Can you train an 8 year old dog?

Our canine friends have an important place in our lives and hearts. While many of us appreciate and love our pets for the companionship, entertainment, and unconditional love they bring, we also have to remember that they need to be trained and cared for in order to live harmoniously with their human companions and the world around them. This is especially true for our older furry friends, who may have been in their family’s home for a long time, and may not have had the same training as a puppy. In this blog post we will be exploring the topic of training an 8 year old dog. We will examine the challenges and benefits associated with training an older dog, how to modify approaches to training, and how to establish a good relationship between the dog and their human family. If you are interested in learning more about training an 8 year old dog, then read on!

You May Need to “Untrain” Bad Habits First

Adult dogs may develop a few undesirable habits that require some time to break. 1 “Untraining” an older dog may be the first step in the training process. “.

The good news is older dogs are still very eager to please; they want to learn what makes you happy. To build on this, use positive reinforcement so your dog will see the new habit makes you happy. Also, give him his favorite treats while training, so he feels even more motivated. Ultimately, you want him to find the new action more appealing than the old habit.

You may need to “untrain” certain behaviors, such as chewing magazines, your shoes, or even barking at the door. These undesirable behaviors in older dogs may be a result of their upbringing at a previous residence. If you adopted a rescue animal who had few boundaries in his previous home, you might need to teach him that there are boundaries in your home as well.

The key is to change his course of action to one that is more constructive. Possibly teach him not to chew a magazine, but to fetch one. Teach him to lie in bed when a visitor comes over. You’ll have an easier time quitting a bad habit if you can find him a substitute activity that he enjoys.

Housetraining or potty training is one area where older dogs might need a little retraining. Re-housetrain your dog if necessary, but start at the beginning. Establish a mealtime and potty time routine. Make sure you take her out every day at the same time. This helps your dog know what to expect and when.

If she has an accident, clean it thoroughly. Dont rub her face in the accident; it will just make her timid and scared of the whole process.

Give her lots of praise when she goes outdoors. 2 Reward her immediately after she uses the restroom outside (before returning inside) so that she associates the praise with the action.

Every time you take her outside, say the same thing, such as “go potty.” Since it’s possible that her former home used a different potty phrase that she needs to unlearn, you may need to use this phrase repeatedly before she recognizes it.

Like with a puppy, you might also need to use a crate when housebreaking an older dog. 3 Keep a soft crate pad inside if she isn’t used to being in crates and introduce the crate gradually to make your dog more comfortable.

Additionally, keep in mind that some senior dogs may experience training issues due to incontinence They may need more frequent outings or even doggy diapers. They can sleep more comfortably on a Superior Orthopedic Indoor/Outdoor Bed with a waterproof backing.

Make Sure Everyone Is On the Same Page

Your dog should be held to the same standards of conduct by everyone who comes into contact with them. Make sure visitors to your home are aware that jumping up to give them a slobbery kiss is not permitted if your dog has a problem with jumping and you have trained them not to jump on people or objects. Your dog may become very confused if certain behaviors are permitted with some people but not with others. Make sure that everyone in your home uses the same commands and rewards when training your dog.

Again, consistency is key. Your dog will occasionally take one step forward and two steps back, appearing to have forgotten everything you taught him during your previous training session. This is normal, and it happens even with puppies. The behaviors you are trying to teach your dog can still be learned despite this. The key is being extremely consistent. Make sure to work with your dog regularly. He will find it simpler to learn the desired behaviors as a result.

Even though your dog’s attention span is longer as an adult compared to a puppy, it’s still crucial to keep training sessions brief. No more than 15 or 20 minutes should pass during a training session. Your dog should be even shorter than that if they are younger. The longer a training session lasts, the greater the chance that your dog will become distracted and begin to make errors. The key is to have short training sessions often. Even someone with a very busy schedule can find 15 minutes a day to spend with their dog!

An older dog might not be able to keep up with an older puppy or young adult running after a ball or catching a frisbee in the air. Older dogs may experience stiff joints or other physical changes that make agility-style exercises more difficult. Even though an older dog may not be quite as fit and agile as they were in their youth, you can still train them in agility. In terms of obedience training, an older dog can perform the majority of tasks that a puppy can. You might need to switch from verbal to hand cues if your dog’s hearing or vision aren’t as good as they used to be.

Get your veterinarian’s approval before beginning a training program, especially if you plan to do more physically demanding training. You’ll want to confirm that your dog is in sufficient health to participate in the training. Your veterinarian will inform you of any restrictions that apply to your dog. Even if your older dog has certain medical conditions, you can still train him. You simply need to take it easy and account for those restrictions and conditions.

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.


Is 8 years old too late to train a dog?

It’s never too late to teach an older dog to listen and obey, even though some adult dogs may learn more slowly than others. Some adult dogs may even learn more effectively than puppies because they are less easily distracted.

Is 8 years old too 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.

How do I train my 8 year old dog?

Keep It Positive Dogs of all ages and breeds can be trained successfully by using tasty treats and lots of praise. Instead of punishing your adult dog, keep things positive and light-hearted. This is a wonderful way to deepen your relationship with your dog.

Is it too late to train an older dog?

No matter how old your dog is, it’s never too late to train them. Whether you adopted an adult rescue dog or your puppy is getting older and entering puberty, adult dog training—whether it be classes or private lessons—can be very beneficial to both you and your dog.