Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Teaching an old dog new tricks

A comment made by a fellow dog trainer recently made me think... She said that in this area (Norfolk) there is not much demand for adult dog training classes. Hmmm...

I wonder why? Perhaps all the puppies get so well trained here that adult dogs no longer need training? That would be wonderful, but I doubt it. Perhaps all the adult dogs here get such interesting daily walks that they don't need any further mental stimulation? Perhaps more so than in the city, but probably still not enough? Or perhaps none of the owners are interested in any canine activities? That would be such a shame. Or do people simply think that you can't teach an old dog new tricks - as the saying goes? Or they might just not realise that there are classes available for older dogs?

We all know of course that we have to train puppies; they need to learn basic obedience and general manners. However, I think owners often forget or are not aware that older dogs benefit from training too, whether that’s a new rescue dog, whether it's an adolescent that is now testing his boundaries or whether it's simply to provide mental stimulation and have some fun. And yes, we can teach old dogs new tricks!
Dogs are never too old to learn; even my 10-year old (my saluki in the picture on the left) and 13-year old ones still love their regular training sessions. It is exercise for their brains and it keeps them mentally fit. They also enjoy this 1-2-1 quality time, something that we often neglect within our busy lives and is even more important if you have more than one dog like me.

In addition, most breeds are originally working breeds and not designed to be idle for most of the day. If they don’t get the physical AND mental exercise (e.g. training, doggie activities) that they need, it can lead to boredom, lack of control or even major behaviour issues.

Our training classes are for dogs of any age and breed, even if they have never had a day’s training in their life or are already quite well behaved and whether they are tiny or giant and anything in between! Come on, give it a go. Find yourself some reward based training classes, improve the bond with your dog, enjoy better control which leads to more freedom for your dog which then of course leads to a happier and more content dog and also owner! See you around!

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