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Wondering if there is any truth to the "Can't teach an old dog new tricks" saying?

I have an 8 year old lab who was easy to train as a puppy. She knows all the basics - sit, stay, down, drop, etc. I would like to start teaching her a few new things, but was wondering if I need to approach things differently. Thoughts?
 

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I have a ten year old lhasa who learned most things at 7/8 yrs and he learned them almost as quickly as my lab puppy. In some ways I found him easier to teach because he focused more easily. I used shaping for most things, and he responded really well.
 

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A Lab want to learn as much as you have the patience to teach him. An adult should be a little easier to train than a pup, b/c of the better attention span. I still teach my 11 yo Lab new things, and he continues to pick up new behaviors on his own. Unfortunately, I didn't have the patience to teach him shift gears with a clutch, so he doesn't get to borrow the car on his own :)
 

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Wondering if there is any truth to the "Can't teach an old dog new tricks" saying?

I have an 8 year old lab who was easy to train as a puppy. She knows all the basics - sit, stay, down, drop, etc. I would like to start teaching her a few new things, but was wondering if I need to approach things differently. Thoughts?
That quote is actually about people so no there isn't any truth to the literal meaning of it. Luckily dogs live more in the moment than humans and are willing to learn new things at an old age. Just stay positive and I'm sure your lab will be happy to learn new things with you.
 

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There was a member here who posted videos of teaching her 15 yr old Husky how to open and close cabinets and drawers, which I thought was really cool.

At advanced ages .. the body will likely begin to falter long before the mind does. So, provided the body is willing and able, I think the mind will oblige.

I would approach things much the same as with a new puppy ... very low expectations, short duration of training sessions, low to NO physical impact, lots of R+ rewards, complete absense of corrections, ALWAYS keeping it fun, etc.

I've got a large soft spot in my heart for the oldsters, I'll admit. :)
 
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