You may have heard that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks but can the same be said when it comes to a full year? You might think that one year is simply too long after adoption or rescue to expect your pup to learn good manners, socialize properly with other pets and people, or respond reliably and consistently to commands.
But, to me and you padre, we can take this challenge full speed ahead. A dog and its human companion shares similar traits where both parties are willing to learn and build a bond. The key here is patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. So always make time for training your dog because your dog will appreciate your olé so sweet attention.
Is It That Challenging?
It’s a common belief that training an older dog is more difficult than training a younger one. But is it true?
According to a study published by the Animal Behavior Society, older dogs can learn commands just as quickly and accurately as puppies do. In fact, obedience training can provide a wonderful way for older dogs to stay mentally and physically active as they age.
However, this training does come with its own set of challenges when dealing with a one-year-old dog. This is due to their natural curiosity and lack of impulse control at this age. Dogs of this age are still coming into their own, and obedience training can be a great way to help them learn how to properly interact with humans.
A. Can It Be Done in Less Than 1 Year?
My personal belief is that yes, for a one-year-old dog, it is essential to include positive reinforcement with clicker training and toilet training. Positive reinforcement is the process of using rewards to encourage good behavior in your pet. This could be anything from verbal praise to treats or playtime.
- Clicker Training
- Toilet Training
Clicker training works by associating a clicking sound with something positive like treats or toys. You can use the clicker to mark when your dog does something correctly, and then reward them for it. This helps create a connection between good behavior and reward in their minds. For example, if you want your pup to sit, click when they do it correctly and then give them a treat. Over time, your dog will associate the command with the action and reward.
Puppy toilet training is another key component of obedience training that can help make the transition from inside living to outside living much easier for your pup. It involves teaching your dog to pee and poo on cue when taken outdoors, as well as preventing them from toilet accidents indoors by either supervising them closely or confining them when no one is home. The training can take weeks or months depending on the persistence and consistency of the training and how quickly your dog learns.
B. Understanding Your Dog Is Key
There should also be an understanding that all dogs are unique in their own way just the same as all of their human companions are too. While certain aspects of canine behavior are universal among breeds, each individual dog may have their own quirks and traits that set them apart from the rest.
One universal trait is separation anxiety, dogs naturally rely on humans as their primary source of security and if they’re left alone for too long periods, this can cause them overwhelming distress and anxiety. If you need to leave the house for an extended period, provide your pup with ample mental stimulation like interactive toys or puzzle feeders in case you don’t have someone to look after your pup.
So, know your dog well, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Many times dogs communicate their needs and desires through body language. Pay attention to the subtle hints your pup is giving off from tail wags, barks, and whining that can tell you whether they’re feeling scared, excited, or happy.
C. Train Immediately After Adoption
After adoption, you should start training your pup right away. This is critical to building a good relationship and understanding between you and your pup. Training them early helps them to understand the rules and expectations of their new home. This can help with development and encourages good behavior.
If you don’t train immediately, chances are your pup will start to adopt its own set of behaviors that might be undesirable. This can cause fractures to the household as they might break items or chew on furniture which can be disruptive and costly.
D. Are Trainers Worth The Cost?
You might be thinking, why would I need to hire a personal trainer when I can do it by myself? Well, here’s the thing, these professional trainers are doing these for a living and are certified to do so. They have years of experience and knowledge that can help your pup quickly adapt to their environment and behaviorally be in line with the desired outcome.
As much confidence you have in yourself, you can’t deny the experiences these trainers have. You might be thinking about the cost but put it in a different perspective perhaps. You are paying for these professionals’ time and experience. So, imagine this, the puppy class cost exactly $750 for 6 sessions. Think of it this way, $750 equates to 20 years of experience that a trainer has. This is unparallel and probably leaves you unwanted headaches or stress when your dog finally listens to you instead of chewing the curtains inside your house.
E. Have You Made Your Decision?
If you did, know that training an older dog isn’t impossible. Just a tad bit difficult given that it’s already accustomed to its living conditions. Changes are hard be it dogs or humans, we need to develop a habit or environmental behavior for these changes to happen.
All things considered, weigh the pros and cons of this discussion. If you have the time, it’s worth a shot to train it. But, if you don’t have the time, please consider bringing it to us instead as we offer this training for you and you won’t be disappointed…