Dogs whether young or old, absolutely need training and training exercises.
The training an old dog is certainly the most difficult since its physical and mental capacities must be taken into consideration. Overall, older dogs need exercise to ensure their psychological well-being, to maintain their physical health and to have the desired behavior.
In order to help you with this mission, we offer you 6 tips recommended by professionals.
1. Take into consideration physical limitations
It is obvious that as your dog gets older, he suffers from physical problems and certain diseases such as arthritis, obesity and heart disease. During his education, you must take into consideration these physical difficulties, some exercises may harm his health.
2. Take frequent breaks
Your senior dog does not have the same physical abilities as a young dog or puppy. This requires that your workouts be gentle, short and separate. A tired dog will not be motivated by the exercise and this could even hurt him.
3. Evaluate your training history
If you are dealing with a senior dog that you have adopted from a young age, training will be easy as you already know its behavior. All you have to do is an exercise to maintain his mental and physical health. However, if it is a senior dog you have just adopted, you should take the time to study its behavior before starting training.
Test him by, for example, giving him orders and observe how he will react. Once you have had an idea of what your dog already knows, you can move forward with his education.
4. Use both verbal and visual cues
Make sure your dog understands what you want to say to him. Your clues must be easily recognized and understood. The best way is to use both verbal and visual cues. Many dogs eventually lose their hearing or vision. This way, you cover all your bases in case one of your dog’s senses weakens.
5. Be patient
Educating an old dog is certainly more difficult than educating a puppy as his physical and mental abilities weaken. To do this, show patience and courage to succeed in your training sessions.
6. Follow the positive reinforcement technique
In order to achieve the desired behavior from your dog, use the positive reinforcement method to replace the punishment policy. Use food or reward that your dog may like to offer every time he responds to your orders. This is likely to encourage it.