pawsitivity include:

  • Beginning and ending each training session on a high note with plenty of praise, pets, and treats.
  • Keeping an upbeat, but firm tone.
  • Ignore the bad, reward the good.
  • Exercise patience — senior dogs may be slow to pick up new tricks, but their determination and willingness to please makes up for it!
training old dogs

Take it Slow

Obedience training is no relay race. It’s a dedicated space for you and your dog to bond, grow and learn new tricks. Older dogs have less stamina than puppies and often require a modified training regimen. Support your senior dog training by:

  • Being mindful of your dog’s physical abilities. While some senior pups may be down for an obstacle course, others may prefer sit and lie down or other activities that are easier on their joints. When leash training, consider harnesses that are easier on your dog’s joints than traditional leads and allow for more control and guidance.
  • Using hand signals along with verbal cues. Hard of hearing pups will appreciate the reminder!
  • Introducing new things slowly, especially when the disrupt your old boy or girl’s normal routine.
  • When it’s time for play and exercise, opt for activities that are low impact and senior approved, like canine swim lessons.
  • Remaining patient. New commands take time to perfect, but lead the life long good habits.

Consistency is Key

As we age, our memory becomes less sharp and less fine-tuned as it was in our youth. Senior dogs are no different. Consistency and repetition is key for training older dogs. Working with an experienced canine behavioral specialist can help owners tailor training to their dog’s specific needs.

Most importantly, regular classes establish a schedule that’s easy for you and your pup to stick to. The benefits of senior dog obedience classes include:

  • Being a part of a community of dog lovers. We’re here to hold each other accountable, celebrate our pup’s successes, and lend a paw for those struggle days. Learning from other senior dog owners is a great resource for finding tips and tricks that work for aging dogs.
  • Enjoying some social time while your dog socializes too! If your older dog is a rescue, he or she may have missed out on some vital puppy social skills. It’s never too late to rebuild those skills and watch your friendly, outgoing dog thrive.
  • Working with experienced dog trainers in Kansas City that offer years of breed specific and age specific knowledge to help your senior dog in their journey. We’re firm believers that every dog deserves to learn some new tricks! 

Start your senior dog training today. There’s no time like the present to connect with the amazing canine community at Sit Now Stay!