Dispelling Myths about Training Old Dogs Those who have tried to change the habits of their old dogs may have come to the conclusion that such a task is impossible. Years of behaving in a certain way can easily make one believe that such patterns will remain permanent in your old dog. However, behavior experts are well aware of such myths for quite some time now and have assured us once again that they are untrue. The Animal Planet once led an interesting documentary on how it takes only minutes of dog obedience training daily to achieve dramatic behavior patterns in as little as two weeks’ time. In fact, with the right training, your old dog will even be able to perform new tricks that were once thought not possible. It doesn’t matter how obstinate your dog’s general personality is, or how ingrained it has become over the years. With the right perseverance and patience, you too will be able to achieve the impossible.
How to Get Started in Training Your Old Dogs One of the most important elements in getting started is to dispel the common myths that many people have about training old dogs. Think about it this way: if many of the myths that we hear are true, then many of the dogs currently found in shelters would have no chance of being ever adopted. How untrue this is! Experience has shown us time and time again that many dogs from shelters are able to develop new behavioral patterns once being accepted into a loving home. The reason this works is because dogs have powerful survival instincts, which will allow them to prosper in any new environment even if that requires adjusting to new expectations. An important adjustment you may have to make when learning how to train a dog, is to ensure that you remain as patient as possible, while maintaining a very positive attitude. Things that you feel should be easy may in fact be quite difficult for your older dog to comprehend. What you are essentially trying to accomplish is a complete reshaping of the dog’s character. As dogs become older it also takes them longer to develop new behavioral patterns in comparison to training puppies. Many people find training a puppy to be so much easier because they are brought into the world without baggage and are full of fascination and wonder about the world that surrounds them. For particularly stubborn dogs, you may even have to inquire about previous training the dog has done in order to successfully begin the new training. Remember that dogs learn by responding to stimuli (hopefully all positive motivational). That’s why when training an old dog, it is great if you can aid the help of a professional to ensure that the old dog is always well motivated to take on the new habits. Above all, always remember to treat your dog with the greatest respect and make sure that your training always increases gradually in terms of complexity. The other important variables are persistence, patience, and consistency, considering that your dog just isn’t a pup anymore!