Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Absolutely! We’ve rounded up a selection of free training videos that are ideal for more senior dogs.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to start getting your dog into healthy habits as soon as he’s old enough to learn. But while many of his essential personality traits may have emerged by the age of one, it’s never too late to try teaching him something new. While an older dog may take longer to train, the right kind of teaching could improve some challenging behaviours, help him cope with the physical changes that come with ageing, and have fun together in the process.
1. Teaching an old dog new tricks
Whether you’ve recently adopted a senior dog or want to train up a longstanding family pet, this introductory video by our experts sets some useful ground rules for teaching an old dog new tricks.
2. Breaking bad habits in senior dogs
Sometimes we don’t realise the behaviours our dogs have slipped into aren’t good for them – or us! It’s easy to think ‘that’s just part of their personality’ and assume they’re too set in their ways to change. For instance, does your dog jump up at every visitor coming through the door, even though he’s old enough to know better? The Dogs Trust Dog School channel on YouTube has practical advice on this, as well as many other common behavioural issues.
3. Senior dog ignoring recall
Dog recall training is one of the most useful things you can do with your pooch. If you’ve had your dog for a long time, you may find he’s increasingly suffering from ‘selective hearing’. This simple video from Blue Cross explains the need for good recall, and shows you how to improve it at any age.
4. Leash training an older dog
It’s easy to let good walking habits fall away over time. Get your dog walking happily by your side, instead of pulling on his leash, with this helpful video from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. They also have some great mind games for less energetic senior dogs.
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5. How to crate train an older dog
Crate training an older dog will make sure they are happy in a crate for short periods. This can be very useful for transporting senior dogs to veterinary check-ups with a minimum of fuss. It also gives your dog a safe and comfortable place for them to recover from illness or surgery if your vet prescribes cage rest.
6. House training an older dog
If you’re taking on an older dog who hasn’t been successfully house trained already, you’ll need to follow the same principles as with a puppy. But toilet-training an older dog will almost definitely take longer, so be patient!
7. Introducing a dog mobility harness
Dog mobility harnesses can give senior dogs with weak back joints a new lease of life. But what do you do if your dog hates wearing one? This short step-by-step video shows you how to train your dog into trying out a harness, and even enjoy wearing one (eventually).
For more inspiration, check out our dog training content