Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Jun 04, 2024 - Antelopepets

You may have heard the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but did you know that it’s not actually true? Dogs of any age - puppies to seniors - are capable of learning new tricks!


Age Differences

While any age dog, including seniors, can learn new tricks there, may be differences between the younger dog’s learning ability compared to an older dog's. Young dogs tend to learn quicker while older dogs may take more repetition before grasping a new concept. If you notice your senior dog isn’t picking up on a new trick, don’t give up on them! 


Why Bother Training Seniors?

Just like any age dog, senior dogs can greatly benefit from training and learning new skills. Teaching them new tricks will help keep their mind and body active which is important for their overall health

Mental stimulation is a huge component of keeping any dog healthy and happy. While younger dogs may exhibit negative behaviors related to lack of mental stimulation, an older dog may not display the same behaviors even when bored. It is important to include older dogs in mental stimulation activities such as training to help prevent boredom.

Senior Training Benefits

When you decide to teach your senior dog something new, it can just be for fun! Any kind of learning is good for their cognitive health. Teaching them a fun new trick to show off at parties can be a fun way to engage with them and get them to use their brain.

For senior dogs who have limited mobility, training may be even more important. They may not be able to run and play like they used to, but they can absolutely still benefit mentally from engaging in a fun and stimulating activity. You can even use their joint supplements as a special reward for a simple trick like “Touch.”

If you are adding a senior dog to your family for the first time or you already have a senior dog, don’t be afraid to break out the treats and teach them some new skills. Training your senior dog will give you the opportunity to bond, and will improve their overall physical and mental health!