By Kelly Marshall
Obedience training can be done no matter hold your dog is.
However, older dogs must be handled carefully. Training is not only physically but also mentally demanding. Differentiate between the aged and the seriously infirm dogs when training them.
As a norm, the training process of dogs requires a lot of patience. However, training aged dogs requires an even more patient and calm approach.
As such, the training procedure is not affected by the age of the dog. Whether the dog is young or old, the training techniques remain the same. However, you may have to modify certain aspects of your training to accommodate the less than perfect eyesight and hearing abilities of the dog. Your hand signals should be distinct and your verbal commands should be extra clear.
These minor changes should be made to the training process. However, just because an aged dog is being trained does not mean that the training need not be perfect. If necessary, extend the training period by a week but do not leave the dog half trained.
One area where persons training aged dogs must be very patient is the reaction time of the dog. Many a times, the trainer feels that the dog is purposely reacting in a slow manner. If the dog is aged, the slow reactions may be due to the overall slowing down of the movement of the dog. The dog may suffer from arthritis and this may hamper the movement. Be flexible while training the dog. If the dog finds it difficult to sit, then simply dispense with the ‘sit’ command. The dog will resist training if it causes pain to him. If there is no pain, then you can train the dog to not only sit but also to sit and stay.
If your dog finds it difficult to walk or find it difficult to get up after being ordered to lie down, try training the dog for a longer period of time on a soft surface. This will reduce the discomfort of the dog. Most dogs take a bit of time to get up after a ‘down and stay’ command. Give your dog that extra second after you command the dog to heel.
Other important points:
o Older dogs do develop cataracts. However, this condition can be found in young dogs as well.
o Despite what self appointed experts tell you, there is no evidence of mixed breeds living longer than pure breed dogs.
o If you have an older dog, watch out for hookworms as they are found more in aged dogs than young dogs. However, the susceptibility of the dog depends on the well being of the dog.
o Generally older dogs shed less than younger dogs.
Kelly Marshall is a featured author on Oh My Dog Supplies. For more articles by Kelly visit Oh My Dog Supplies.