Old Dog, New Tricks?
Absolutely! All dogs enjoy the positive interaction of training, and they learn in very similar ways that humans do. Behavior develops directly from the information received, processed, and practiced. That being said, any new information has the potential to become habitual behavior, despite age. Sometimes a seemingly sluggish and tired old dog in simply uninspired and needs fresh motivation. How quickly one dog ages compared to another varies greatly from dog to dog, because aging hinges on factors like genetics, activity, learning and environment.
It is essential to keep your dog physically and mentally healthy through their lifespan. Exercising the brain with training and learning activity keeps the mind fit just as physical exercise does for the body and actually slows the aging process for all of us. There may be some physical limitations to consider when training an older dog and mental cognition may slow a bit as a dog ages, but dogs can learn and form new behaviors throughout their life. Just as people are encouraged to continue learning as they age, dogs are no different, active learning adds quality to life. Nothing adds quality to your dog’s life like the meaningful interaction he or she has with you. Because dog training is essentially learning, it is a great way to have meaningful interaction with your dog.