Home    Subscribe    Contact    Login

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Pet Ownership (62)      Training (29)      Pet Stories (21)     
We’ve all heard the saying ’You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ but there is plenty of evidence to refute this. The quote is intended to make a comparison with people who get themselves stuck in a rut and can’t keep up with the changing world.

Dog and child
Charlie learning to shake hands

We know that’s not true. I have friends who are in their seventies and eighties who are studying at university, learning to speak Spanish and play the ukulele.

But what about dogs? How did the quote originate? Is there a general belief that older dogs can’t continue to learn? Well, let me use my own dog, Charlie as an example. She is aged at least thirteen (she was a rescue dog and the vet had to guess her age) and in the last year she has learned four new commands – up, drop, shake and wait. It took a lot of time and gentle coaxing (and treats!) but she soon picked it up.

Dog and child
Charlie - on the right - poses with a friend

When Charlie first came to me, she was in a pretty bad way. She had come from a background of abuse and neglect. It was all I could do to keep her from peeing every time I paid her any attention. She was sweet and loving but afraid of everything and everyone. Over time she began to trust me and learned that giving her commands did not equate to ‘telling her off.’ Fast forward eight years and she is now a happy, well-adjusted girl - although still very clingy - and now responds to commands not only from me but from others without the cowering and peeing that inevitably used to be her response. It is only in the last year that I’ve begun to include ‘tricks’ as part of her command repertoire.

Dog and child
Charlie the adorable pirate dog

Although rescue dogs bring their own unique set of challenges, if you’re prepared to be endlessly patient you will be well-rewarded. Not only can you teach them new tricks but you can change old, negative habits and introduce new, positive ones.

#Pet Ownership
#Pet Stories
I like this Article - 5
Do you have a pet story or helpful tips and tricks to share with other pet owners? You can get paid for submitting your original articles, product reviews or pet tips! Apply here.
More Articles by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo)
When we bring a new dog into our home we place a great deal of emphasis on forming a bond with it
The earlier we expose puppies to water the easier it will become an accepted part of their world
We love our dogs and are constantly entertained by the cute and funny things they do, but some beh...
We’re all guilty of it at some time - letting out dogs get away with bad behaviours, hoping that t...
In we talked about considering chickens as family pets
If you’re anything like me you’re not the most organised person on the planet
view all articles by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo)
Articles by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) on Other Hubs
Do you ever look at those who have more than you and feel a sense of envy? Some of us seem to...
During the course of a day our hands are exposed to all sorts of substances and while most are quite...
ID: 39088
[ Submit a Comment ]
This is a lovely story, and could bring new life experiences to old dogs! They're all different, but when someone puts in the time in training them carefully, wonderful things can occur!
Trending Articles
I was recently on the hunt for a set of pet grooming clippers to use on my shaggy-haired Bichon ...
Have you ever seen hamsters on television or in a video and thought what a cute pet one would make? ...
I have always loved dogs my whole life
A couple of years ago, 2011, to be exact, I had to put my beautiful silver toy poodle to sleep bec...
I have two cats and two dogs, but there is only one queen bee and of course its the older cat
1 answer
Don’t let your pet’s food and water dishes become a science experiment
Shooting (pictures of!) dogs is like any other sort or photography with its own charms, quirks and...
**%%Loves Me, Loves Me Not?%%** Cats have always been a bit of an enigma…
We all enjoy the beauty that greenery and flowers bring inside our homes
When parents bring a new baby into their home, they take every precaution to make it safe
Dogs (150)
Cats (62)
Birds (13)
Horses (3)
Health (38)
Pets (29)
Feeding (25)
Safety (10)
Summer (4)
Llamas (4)
Diet (3)
Dental (3)
Toxic (3)
Grief (3)
Fowl (3)
Dog (3)
Fleas (3)
Owls (2)
Featured on Other Hubs
Copyright 2012-2017 On Topic Media PTY LTD. ABN 18113479226. mobile version