Well he is not really old.. Levi is 2 or there abouts, I adopted him about two weeks ago from shelter. He is very sweet and lovable but, he doesn't seem to know how to play ball, he wont' really chew bones, I bought him a rope and he sniffed it, all he wants to do is jump, and do what I call play fight.. where he jumps up and nibbles at your hands or he lays on his back and swats at you like a cat would with his paws. Now I have not had a dog in awhile but is this pretty standard behavior? I would love to teach to fetch, ect, Is he too old to learn, I mean he is real cute when he jumps around and stuff but my legs are so bruised up..and he is always scratching me.. any advice would be great...
I don't think he is too old to be trained, I was able to teach my dog new tricks when she was 10 or 11 years old. It is more difficult. The older a dog gets, the more set in its ways it gets, and the longer it will take to "unlearn" the current behaviors and learn new tricks.
The key is to start now, be perfectly consistent, and be prepared to conduct a lot of training before seeing an effect. Dogs are very sensitive to subtle cues in their environment, so consistency is the key. To start, always reinforce the behavior you want whenever it occurs in the situation you want it to occur. If he is not displaying the behavior at all, reinforce anything that comes close to the behavior. Then, only reinforce anything that comes a step closer. Step by step, you should get him to behave how you want him to.
For example, in learning to fetch. It helps to first teach the dog to pick up the tennis ball and drop it at your feet. Then, start rolling it farther and farther away. Because he has been reinforced for dropping it at your feet, he should bring it back to you, granted you don't throw it too far. Eventually, you will be throwing it really far and he should bring it back.
This is just an idea. Animal behavior analysis is quite complicated, but I've seen this suggestion for teaching a dog to fetch in many publications. The key is to take small steps, and be patient. Most old dogs can learn at least some new tricks.
I believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. I taught my 3 year old lab/pitt mix to sit up. I've also heard of lots of olders dogs rescued from pounds who went on to do bit parts in movies or commercials..
You certainly can teach an old dog new tricks. Sammi was 3 when I adopted her, and was uncontrolable. After a year and a half, she is the perfect young lady. Sits, heels, rides nicely in the car, greets people without jumping or pawing, etc. It takes patient and consistancy. Find a treat that really motivates and use it sparingly. Positive reinforcement is the way to go. It will take a while, but well worth the effort. And the compliments from strangers on how well mannered your dog is very special when only you know her prior behavior.
I got my 9 year old cocker spaniel 9 weeks ago.He did not know how to sit.Now he is in Advanced Obedience classes.He is going to get his CGC in 4 weeks and he will be a therapy dog.
As for housebreaking an older dog.Bear wasnt housebroke either.he is 9 years old.I cant put him in a crate to crate train him.because he has seperation anxciety.He is now housebroke because he is on a scedule.He eats half cup of food in the moring,he has 15 minutes to eat it.i take him out every 2 hours and,he get a cup of water at a time.Then at night he gets a half cup of food.He has 15 minutes to eat it also.
With her on wee pads.I would move the pad closer and closer to the door,then finally move it outside,then cut it smaller and smaller,till nothing is left.This is what i have read,i have never personally housebroke a dog,using wee pads.
This does take weeks,not days.It has to be done gradulally
***Edited By: cockerlover on 10/3/2005 1:21:21 PM*** Reason: forgot something