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Home / Nutrition Advice / Behavioural Advice / Training & Behavioural Advice


Training Older Dogs


by CHRISTINE EMERSON, dog behaviourist at Drove Veterinary Hospital


OLD DOGS AND NEW TRICKS, DOG training is great fun-dogs love it! However, the words ‘dog training’ have connotations of a gruff voice belonging to regimented professionals whose faces would surely crack if they so much as smiled.

Well, I’ve got news for you-its not like that any more. Choose carefully and you will find trainers in Swindon who make you and your dog feel valued and successful. Some, like me, are members of the association of pet dog trainers, who only use kind, respectful methods. Others are not members but still avoid using choke chain collars and the jerk and shout kind of training we all fell for in the past. All ages of dog -from 10 weeks to 10 years- should be given the entertainment of training. You don’t even need to attend a class as many trainers will come to your home.

I recently began helping an eight yearold golden retriever who had become depressed. A regular dose of clicker training soon had her tail wagging and a twinkle in her eye. She grumbled less about her aches and pains, became more interested in her toys and started to act the clown with her owner, just like she did as a puppy. It’s not good to let the old dog’s mind deteriorate into dementia. Yes, the youngsters need to have clear rules and boundaries to be happy but the oldies need an opportunity to work for something and feel successful too.

We might not all look like Victoria Stillwell on TV, but that dog looking bored in the corner over there will always fall for the treats in my tartan skirt!



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