Can you train a 9 year old dog?

Although some adult dogs might learn more slowly, it’s never too late to teach an older dog to listen and obey. Some adult dogs might even learn better because they’re less easily distracted than when they were puppies.

While searching for a young dog at the shelter, you fell in love with an older German shepherd. The dog’s eyes reveal intelligence, but he is reportedly misbehaving despite this. He ignores all orders and simply stands there waving his tail. Since the veterinarian examined him and found no physical impairments, it appears that his lack of cooperation is solely the result of inadequate training. Despite the fact that he is an older dog, you decide to take on this challenge because you enjoy them.

An older dog may lack training for a variety of reasons, such as lack of interest on the part of the previous owner or improper training techniques that resulted in bad habits. It might be necessary to train (or retrain) your dog, especially if you recently adopted an older dog from a rescue. But older dogs can learn just as well as younger ones; it just takes them longer to catch on.

Always used reward-based training methods. This method encourages the dog to learn in exchange for incentives like a small treat or a game with a toy. Never try to dominate or bully an older dog. This is not only improper, but given their uncertain past, it’s possible that they associate harsh treatment with fear, which could increase their propensity to act aggressively in self-defense.

You’ll need a distraction-free environment to train an older dog. Additionally, good lighting can be beneficial, particularly when training a deaf dog that uses hand signals. To ensure that the dog’s older bones are comfortable when moving or sitting, make sure the floor is non-slip.

You can teach old dogs new tricks, but it takes longer. Puppies have the benefit of being designed to learn quickly in order to survive. The capacity for learning slows down after 18 weeks but doesn’t completely vanish. This necessitates patience as you repeat exercises until the older dog understands what you’re trying to teach them.

Older dogs are less able to focus than their younger counterparts. Avoid this by training frequently for brief periods of time. For instance, during TV commercial breaks, you could train the dog in two-minute sessions. little but often.

An older dog knows his own mind. If he is motivated to obtain a reward for his actions, he will learn more quickly. Determine what makes your older dogs happy, such as a delicious treat or a game of tug with a favorite toy.

Older dogs may have trouble hearing, which makes following voice commands difficult. Avoid this by providing both verbal and visual cues. Say “Sit,” for instance, while raising your hand sharply to your shoulder with the palm facing up.

Know what your older dog can and cant do comfortably. If your dog’s hips are so stiff from arthritis that teaching him to sit will be extremely challenging, there is no point in continuing. It makes more sense to instruct students to stand and practice maintaining that position.

A moral and effective method for training dogs is reward-based training. The concept is to reward the dog when he responds correctly. The dog starts to think through what he did to earn the reward and then tries to do it again as a result of this. Once the dog understands what is necessary, you can begin performing the action on command.

Benefits to training an older dog

Therefore, I want to list some advantages to training an older dog in case you aren’t already persuaded that it’s totally possible if you approach it the right way.

  • It keeps them stimulated mentally. This is just as important as physical stimulation for all dogs, and can be even more important for senior dogs that aren’t as physically capable as they once were
  • It’s a great way to bond. Your dog loves spending time with you and getting your undivided attention. Training is a great way to make it happen
  • Your dog wants to work. Okay, this isn’t true for every dog. But if you’ve got a large dog, chances are they are a working breed. They want a job and when you do training, you’re giving them one
  • It’s safer. If you newly adopted an adult dog or senior dog taking them time to train them is important for your safety and the safety of anyone around your dog
  • Dog manners are a thing. No one likes being around a dog that constantly jumps, barks, begs, and pees in the house. So if you’ve adopted an adult dog with no training or manners, training is super important
  • Okay, let’s move on to the advice for training an older dog.

    Keep your older dog’s past in mind

    On the other hand, your dog’s past could hinder training or present more difficulties. Training sessions may become challenging if your dog has a history of mistreatment or neglect. In some circumstances, your dog might submit, disengage, or even turn hostile.

    Adopting an older dog often carries this unknown factor. Even now, if we feed our foster German shepherd, who was malnourished when we first took him in, even a little bit later than usual, he still displays food aggression. He clearly had unpredictable meals and hunger in his past. Despite the amazing progress we’ve made with this behavior, I believe he will always have a small amount of it.

    My point is that while we can’t know everything that occurred in our dog’s past life, we can try to train them and make them feel at home in their new environment. If you are dealing with challenging behaviors in your training efforts, I strongly advise speaking with a professional trainer in extreme cases and for more inexperienced dog owners. They are better prepared to deal with behavioral problems caused by the past.


    1. Commit to continuing to offer your aging dog educational and training opportunities for as long as he can benefit from them.

    2. Be reasonable in your expectations for the abilities of your senior dog. Don’t ask him to perform beyond his physical capabilities.

    3. If your dog exhibits symptoms of canine cognitive disorder (mental aging), speak with your veterinarian.

    You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as the saying goes. You’ll be relieved to learn that, for the most part, it’s untrue if you have an older dog. Older dogs are perfectly capable of learning. A Labrador Retriever who was 11 years old was the oldest dog to ever sign up for one of my training sessions, and she did an excellent job. Positive trainers like to say “it’s all tricks. Even if your senior dog is no longer capable of jumping through hoops, any new behaviors he can learn still qualify as new tricks.

    How much and what your adult dog friend can learn depends on a number of factors, including:


    Is it too late to train a 9 year old dog?

    The answer to the question of when it’s too late to train a dog is that it’s never too late! Training an adult dog can be advantageous in some ways because he might be less distractible and active than he was as a puppy.

    Is 9 years old considered old for a dog?

    When small dogs are 11–12 years old, they are regarded as senior citizens in the canine community. Their medium-sized friends become seniors at 10 years of age. Their larger-sized colleagues are seniors at 8 years of age. Additionally, at age 7, their giant-breed counterparts are seniors.

    At what age can a dog no longer be trained?

    You already know the response to the question of when it is too late to train a dog: Never. Training works at any point in a dog’s life. Whether you begin the moment your new puppy arrives home or when your ten-year-old dog must finally give up his leash-pulling habit

    Can you house train a 9 year old dog?

    Yes, an older dog can absolutely be potty trained. Actually, housebreaking an adult dog can be simpler than housebreaking a puppy. This is so that they can more easily adjust to a bathroom schedule since adult dogs are probably more accustomed to holding in their poop.