Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

May 10th, 2007 by Dan

We have a new behavioral client- well, two, actually. The human client has two dogs, both rescues: a 9-year-old female Cocker Spaniel (P.) and a 3-year-old larger male of indeterminate breeding (G.). The Cocker has been with her for two years, while the male is a new addition to the house. She contacted us initially because he was behaving aggressively around other dogs. While that behavior has calmed down, they are both lacking in basic training. So, we had our first session with them a couple days ago; we’re starting with “sit.” G. doesn’t even recognize a dog treat and isn’t food motivated, in addition to being very stubborn, so he doesn’t really get it yet. P., however, lives for food and allowed us to guide her a bit; a few minutes into the first walk something clicked and she sat down when I gave her the command with treat in hand. She certainly doesn’t know it fully (yet), but after a good 30 minutes of walking and practicing, she’s well on her way.

It’s never too late and your dog is never too old to learn something new!

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