Your Dog Is Never Too Old for Training

By the end of class, Moxie not only had a foundation in training that would make most pet owners envious, but she had even changed her growly reactions toward other dogs and was able to stay relaxed when she was approached. Even better than Moxie and Cheryl's training progress, though, was the strong bond they naturally acquired as they learned to communicate through the training in a language they both could understand.

This communication is key. When I begin reward-based training with a senior dog, I am often convinced that I can hear an audible sigh of relief from the dog when he realizes that he finally has a way to talk to his people.

I adopted a senior Pomeranian named Teddy from a small dog rescue when he was well into his old age. Teddy had suffered years of neglect. When we started training, Teddy was inhibited and cautious. One of the first ways I interacted with him was by teaching him some basic behaviors, such as sit and down. After only a few repetitions of clicking wanted behavior, I could almost see a spark in his eyes as he began to enthusiastically try out new behaviors to see if they were clickable. Despite his age, Teddy gained confidence and learned new behaviors at a fast pace once he understood what I was asking him to do. He had figured out how to communicate with me, and it completely changed his attitude.

Whether your dog is 10 months old or 10 years old, it's never too late to start training.

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