Can Old Dogs Still Learn New Tricks?

Despite what you might have heard, it turns out that even older dogs can still learn more and more everyday! At Uncle Khoe’s, we try to train all our dogs, from young to old, with our best efforts. While some manage to pick new skills up lightning fast, able to spin clockwise and counter-clockwise on cue and to mirror hand gestures, others may take a little bit more time.

Dr. Lisa Wallis from University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna has proven that these older dogs actually enjoy good long-term memory well into old age and even do better than younger dogs when their reasoning skills were tested! They also found out that older pups tend to be more hesitant before making a decision, and that they were less likely to respond randomly. To anyone who has tried teaching young students or training puppies before, trying to teach older dogs may come as a relief, as the toughest to teach are usually the most easily distracted!

To add on to that, training keeps them active and engaged, as the interactive activity helps their minds keep fit too! Working with your dog will slowly enhances your relationship with your dog and build a rock-solid bond between the both of you. This is very important to shelter adoptees, and we hope each one of them gets to enjoy a loving and exciting relationship with their adopters!

Furthermore, even if your dog is not motivated by the idea of treats, positive reinforcement and praise could coax your pup into getting more excited about training sessions. Dogs love praise, it makes them happier and excitable, and it helps them develop a better relationship with you too.

Finally, patience is key and positivity will help both you and your dog enjoy learning more! If you happen to be considering adopting an older dog, teaching them for fun proves to be a worthwhile investment and very satisfying in the long run. Our shelter dogs are also brilliant companions and love getting attention and sharing love. 😃🐶

 

References:

AGE Journal, “Aging effects on discrimination learning, logical reasoning and memory in pet dogs”

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