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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Dec 14, 2007
Whoever came up with the saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks simply didn't know how to do it properly. Dogs of any age can be taught tricks and obedience by following the same, standard procedure. Regardless of the age of your dog, a patient and above all consistent approach to training will pay off very quickly.

The first step to training any dog is to establish a rewards system. The rewards system should comprise of some tangible treat, as well as a show of love and affection. Applying the reward system consistently will eventually create a recognition of what's right and wrong, and allow quicker results overall.

One of the most effective ways to train your dog to behave in a certain manner is by teaching it one word commands. Traditional one word commands, like 'sit' and 'stay' are vital in ensuring your dog is obedient whenever required. The first step is to reward the behavior, for example, sitting, whenever the dog happens to naturally sit. You will notice fairly quickly a recurrence in this type of behavior, if you take care to reward. Next, introduce the word, and only reward activity occurring after the announcement of the word. It is imperative that you say the word only once, and reward your dog for obeying, and withhold the reward otherwise. This should again help to establish a pattern of positive behavior in response to the requests of the owner. Although these techniques are most useful for basic obedience, they can also benefit dogs with behavioral problems, as well as allow effective training of more complicated tasks.

Additionally, working with older dogs to try and learn new tricks and techniques will help keep them mentally fresh. This means that, like humans, the dogs will remain more alert for longer, and really benefit from spending extra time on intellectual stimulation, and of course spending time with its owner. Take the time to dedicate to your dog, whatever its age, to help increase its happiness and maintain its mental capacity for longer.

Working with your dogs is an essential element of owner-pet bonding, and also helps ensure the respect necessary to ensure good behavior. By using some of these simple tried and tested techniques, you can teach any dog of any age how to behave acceptably in a variety of situations, and even teach them party tricks at the same time.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Family , Relationships, and Home
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