We always suggest that you can start training your puppy at 8 weeks old. But will a dog be too old for training? The quick answer here is NO.
Some owners are told that if your dog is 2-year-old or 3-year-old, he’s not going to change his behaviors. Well, keep this in mind: there’s no such thing as “too old for training”. Age doesn’t make a difference. If your dog can walk, he’s healthy, he likes people, you can train him to learn new tricks and better behaviors at any point in his life.
Actually, sometimes it’s even easier than training a puppy in a lot of ways because the dog is physically and mentally mature and has more self-control. For example, a puppy takes months to do the potty training because they’re not physically able to hold it for very long. Mentally they’re not ready for any kind of discipline or pressure. But a two-year-old dog that’s never been in the house but is social friendly with good temperament is easy to be housebroken within two 3 or 4 days. So being older sometimes has advantages.
The disadvantage of training an older dog is habits. The dog has been doing some certain behaviors for a long time, so he’s in the habit of doing that behavior and breaking bad habits takes time. Sometimes it’ll take 3-4 weeks to change a bad habit. But it can be done. Training an older dog to remove unwanted behaviors might be more challenging, but it’s not impossible. It may take longer with certain types of training but do not lose hope with your older dog.
If you’re patient, it doesn’t really matter how old the dog is. All the training principles still apply. If the dog likes the behavior, he’s going to do it again; if he dislikes the behavior, he’s going to stop doing it. Dogs are creatures of habit. Anything they’ve been doing for a long time will likely be a pretty strong behavior. The challenge here is to communicate to him what behavior you like, what behaviors you dislike.
However, we still encourage dog owners to get their furry friend’s training started sooner than later, so you and your dog can build your relationship with effective communication and expectations.
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