Management & Training

Is it ever too late to start training your dog?

Is it ever too late to start training your dog?

“It is never too late to start” – and this adage states it right! You can start only when you feel like, and there’s no rulebook to come up with an exact age for anything in this world. Well, the same goes for dog training too, as that’s what our today’s topic deals with!

Although it is usually said that we should start training our dog when it’s still young, you can even train it when it is in its adolescence, or is quite a grown-up. It is never too late to start training a dog. All you need is to have an intention, and the dog will consequently develop the skills. Patience is important and if you own that, nothing is impossible!

Is it difficult to train a senior dog?

Well, as long as your dog is physically and mentally active, training it won’t be a problem. An old dog might have picked up some skills over the years, and that’s the only reason for which it is a little more difficult to erase its old habits and incorporating new things into his head.

Note: Aging often possess an impact on the mental health and behavior of a dog. If you see your dog is taking longer time than usual in picking up a particular skill, it might be due to its age. Well, in that case, you can consult your vet and ask him to prescribe some fatty acids and health supplements to boost up your dog’s physique and mental stability.

Why is it important to train your dog?

It is important to consider the merits of training your dog. Be it socializing, house-training or obedience training, just make sure that you are patient enough to see that your dog is taking time to pick up the skill. Also, try to strengthen your bond with your pup, and start trusting each other, and most importantly, enjoy the overall process and you are sure to love it. Training your dog has a lot of benefits, and it does good both to your dog, and your household too!

  • 6th to 12th week is the prime time for obedience training

This age is the most crucial age for incidental training and obedience training. This is the age when your dog will pick up skills faster than he would ever do for the rest of his life. Train your dog to be decent and obedient, this is when you can put him into a routine, and house train it. You can even potty train him during this critical stage of his development.

  • A little grown-up would be ideal for taking commands, and start mastering new skills

Your dog would probably be able to take commands only when it turns out to be a little mature to perceive your words and act accordingly. As your dog is turning towards its adolescence, you may start reinforcing new things into his life. You may even incorporate a schedule to help him master new skills that you want!

A few tips to see if your training module actually works!

Training a dog might sound easier, but it actually takes a lot of effort and dedication to see if things actually work out! Here are a few tips to help you with, in this regard:

  • Consistency is important

If you see that your dog has got a short attention span, and you cannot hold it for doing something for a long span of time, make sure that you are consistent in your approach. Be it obedience training, potty training, or agility training, devote 4 to 5 minutes in a day and apply the same approach every time. A focused training module on a regular basis will eventually make your dog habituated to deal with the situation, and that too, at a faster pace.

  • One behavior – One command word

Keep one command word for one behavior. Do not confuse your dog by using the same word for giving it different commands. Make sure that you aren’t confused either! Just note down the commands, and assign a word for each behavior. Start teaching your dog by repeating the same word and then expecting it to identify it and do the same, thereby being able to relate it to a behavior.

  • Aggression begets aggression

At times, your dog won’t be listening to you. He may do the exact opposite as you want him to do! However, never punish your dog for that will make your relationship bitter. In case your dog isn’t listening to you, just say “wrong” in a firm voice so that he is able to receive your message and understand that it has done something that wasn’t worth it. No matter how angry you get, you should never punish your dog, hit him, strike him or yell at him. That’s cruel!

  • Expect things at an appropriate age

If your dog is too young, you cannot expect him to pick up all the skills in a day or two. Similarly, if your dog is quite a grown-up, you should not expect it to develop all the skills just as you want. Things take time, and you need to accept it as a fact. Expecting too much will yield you nothing other than failure and frustration.

  • Appreciate and reward

Encouraging your dog every time it does something good is important. You may choose to reward the pup every time it has picked up a new skill, behaved right or have met up to your expectations. This will convey him a message that he has been your favorite, and trust me, he is sure to impress you the next time too!

Wrapping up:

Training an old dog requires a bit of extra time and patience, but that is sure to work! All you need is to untrain your dog at first, and then train it all over again.