If you have just brought an adult or a senior dog into your life, you may be wondering what you should expect. When bringing an older dog into the home, there may be special considerations you should take, in particular the need for obedience training for older dogs.
If you already have a puppy at home, don’t expect this older dog to get along with your young puppy. Bringing the two species together can be a challenge for older dogs.
Know what to expect. If your dog isn’t responding well, check his body language and observe how he responds when you are giving him the command. If your dog appears disoriented and moves around, or perhaps he doesn’t hear or understand you, try calling his name. Be patient. No one can judge how long it takes until your dog figures it out. The result is worth the wait!
Don’t ever hit your dog or shout at him. Instead, when he has an accident in the house, take him outside and don’t punish him. Then go over and show him the proper place to go. Discipline, or rather correcting should be in a form of communication, not physical punishment. Maintaining control with a firm tone is a foundation for building a great relationship.
If your dog is not socialized properly, he may be frightened and turns anxiety in unfamiliar situations. To assure him to be friendly and happy in all situations, you should make it a habit to introduce him to people and pets around him. Always keep him leashed when you are out before he is fully trained to be obedient.
Some breeds of dog tend to jump at opportunities to prove their authority. A dog (especially an older one) who believes he has to be the leader of the pack will be constantly trying to challenge you for leadership. Thus, it’s important that you be his alpha dog in order to make him listen and obey your instructions.
Once you’ve decided on a routine, it’s time to get your dog trained. A great way to begin this process is to make sure that your entire family spends quality time with your older dog. Having your whole family get involved with training your dog will be the best way to get great results.
He will “see” how all of his actions fit into the bigger picture of the pack and will feel more secure. In the end, he will be more willing to follow your leads and do what he’s told.
The training will take some time, and your dog is going to look forward to these sessions. Consistency will be very important, not just in the training but also in everything you do. You’ll want to make sure that everyone does the same things in the same order, so that your dog doesn’t get confused.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that your dog is only doing what he’s taught. If you’re not consistent with his training, he’s going to catch some bad habits as he is simply confused. The training will take some time, but it’s not overnight.
You’ll want to take it slowly in your training. Make sure that your enjoyable dog is having fun with you. If you force your dog to perform the commands, he may just get upset and not continue to obey.
If your dog is showing signs of aging, there are some potential causes of dog health problems that you should be aware of. You may notice that your older dog’s energy levels have dropped and that he seems to have trouble doing things that he used to do. So this is certainly not “disobeying” you, it’s just that he no longer able to perform what you want.
Having your older dog handle his own grooming is also a good idea. Pay attention to his responses and remember that his energy levels may be lower as he may be dealing with increased bone and joint problems. If he appears stiff, then it may be a good idea to take precautions to make sure that he does not injure himself when trying to run in the back yard.
Be willing to invest the time necessary to teach your dog. This is especially true of an older dog that you have purchased from a breeder. Dogs can be misbehaved just like people. It takes time to train them to behave in a socially acceptable manner and to listen to you.
Once your dog is trained, he will fit in well with your family, especially if he’s already been trained as a puppy as dogs are naturally very sociable creatures. If your dog is still “unsettled”, it will only be a matter of time when he adjusts to your obedience training program.
The truth is that obedience training isn’t really a difficult process. It’s simply a matter of letting your dog know that you’re the boss. Although it’s not a process that happens overnight, anyone can certainly train their dog to be well behaved. It simply takes time, patience, and consistency.