There are common misconceptions in regards to dog training. A lot of people feel that the old saying is true: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. In actuality this statement is only true if the trainer isn’t persistent or patient enough. Any dog can learn commands it can just take time.
When training an adult dog, it can be very tricky. Despite it being similar to puppy training, there are still some differences that could be difficult to handle. There are some important factors you should take into consideration when beginning your training.
- You are likely not the dog’s first owner. They may not have a good bond with you immediately. This takes time. The closer and more comfortable the dog feels with you, the better they respond to training.
- You don’t know what type of training, if any, the dog has had in the past. If they have been trained, it may be as simple as reminding them of what they already know. If not, it might be starting from scratch.
- You don’t know how long they’ve had those bad habits. There isn’t a saying of “old habits die hard” for nothing!
Based on these above points, prepare yourself for a potentially time consuming, but ultimately rewarding experience. Just because there are a lot of unknowns does not mean the dog is hopeless. With your careful guidance the dog will ‘get it’ soon enough.
There are some positives to working with adult dogs as well. Unlike puppies, dogs have a longer attention span. Dogs may not be distracted as easily. This can make training a bit easier.
Take a look at these tips and tricks to help make your adult dog training easier:
- Find what ‘motivates’ your dog. Does he like treats? If so stock up on some favourite treats. If the dog likes a certain toy, then pick up some of those. Dogs need positive reinforcement when they complete a task well.
- Train your dog in a safe and quiet environment. Depending on what commands you are teaching your dog (‘Come’) you may want to make sure you have your dog in a fenced in area. You also don’t want other distractions or dangerous dogs to get involved.
- Never get angry. It is okay to scold your dog and tell them “no” in a firm voice. But yelling or threatening them does not help them learn; it can make them nervous and promote nervous aggression.
When in doubt contact an expert! We offer group and private dog training classes. Contact us for more information.