Training an Adult Dog

There are a number of situations in which you could find yourself caring for an adult dog desperately in need of a little discipline and direction.

Maybe you just adopted an older dog from a shelter and know nothing about his background. Or your daughter recently gave you her yellow lab because she’s just too busy to deal with him anymore. Or maybe the terrier you’ve had for 8 years has gotten a little ornery with age.

Regardless of the circumstances – and counter to the old adage – you can train an older dog. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to train adults than a puppies because their attention spans are longer and they are more likely to recognize you as their leader.

Whether you’re dealing with an adult or a puppy, some of the training principles remain the same.

  • Reward good and desired behavior. Be slow to reprimand and never reward bad behavior.
  • Make training sessions fun so your dog – and you — look forward to them.
  • Be consistent. Use the same type of rewards each time and always reward desired behavior. If a behavior is rewarded intermittently your dog will have difficulty associating the reward with a specific behavior.

Teaching an adult dog to change an established behavior can be much more difficult than teaching him something new. The key, again, is to be patient and consistent. And focus on the positive – rewarding the new behavior while ignoring the old.

If your dog came from a shelter or rescue organization, he may have landed there because his previous owner couldn’t deal with some problem behavior the dog was exhibiting, such as uncontrolled barking, chewing or jumping. Unfortunately, in addition to being annoying, these behaviors can be destructive or even dangerous – and sometimes require the help of a professional.

At the Folsom Dog Resort, we can tailor a training program to meet the specific needs of your dog. The Dog Guy’s methods can address everything from excessive barking and jumping to digging and backyard destruction.

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