Not only do little puppies enjoy learning new skills, but adult and older dogs also enjoy further training. There are a lot of benefits in dog training. It builds a lasting relationship between you and your dog, it is way easier and safer to go with him outside, visit veterinarian and so on. But if your dog is not a puppy anymore, can you learn him new tricks? For example, your Australian Shepherd is 10 year old, can he still learn something?
Is My Australian Shepherd Too Old To Learn New Tricks?
Yes, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, in fact, they are taught the same way as an adult dogs. it is important to give the dog challenges to stay alert at any age. New skills are also important for his cognitive health. Think of the brain as a muscle – without exercise it weakens.
And whether you start with an untrained elderly Australian Shepherd, taken from a shelter, or just teach an older family dog new exercises, he will cherish every minute spent learning together. A properly motivated and rewarded dog will be a zealous student, and if you have known each other for a long time, that is even better. For an older dog, learning with a loved one can be as enjoyable and rewarding as chewing on a favorite old toy!
Training For Adult and Older Dogs
Dog training will depend on your goals and dog skills – you can discuss these with a professional trainer. You may need obedience renewal courses, or maybe your dog is new or taken from a shelter and personal training or training with other adult dogs would be more appropriate for you. You can even try a new hobby together and take on a new dog sport, such as agility training or Frisbee matches.
If you don’t want to attend training courses, there are countless books from which you can learn a lot about training older dogs at home. To start a new hobby with your older Australian Shepherd, search for dog training books at your local library or online e-books.
Why It Is Worth Having a Well-Trained Dog?
Having a well-trained dog will make it much easier for you, basically at whatever you do. It will be easier and safer to go outside, visit friends and so on. Even if you will get new pet, your older Aussie will be great example for a new animal who has just joined the family.
The Benefits of Learning New Tricks:
- Training older and adult dogs strengthens relationships, provides fun, and helps maintain the dog’s physical and mental health. And when your dog learns the basics, you’ll be really motivated and looking what else you can teach him;
- Stimulates the dog’s mind, so their learning greatly develops the dog’s thinking and ability to learn. This means that the more a dog learns tricks, the easier it will be to learn new, more complex commands;
- Forms the dog’s confidence in himself and the owner;
- Improves dog obedience, behavior;
- Strengthens the dog’s physical health (muscle tone, endurance, flexibility, balance, concentration);
- Effectively unloads the dog mentally and physically (depending on intensity);
- Tricks help to direct a dog’s energy to positive activities if his negative behavior is noticed. In other words, in various unfavorable situations (in example, if the dog starts barking), tricks can help divert the dog’s attention.
- Finally, learning tricks is a very dynamic, engaging, creative, fun and fast-paced activity, so far a dog and its owner, such training is a real joy.
A well-trained dog is also much safer, you will feel much better with him around other people. If your Australian Shepherd gets too excited in a public place or when visiting a guest, it can be difficult to manage the situation, but with a little training, your dog will be the best of all! Almost every dog can be taught obedience and more. Breed, experience or age don’t matter at all.
What To Consider When Training Older Dogs
As with training a dog of any age with a reward, don’t forget to deduct that reward from your dog’s daily diet. This is especially important for older dogs because their metabolism is slower and they may be prone to gaining weight – and you want their condition to be as good as possible, so their diet needs to be properly balanced.
However, on average, an older dogs is considered to be a dog that is more than seven years old. So, if your Australian Shepherd is older than seven years old, consider the potential health needs of your buddy. For example, if your dog suffers from arthritis, do not overload his joints with excessive exercise or train him on a slippery wooden.
Your older dog will want to please you and keep you happy, so he or she may not want to show that he is tired. Be careful not to make the dog too tired as he may continue to work hard even if he already wants to fall asleep a bit!
Training an older dog requires a lot of concentration, perhaps even physical exertion, which can be very frustrating. It is better to train a little, but often, than a lot, but rarely. A short but frequent training can be more interesting.
Learning has to be gradual: the tricks have to match the dog’s abilities, age, temperament and health, in order for the dog to be willing to engage with training. It is important to train the dog in a positive way without using aggressive actions. It is important to complete each workout by allowing the dog to feel positive. For example, encouraging him to perform a trick he knows well.
Although the prevailing stereotype is that older or elderly dogs cannot learn tricks – this is not true! At any age, a dog can start learning them. Even if the results may be little bit slower with older dogs, this will not reduce the joy of learning for your Australian Shepherd and you!