View Full Version : Training an older dog

13th June 2007, 10:44 AM
Does anyone have any tips about training an older dog? Since I've had Toby and he has lost a lot of weight he seems to have got a lot naughtier! He has now realised he can get away with a lot more and can now run away from you. Before when he had a bit of extra weight he couldn't do so much and was just happy lieing around all day. Don't get me wrong I would much have him more active just a little bit less naughty.
If he doesn't get his own way he goes into that cavalier sulk !

13th June 2007, 05:30 PM
Sure, old dogs can definitely learn nw tricks! :)

pproach training just as you would with a younger dog. If you haven't done an obedience class, or only a long time ago, this is a good place to start. The reason why is that you will both have fun, there will be lots of helpful structue and friendly dog owners, and you can ask the trainr for specific advice on any litle glitches in behavour that you want to address.

Generally, just doing a bit of training daily helps to reassert that you expect good behaviour and for your dog to take guidance from you -- just like kids! If children are taught manners but never have them reinforced and thus never get a chance to put trining into practice, they are going to be unruly because they feel no obligation to pay any attention to what the adults say. Likewise with dogs: a daily session or two at home where you run through some commands is a great approach and fun for you both. A clas will get you started on thinking about what to do togethr, and then you can do daily sessions at home.

Or check out www.deesdogs.com for some advice shets on some specific training tasks to get started right away. :)

13th June 2007, 09:56 PM
Hi Karlin,
Thanks for that advice, I though obedience classes were for puppies!LOL
I've had a look at classes and there is one less than a minutes walk from my house and I quite fancy going. I will have to talk to the person who runs it as it is on a Monday and sometimes I have to guide on a Monday (I'm like a relief brownie guider if anyone is away or ill) often I don't get much notice (normally 2 hours). Just hope she doesn't mind me missing a few!

Are there any dvd's etc on the market that are suitable to start with?

My aim is to have a perfectly behaved, well manner dog. LOL:dogwlk:

13th June 2007, 10:06 PM
Sounds good, I am sure they won't mind if you miss the odd class, Good Luck in your quest for the best trained Cavalier in the world!! :dogwlk: :dogwlk: :w**h**: :dgwlk: :dgwlk:

14th June 2007, 02:31 AM
Oh Karlin has just said what I was going to say.

My old girl Scarlett (11) has recently learned some new tricks. Back in November her buddy Pebbles die and I thought poor Scarlett looked terribly disinterested in life, so I started teaching her some new fun things. I was blown away with how quickly she caught on.

And yes, I just taught her exactly the same way I would teach a puppy. Though they say old dogs are slower at learning (& maybe it is true), they also are more focused & less easily distracted than the little ones.

Good luck. Make it fun!

14th June 2007, 08:16 AM
Good advice from all the above. I have my 2 new rescues (4 years old) since Nov 2006 who had to be house trained and obedience trained. I taught them just like puppies - repetition and food treats (healthy ones for Toby of course :) ) really help ;)

Good luck :)

15th June 2007, 07:48 PM
Thanks for every ones advice.:luv:

Training will not come too soon. At the moment he is being really stubborn firstly he is getting very fussy over what he eats. He thinks he should eat human food all the time, as I said he gets veggies and a bit of potato on Sunday. Now when I put his food down he will just walk away:rolleyes: , but will be right by us when we are eating begging for food. I have not been giving in and if he doesn't eat his food it gets taken away until the next meal time. He manages meal refusals then gives in. When he does not eat his meal he also doesn't get any treats, when he does eat it he gets lots of fuss and a little (healthy!) treat.

He has also decided that he will wake the whole house up at 5-6am in the morning:mad: . Firstly I thought he needed a wee so took him outside, the last 3 mornings in a row when i have opened the door and tried to get him to go out he just looks at me and walks away!!!!
I thought he might be having a strop as he is having to sleep in the kitchen for a bit as we are having the sitting room decorated and it smells heavy of paint and varnish. Also in this warmer weather the kitchen in the coolest and that's the place he usually heads for when he is warm!!!

Oh well of to do a bit more training, fingers crossed I get a lie in to at least 8am tomorrow lol

2nd July 2007, 06:57 PM
Oh well looks like we are not going training:(

Popped into the local class today and the trainer really didnt seem intrested when I told her how old Toby was, she said even if I did come not to expect miracles, which is fair enough. I explained what people here had said but the look I got told me just didn't really belive me.
Her suggestion was just to give him a Kong (which he already has and has lost intrest in). She really didnt seem as if she wanted us to take part at all.
The course would start in September as next week is the last one.
She did ask why I had not brought him earlier and I had explained I had only just recently become his full time owner and she asked why his previous owners had not trained him to which I really could't answer.
So there we are, not really too happy. Thought training would not only help Toby but also me to understand why he does stuff and how he thinks etc.
Any recommendations for books or dvd's are appricated.

