Older Dogs Can Be Trained Too!
I recently had a client who was interested in enrolling her dog in our Cribs & Canines program. She was more anxious than most because the dog in question was a ten-year-old mixed breed she’d had since she was a teenager. He’d rarely been around children, and some of her family members had even gone so far as to say she should put off having children to avoid putting her old dog under new stress.
Cribs & Canines is designed to help resident dogs adjust to the idea of a new baby, and a dog can be enrolled during pregnancy or just after the baby’s birth. Of course, I always say the earlier the better, and this particular client gave us a call when she was about five months pregnant. I was able to put her at ease by assuring her that old dogs can, in fact, learn new tricks, adjust to changes in their environment, and live to tell the tale.
The first step was to hone Pumpernickel’s basic obedience training. It’s imperative that a dog can be relied upon to obey commands immediately in the presence of a new baby. This also helps the dog learn to focus on the owner and further solidifies the bond he or she has with his or her owner(s). Proper leash handling techniques, place training, and even crate training were all important parts of Pumpernickel’s training regimen. Once the owner could trust Pumpernickel to make good decisions, we began teaching him the differences between the baby’s toys and his toys, and we talked about introducing him gradually to the new baby.
His owner’s anxiety melted away when she was able to see just how easily her dog adjusted to the changes. I reminded her that he’d adjusted just fine to the changes in his environment when she moved him from her parents’ home to hers and when she introduced him to her significant other.
Dogs can be trained at any age, for any reason, as long as you enlist the help of a knowledgable trainer. To discuss your dog’s unique situation, give me a call at 800.649.7297.