The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is widely used, but is it really true? Not necessarily. Older dogs can be “retrained” as long as the communication is clear and training is done with patience and kindness. In many cases, attending our professional dog training classes in Hamilton, VA will contribute to a smoother transition of an older dog to a new home. It will be a time of bonding and getting to know each other, too.
Why is this all important? Not every dog is lucky enough to start their lives in the warmth of a loving home. Sadly, bad experiences and often abusive ones can lead to emotional and mental health problems. When an adult dog is adopted into a new family, issues may become apparent. The new pet owner may find challenges with the newest addition to the family that require professional guidance to overcome.
If you have recently adopted an adult dog, here are a few tips to keep in mind during dog training classes:
Keep Things Positive
It can be difficult to determine the kind of environment the newest addition to your family grew up in. For best results, keep training and interactions positive. Dogs learn through association, so you will want to make sure their association with you and their new environment is positive. This can be done by, reinforcing the good behaviors learned during dog training, practicing these new behaviors at home, being clear with expectations, rewarding with treats and lots of praise.
One Step at a Time
The disposition of adult dogs varies. Some aren’t as quick to learn and adjust to new surroundings as others. Be patient--don’t give up after just a week or two. Some dogs may feel overwhelmed by their new surroundings and the situations they find themselves in. Try introducing something new gradually, take it one step at a time. Only move on to introduce something new, address the next issue or teach a new behavior you know they understand and are providing the behavior you originally were looking for. If your dog feels uneasy in a new environment (public park, etc.), then you are asking too much of them and need to slow it down. Promptly remove them from the environment that they are uncomfortable with and take him somewhere he is comfortable. You can always try introducing the new environment another time.
Spend Quality Time Together
Spending quality time together with your new furry friend is very important. Not only does your new adult pet have to adjust to new surroundings, but he also needs time to adjust to you. Spending more time together is the quickest way to build a relationship of trust between you and your new family member. Spending special time together on walks, snuggling, grooming, playing, and training are good ways to build a strong bond.
Be Your Dogs Advocate
During dog training classes, so take the time to observe how your dog’s trainer interacts with your pet. Be willing to give your dog a break when they become frustrated, tired or over-whelmed. Training should be fun for your dog. Your dog should be excited about going to class showing ease with the environment and eagerly greeting the trainer. Taking notes during class, so you can be consistent in applying what you learned in class in your own home. Make sure to get clarification on training techniques that you are unclear on, helping to ensure consistency and maintain clear communication with your new pet.