:( :( :(

2nd July 2007, 08:19 PM
I wouldn't want to train at the class if the trainer's attitude is like that anyway!

I have found Dummies Guide to Dog tricks has all the basic sit, stay, down etc commands but also some fun things to make training fun.

I'm trying to teach Oakley "Shoot the dog" - he is catching on now but only if I fall on the floor too!:rolleyes:

4th July 2007, 09:27 PM
No she did not seem to have the right attitude.

Yeah I saw the books Dummies guide to dog training and tricks and thought about getting them. The only thing is Toby is a deaf (when he wants to be) the vet did a simple hearing test and said he did have a little hearing although not much and this cold also be selective.

Awwww of course you have to join in with Oakley :rah:

5th July 2007, 09:07 AM
I can't believe a trainer would say something like that - sounds like she just can't be bothered :( . There's no reason why an older dog can't learn new things. My 2 4-year olds have learned all the basic commands in the 7 months I have them and Molly is deaf - I have taught her hand signals. Molly is slower than Bella in picking things up but she knows sit and come and is getting good at down now.

Is there any other classes nearby that you could try - maybe they would be more understanding?

Bruce H
5th July 2007, 12:10 PM
Shame you can't get into a structured class. I have never bought any books or DVD's on dog training, so I can't help you with that; hopefully someone else here can. Like others have said, you definately can teach an older dog (heck, look at how well my wife Kris has done with me :D ), it just may take a little longer to break bad habits. Our rescue Charlie has some bad habits we are working on and is progressing very well in just a couple weeks.

8th July 2007, 10:00 PM
Thanks for all your support guys.
I saw the lady in the local pet shop and she gave me a little leaflet to get started, some we have put into practice but I have been in London this weekend so it has been a bit difficult. We have mastered the 'Stay on your bed while I'm cooking one' just a whole morning of returning Toby to his bed. I want him to learn this pretty quick as I would hate for there to be an accident. I am unable to put him in another part of the house as he just scratches constantly at the doors (which have been freshly painted).

Cathy Moon
8th July 2007, 10:14 PM
Wow, that's a really good one to start with! :) Good luck, and let us know how he's doing!

9th July 2007, 04:06 AM
The only dog that can't be taught any new tricks is obviously that stupid, ignorant teacher. What an idiot!

Well if that happened to me, I'd enrol my dog & I would go to the classes and I would show that stupid cow just how wrong she is. I'd get so much pleasure at the end of the course by saying "I hope YOU learned something out of this". Oh man that has really gotten my hackles up http://users.bigpond.net.au/fiorfein/emoticons/angry_no2.gif

Listen, once you have paid your money, she has to teach you, and even if she doesn't give you special attention you will still learn just by being there. Even if she is a really dud teacher, you & your dog will benefit from the experience.

And come one..... just gloat over the possibility of seeing you dog running rings around some of the others.

Oh, I'll have to shut up now or I'll start swearing & Karlin will have to come in and wrap duct tape around my mouth.

9th July 2007, 10:00 AM
yeah I would go for it too and for no other reason than to show that silly woman up!! Is there no other training class in your area?
Of course older dogs can learn basic obedience and tricks just like the younger one's!! My lad Logan is a retired show dog, so initially he was never trained to "Sit" or "Down" or any of the other stuff, he was trained to "Stand Nice", "Get your ears up" & "Show Teeth" in readiness for the ring, so when he retired from showing at age 5 he was then taught all the "Sit", "Down", "Stay" and "Come" stuff, he lapped it up and is a really nice dog to be around. he makes me laugh though as when we are waiting to cross the road I tell him "Sit" and he still "Stands Nice" then looks at me as if to say "Oh, Yeah!! I can sit down now" :lol: :lol:

I am also of the opinion that training an older dog can further strengthen your bond and it also gives the dog something to occupy it's mind too!!

OK that's my "Twopennorth" as my late grandad used to say!! Go for it girl!! :thmbsup:

9th July 2007, 11:52 AM
I agree Cathryn, and it is also stimulating for the older dog. It is now a known fact that with humans "use it or lose it" when it comes to the mind. In the absence of disease etc, older people who push themselves intellectually are far less likely to get vague & forgetful than those who just sit around vegetating. I can't see any reason why this should be different for dogs.

I constantly teach my older dogs new games and they love it and it is very bonding. When Scarlett was 11 years old, I taught her in less than 30 minutes that if I showed her a treat-disk (that I had just bought) and closed the door & hid it, that if she found it she could get a food treat out of it. She knew to go into every room & sniff around in every corner until she found it.

9th July 2007, 07:20 PM
I don't think I could go back now as I really wouldn't have any faith in her, especially the atmosphere I felt in the few moments I was there.
I'm just going to take your advice on here and train him myself. I did see the Dog training Ireland site had a book about training deaf dogs that I might buy.
Your positive messages of training older dogs have really helped. Thanks