Older Dogs Can Be Trained Too!
Many people I talk to are hesitant to sign an older dog up for training. They’ve fallen for the old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! Colonial Dog Training Buffalo can help!
While it’s always best to begin training your dog as soon as possible, there’s absolutely no truth to that urban legend. Whether you’ve always had problems getting your dog to behave, have an older dog that’s developed a new behavioral problem, or recently brought an older dog into your home, my customized in-home dog training program can help!
The first thing I do when working with older dogs is to have them examined by a veterinarian. Often, behavioral issues in older dogs can be related to health problems. For example, a urinary tract infection might be the culprit behind a sudden onset of housebreaking issues, or chronic pain might be the reason why your dog suddenly doesn’t like to be petted. It’s critical to work with a vet to identify any possible medical causes for your dog’s bad behavior so we can create an appropriate training plan.
Most of the time, however, older dogs’ behavioral problems are due to temperament changes or bad habits. Just like people, dogs can get more stubborn and set in their ways as they get older! This tendency is made worse by the fact that many owners often get increasingly lenient about enforcing rules, boundaries, and routines as dogs age. They think the dog has already learned everything it needs to know for good behavior, but in fact the inconsistent communication and weak boundaries are teaching it bad behavior.
One of the great things about using in-home training with your older dog is that both you and the dog receive one-on-one attention in the dog’s natural environment. I can identify and work on specific problem areas while also addressing basic obedience training, proper leash handling techniques, crate training, and your dog’s routine. I also ensure that you are empowered as an owner to establish strong boundaries and communicate clearly with your dog.
Recently, for example, I worked with a family whose older dog had started to bite whenever she was told to get off the couch. I worked with the family to establish clear boundaries and refresh the dog’s understanding of basic manners so she not only didn’t bite—she didn’t get up on the couch! I also recently worked with a family who had adopted a hyperactive older dog. The dog was out of control when they first brought it home, but with plenty of exercise, obedience training, and place training, the dog has learned to enjoy a quiet evening with its family. The dog was able to quickly grasp the new behavior and settle into a new routine even though he’d been considered hopeless for most of his life!
If you have an older dog that has behavioral issues, contact me via email or call me at 800.649.7297. I’d love to learn more about your situation, set up a no-obligation in-home consultation, and get started teaching your old dog some new tricks!