Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? Yes you can, it just might take a little longer. All of the advice out there for teaching puppies can be used for teaching adult dogs. Just keep in mind that it might take longer and require more patience. Read on for a few tips on how to train a dog, then check the links at the bottom for more great resources like a complete dog training course.
The first 20 weeks of a puppies life is his most valuable learning time. A puppy’s brain is like a sponge, soaking up all of the information it can. An adult dog will still absorb and learn, it just won’t happen as quickly.
Also with an adult you have the added job of deprogramming it or teaching it how to break old bad habits. This is usually the hard part when learning how to train a dog. There are many products out there that will help your dog break its bad habits. If, for example, you have a dog that barks constantly you can try a special collar that will give it a little electrical jolt every time it barks. If you think that’s a little too harsh you can buy a collar that sprays citronella (a scent that dogs don’t like) every time they bark. It’s more of a puff of citronella air then an actual liquid spray. Since the dog doesn’t like the smell it avoids barking.
If you have a problem with your dog chewing things up you can purchase a product called “Bitter Apple Spray”. It’s exactly what it says it is. It’s a bitter spray you spray on things around your home (furniture, plants, etc). When your dog goes to chew on your favorite fern and he gets a taste of the spray he will quickly learn not to do it again.
These things do not work with all dogs. You might have to try many things to find what works best for your dog. Also teaching your dogs some simple commands (sit, stay, leave it alone, etc) will also help keep your dog out of trouble.
Hopefully these tips on how to train a dog will help you get started. Remember to use lots of positive reinforcement and affection. Your dog will thank you by being a better pet.