Senior Dogs are Trainable

Senior Dogs are Trainable

By Dave Eckholm

Are you considering adopting an older or rescued dog? Older dogs are great family members and need homes. Depending on the breed, senior dogs are often are more subdued than a puppy and therefore easier on your home. But what about behaviors learned or tolerated by a previous owner? Senior dogs can be still be trained using a few tried and true ideas! Just as with puppies it will take time and patience but the outcome is worth it. A trained dog will be a happier dog because he will know what is expected of him.

5 TIPS for Teaching NEW Tricks to Older Dogs

1. Use the proper tone when communicating with your dog: High/Enthusiastic—Use for Praising (i.e. “Good Dog!”) Demanding/Authoritative—Use for Commands (i.e. “Sit!”) Growly/Low—Use for reprimanding (i.e. “Bad Dog!”)

2. Give a command only once. This teaches your dog to listen the first time.

3. Hands Off when giving a command. Touching or petting distracts from training.

4. Recall (or “Come”) is the most pleasant of all commands for your dog. Never reprimand a dog that finally comes to you…even if you had to chase him through the neighborhood before he obeyed. He needs to know that you will lavish praise and pet him when he comes to you!

5. Training not to jump up on people and furniture is best done with a metal can or box with 10 pennies, stones or marbles taped inside. For convenience, it is a good idea to have several cans located in various areas throughout your home. Shake the can up and down once or twice whenever your dog jumps up. Remember to reprimand with the low tone at the same time. The noise will startle the dog and eventually the behavior will stop.

Copyright 2006 Dave Eckholm/

Dave Eckholm is the owner and creator of, a site dedicated to the care and comfort of our old friends. As our dog Tikki began to lose his eyesight and became grey around his muzzle, we were concerned for his quality of life. As a senior dog, he started to have special needs. We searched for new ideas, resources and products to enhance his life. Old Dog Paws shares this information with all dog lovers so your friend can enjoy wonderful senior years too!

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