It’s never really too late to train your dog. Yes, they do say ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ but that’s not actually true. What is true is that it’s easier to teach a young dog new tricks. But, the wisdom of training a puppy, rather than waiting until she’s a full-grown dog, goes beyond the ease of training.
Why would you live with a dog in your Huntley home for 10 years before you got around to training your dog? If you trained your dog before those 10 years, you’d have 10 years living with a well trained dog.
Getting back to the question of the ease of training, a simple explanation of why it’s easier to train a puppy than a full-grown dog has to do with ‘imprinting.’
An older dog is ‘imprinted’ already. In many cases, it’s ‘imprinted’ with bad habits. To teach that old dog new tricks you first have to break those bad habits. For instance, if the dog has learned that it’s okay to go to the bathroom in the house, you have to convince the dog that it’s not okay while also teaching him the proper place to go potty – preferably somewhere outside of your Huntley home.
A puppy doesn’t have those set patterns to break; the puppy isn’t ‘imprinted’ with bad habits. The puppy is like an empty vessel waiting to be filled. With a full-grown dog, the jug is already full; you need to empty it before you fill it with something new.
Another advantage with a puppy is that, often, the puppy is enthusiastic about learning. They’re young. They want to please their owners. As a result, they’re receptive to instruction. They’re more appreciative of positive reinforcement.
So, if you’ve introduced a puppy to your Huntley home, start to train that little dog early. Of course, if you have an older dog, it’s still never too late.