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Is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks?

(5 Posts)
MeadowHay Mon 09-Nov-15 16:14:16

If a dog is older (say, about 5 or 6 years old) and has never had any proper training, I imagine it is still possible to train them, but how difficult would this be? For example, the dog walks awfully on a lead because of hardly ever being walked (basically chokes itself all the time...), barks a lot, jumps up at anyone who enters the house, and doesn't know any basic commands like sit or anything like that.

Does it make a difference what breed it is? Is it ever too late to train a dog?

Also, if a dog of that age had really bad separation anxiety because of hardly ever being left alone, is that fixable? Could you turn a dog of that age into a dog who will quite happily be alone for a few hours?

Would be interested in hearing experiences!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 09-Nov-15 18:27:11

I think you probably can. My dog training instructor specialises in rescuing and rehabilitating dogs, as well as training us rowdy lot with our pampered pups. She does a lot of agility demonstrations and her main dog is a rescue who apparently had absolutely no manners or training when she found him. He's brilliant now. I don't know exactly how old he was when he came to her but he wasn't a puppy. Have you got any good dog training clubs near you?

MeadowHay Mon 09-Nov-15 20:44:49

I'm sure I probably do, but it was more of a general wondering than anything I'm planning on doing right now. A family member has a dog that she is not really looking after properly, that fits the above criteria. She has said she would be happy for me to take it off her so was just having a wonder, but regardless it wouldn't be for many months for practical reasons. But I would love a dog so was busy daydreaming about it and wondering if anyone had managed to successfully tame such an unruly (but very lovely!) doggy. smile

tabulahrasa Tue 10-Nov-15 07:42:22

Yes, older dogs are still totally trainable...

The separation anxiety though, that's not a quick thing when it's a longstanding issue, but it still should be do-able.

chelle792 Tue 10-Nov-15 07:47:45

The separation anxiety would take a lot of time and dedication to fix. Think; leave for thirty seconds, come back... Repeat until dog is comfortable. Leave for one minute.... The cycle continues.

I think it can be done but professional support would be needed. Just make sure you get in a rewards based trainer

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