Do you have an older dog that hasn’t been listening very well? Perhaps you’ve recently adopted a senior dog. Whatever your reasons are for reading this article, having an older dog doesn’t mean you can’t teach them some basic commands.
Today we’re going to share some tips to help you teach your older dog some basic commands. While you may not get an older dog to do some fancy running around silly tricks like their younger counterparts, you can get a senior dog to learn some commands.
You may have heard that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but this is a myth. Some older dogs may listen better as they’ll have more focus than the younger pups you’re trying to train. If you’re ready to get your older dog to learn some basic commands, then follow these tips!
Use Positive Reinforcement
Your old doggy will be more motivated to listen to your basic commands if they’re met with positive reinforcement. Refrain from disciplining your dog when he isn’t listening to you. Rather get a bag of training treats and give him a treat each time he attempts to do the command properly.
When you use positive reinforcement you’re working to lead your older dog towards understanding what you’re expecting of them. This will help your senior dog learn the basic commands faster.
Select the Commands
You’ll need to know which basic commands you’ll be working with. Teaching an older dog “sit”, “stay”, “down” or “come” are a few of the basic commands that your older dog can easily learn. Make sure to focus on one command at a time. Once your dog has learned one basic command, move onto the next command.
This is going to take some time for your dog to understand the basic commands. You’ll need to be patient with the process so that your dog doesn’t get stressed. Take an hour or less each day working on the basic command, giving your dog a break if he seems overwhelmed.
How to Teach Each Basic Command
Now that we’ve given you a few tips on how to teach an older dog some basic commands, we wanted to give you the instructions on how you can help your dog understand what you want. Use these tips during your training sessions to help your older dog master these basic commands quickly.
Basic Dog Command “Come”
The best way for your older dog to “come” when you say “come” is to put your dog on a leash. Say come and gently pull on your dog’s leash to get them to realize that “come” means to get closer to you. You may crouch down to your dog’s level so you’re closer to the ground for better results. Continue this until you’ve used a longer leash and eventually practice “come” without a leash until your older dog has perfected this basic command.
Basic Dog Command “Stay”
You’ll use your hand for this session of teaching an older dog to “stay”. Have your dog take a seat and put your hand up saying “stay” so that they see your hand opened with palm showing towards them means “stay”. Start to walk away from your dog, continuing to keep your hand up saying stay. You’ll repeat this process until your older dog starts to “stay” after saying the basic command once.
These are just some of the easiest ways you can work to teach your older dog basic commands. Having a dog that can respect basic commands will help make the trip to the dog park easier and daily walks so much more fun for you and your pooch.