When Is A Dog Too Old To Be Taught New Tricks?
Short answer would be this – there is perhaps an ideal age in which dogs can be trained. The youngest of puppies may be opening their eyes to the world around them, but they can still be taught the fundamentals of training. In general, puppies under 6 months will benefit greatly from their experiences with their brothers, sisters, and mother. This is when puppies would initially be exposed to “decorum” and “good manners” in their basic form.
As puppies learn the basic fundamentals from their siblings and mother, you could teach them as well by starting at the root of it all – trust. As you use verbal and visual cues to make them understand how humans react in pleasure and displeasure, this will help them along the way at a point in which they are too young to be trained formally. In a way, this also serves as bonding time, but also a good launching pad for the learning process.
The majority of training schools for canine pupils will not accept any new trainees younger than six months, due to the simple distraction of teething. Also during adolescence, dogs, like children, tend to resist authority. Just like you would prefer to spend more time with your kids during their adolescent years, the same would definitely apply with your dog in lieu of formal training.
The basic rule of thumb is that you may be most successful when giving your dog formal training if it is between one year and one and a half year old. Because females and smaller dogs tend to mature faster than larger and/or male dogs, the former can start training earlier than the latter. Working dogs, such as guard or guide dogs are never trained before the age of 1 or 1 ½ years, while hunting dogs are taken out with well-trained older dogs when they are 4 or 5 months old.
As far as dog training is concerned, there is no real maximum age to start. Even the oldest dog can be taught – yes, this is humanly possible and also possible in a canine sense. Obedience competition is a rising and amusing sport, and one of its most famous and successful participants was a Dalmatian who got started training at the ripe old age of twelve! Because an untrained adult dog’s brain is not predisposed to learning, it would take longer for the training process to be successfully completed, and bad habits may be harder to unlearn – these are the two primary roadblocks in the process of literally teaching an older dog new tricks.
Filed under: Dog Info
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!