House training adult dog can be one of the most rewarding relationships in your life and does age matter? The bond between you and your pet will grow and soon you will discount the adage about adult dogs not being able to learn new tricks. Like all relationships, it takes time to bond and there will be issues resolved over time. After there is that bond, someone may ask, ‘Does age matter?’ and you’ll truly be able to answer NO.
Even older dogs can become great companions. Although they may have lived outside prior to your owning them, they can be successfully trained to not wet or soil the house. I would not recommend that anyone use any form of food or doggie treats as a reward. Generous pats and verbal praise can be much more meaningful to old dogs. Some of the older dogs of various breeds may have some sort of food allergy or perhaps, diabetes could be a factor. So, save food for meals. Old dogs can be taught new tricks with pats, verbal praise, patience and consistency.
Older dogs can be taught to respond to one-word commands. Overtime they will know exactly what you mean when you repeat and reinforce these one-word commands.
Some things about physical/medical issues of older dogs are critical, especially in some breeds. Once these breed-specific conditions are addressed, the vet will test for other health issues, vaccinations, urinary tract infections, flea problems, worms, other parasites. You need to be aware that temporary diarrhea can be caused by the change of environment. Initially, you might inquire of the vet if there is a medical problem that could cause them to wet or soil the house.
We must be patient to our new “companion”. Some breed-specific conditions might be due to the change in environment. One thing we really need to remember when working with our older dog: It is not the dog’s fault that he/she developed bad habits. If we’re patient with our animals, and gradually present new things in their new environment, this should be a fulfilling association.
So, don’t let anyone tell you that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Many older dogs have made their way from the shelter by adoption or taking your older dog from a family whose circumstances have changed.
Therefore, both you and your dog’s first month together are very crucial for the future development of your dog’s character and habits. Older dogs have shorter attention spans. Therefore, more repetitions are needed during training to reinforce the desired habits. However, they also tire more easily, so the sessions should be carried out in even shorter chunks of time with lots of recovery periods in between.
When house training your older pet: Don’t be overwhelmed; consider the age difference; patience and consistency are a must; and, establish a routine. Considering these things will comfort your older dog and let him know what to expect from you.
Note Owners: Eating presses on the dog’s bladder and causes them to want to go.