Doug Ryan's Blog

Train an Old Dog in the Ways of the Household

May 9th 2013 4:05 am
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Older canines can be a wonderful addition to the family when adopted from the local pound or another family. Most dogs can learn to adapt to the lifestyle of the family and participate in daily life with some dog behaviour training. Stubborn dogs will require consistent training sessions that are full of praise and rewards. Teaching the old dog new tricks will convey his status in the family in the initial weeks.

1. Short sessions are most effective – Initial dog obedience training sessions will be focused on determining the dog’s current knowledge of basic commands and tricks. Rewards will encourage the dog to participate in the session because he wants to please his new master. A dog that tires quickly will require additional patience and different rewards. His attention is required to achieve results. Boredom can be corrected with some fun activities interlaced among the training efforts.

2. Training methods must be consistent – Brief notes about each session will allow the new owner to remember what was covered in the previous session. Verbal commands must be given in an even tone. Praise and correction will have different tones. The same location is important until the dog accepts the commands without hesitation. Distractions will be less frequent as the dog understands the master’s expectations.

3. Dogs love to have fun – Effective training sessions will include work on familiar commands and new commands. After the work session, a shower of praise and affection will communicate the master’s satisfaction with the dog’s performance. New toys and taking a walk to the park will provide sufficient reward for the dog to want to train again tomorrow. Dogs have a remarkable ability to communicate preferences in toys and favorite activities.

4. Engage veterinarian services – A new canine family member requires professional health consultations. The vet will notice health deficiencies that can be corrected to enable the older dog to live a happy life. Arthritis and diabetes must be diagnosed and treated for maximum quality of life. Training activities must stay within the dog’s ability. Commands that are more difficult might be outside the dog’s ability.

5. Gauge the dog’s reactions – Wise dog owners notice the best time of day to conduct training. A dog that is sleeping on the floor is not interested in training at the moment. Active dogs have favorite times of the day to play. This is a great time to conduct a training session. As the training session proceeds, the master should notice which commands are the dog’s favorite. Adjustments to the training program will bring about superior results. A dog that responds in fear will require more praise and affection.

6. Avoid punishment for non-performance – Dogs love to please favorite people. During training sessions, the master must refrain from raising his voice if the dog misses a command. Repetition without emotion is most effective in the effort to train the dog. Positive reinforcement is the most effective reward. Verbal praise and physical affection, such as petting and rubbing the fur, will communicate the master’s satisfaction with the dog’s performance.

Dog obedience can be taught to almost any dog. Pleasing people is the primary motivation for canines of every breed. Use of praise and reward will allow the new master to retain the dog’s attention and achieve remarkable results. Follow these six hints to transform a house pet into a remarkable companion.

 
 

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