While many people think that you cannot teach older dogs new tricks, this is simply not so. It is possible to teach your senior dogs some new tricks; however, depending upon your furry friend’s age, you will want to select tricks that they can accomplish without pain or discomfort. This is especially true for dogs that are suffering from hip dysplasia or arthritis.
Give Me a Kiss
One of the cutest tricks you can teach your senior pet is to give you a kiss. If you do not want your dog licking you in the face, you can teach it to lick your hand instead. There are many ways to teach your dog to give you a kiss but the best way is to put a touch of peanut butter on your hand or cheek. After doing this, lean towards your dog and ask it to give you a kiss.
Pick a Hand
You have probably heard of this little game. Many people play this game with each other at one point or another. You can teach your senior pet this game by holding one of its favorite treats in one of your hands. Show your dog the treat and put your hands behind your back. Close both hands into fists, present them to your dog and say “Pick a Hand.” Allow your pet to sniff each fist, and if it picks the right one, let it have the treat.
Give Me Five
Another great trick to teach your furry friend is to shake “hands” or give you “five”. This is actually quite simple to teach to dogs. Simply sit your dog down in front of you and say “Shake” or “Give me five.” At this point, pick up one of its paws and give it a favorite treat. Do not forget to praise your dog as well. Soon, your pet will be offering you its paw on its own.
End on a Positive Note
It is in a dog’s nature to want to please their owner. However, it may take a little time before your pet will learn these new tricks. It is essential though, that you never get frustrated with your dog. Always end your training sessions on a positive note and keep your the sessions around 15 or 20 minutes long. If your dog is having a hard time learning how to shake hands, but it has mastered giving kisses, end your training session with asking for a kiss. In this way, your pet will view training sessions as positive experiences and will look forward to them. As you can see, it is highly possible to teach your older dog new tricks, so long as you pick the right ones.
Peter Wendt is a writer from Austin, TX. His recently adopted puppy, ChaCho, has a hankering for shoes and credit cards, so Peter found the best dog obedience training Austin has to offer and now ChaCho only chews his toys!