You can’t prove it in Northfield
There’s an old saying – ‘you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ This isn’t something people have just said in Northfield; it’s something people have said all over. And, good news! It’s not true. In fact, the truth is that you very well may be able to teach an old dog new tricks. Old dogs may welcome the opportunity.
You may have recently brought an older dog into your Northfield home. Or, maybe you’re thinking about bringing an older dog home to join your family. You may assume that, unlike a puppy you might bring home, this older dog’s habits and behavior are fairly well determined already; you and the family will just have to accept the dog the way he or she is.
It is true that the dog’s personality is largely determined. And yet, you can teach that old dog new tricks and, with care and compassion, you may even give the dog’s personality a, shall we say, ‘fresh perspective.’
Care and compassion involves giving of yourself. And, when it comes to your dog, the most valuable asset you can give is your time. That asset is all the more valuable if you and the dog enjoy the time together to the max. Playtime is a good way to ensure that you’ll enjoy spending time together. But, training your dog – even an older dog – is possibly the best use of the time you share with your dog.
There are a few important things to consider when you train your older dog:
Be patient when working with your dog, young or old, and they’ll sense your patience and respond better to your efforts. If the dog has a sense that you’re losing your patience, the dog is liable to become nervous and/or uncooperative. They’ll shut down and won’t be receptive to the training.
Keep at it. As the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov discovered, repetition is the foundation of training a dog. Stay at it. Don’t expect the dog to catch on right away, in short order, you’ll discover the dog is learning.
Dogs have a keen sense of awareness that helps them to sense how people around them feel. Consider how a dog will react if they realize someone is afraid of them. The same principle holds true if you remain upbeat and positive. You’ll put your older dog in the right frame of mind for learning.
Make the experience fun. If the dog is enjoying the training the dog will want to continue the training. It will make it easier for you to be persistent, remain patient and positive. Even if you decide to take your dog to a professional for dog training, you may discover that the new-old dog who has joined your Northfield family is yearning to learn, given the right environment.