Here is the QUESTION: Can You Really Teach An Old Dog New Tricks…
I received a surprise Christmas present last year in the form of a 4 year old female shepherd mix that my wife and daughter decided I needed to replace my long time pet who had to be put down last summer. She really is a beautiful dog, but the shelter fibbed to us when they said she was good with other dogs and cats. She has been rather aggressive with them. We are 6 months into this relationship now and she is much better. I guess she is more secure now.
The one problem I have not solved is her desire to run out the door and ignore our “come” commands. All this is to ask you: Will the techniques in your book and video series work on an older dog? I’d rather not invest the money in a lost cause. We live in the Arizona desert and she won’t last long this summer if she gets out and runs off again. I’ve looked through many of your newsletters, but didn’t find any mention of age.
Yes, the dog training techniques work on all dogs, as long as they are healthy and do not have any mobility problems.
In many cases, training an older dog is easier than training a younger dog, despite the saying that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” there is definitely something to be said about maturity.
Here is Another Question:
I am ready to give away my 6mo. old Maltese. I grew up with one of these dogs- the most gentle and affectionate dog I’d ever met, so I bought one for my family at great expense. I tried to find a good breeder and had the dog shipped.
The problem is this – He growls and snaps at my 4 year old whenever he tries to pet him or pick him up, or if I’m watching saying, “Good dog, no growl, it’s OK.. ” he will not growl but struggle to get away and growl as soon as he’s down. He has bitten when I was not watching.
For a long while my son was the only one to feed the dog, I kept him off the furniture and the kids owned the toys. Nothing seemed to help, so recently I’ve been grabbing him firmly by the scruff and growling “No” at him, then putting him in a small room by himself for several minutes. Today when I went to correct him he snapped and growled at me! He is now frightened of me and I am angry at him.
The most upsetting thing for me is that I wanted this dog to be a friend for my son like mine was for me when I was young. My son is a gentle, quiet boy who loves animals and is saddened my this. Is there any hope?
The one thing you apparently HAVEN’T DONE is to CORRECT THE DOG’S UNWANTED BEHAVIOR!!! The ‘pulling on the scruff of the neck’ is only for young puppies, 8 to 10 weeks old. It’s ineffective for older dogs.
After you correct the dog, immediately tempt him to do the behavior again. Offer him the choice: If he does the behavior again then most likely your first correction wasn’t motivational… If he refuses to do the behavior, then praise him – as he’s just made the RIGHT DECISION.
Praise the dog only when he makes the right decision (staying calm). Do not tell him, “No growl,” if he’s already being quiet. This is SOOOO CONFUSING TO THE DOG.
It’s very simple:
The dog does something good = You say, “Good dog,” and praise. The dog does something bad = You say, “No!” and administer a correction with the leash and collar.
Those are some pretty neat Ideas, right?
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