My two old dogs (age 7 & 12) don’t listen! Can I still train them?

Last updated: March 22, 2016

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Rosies dog in an orange sweater going for a walk on a leadHi Rosie! Thanks for your question about training for older dogs. Great picture too!

Training is an important part of a dog’s life at all ages.

The first 16 weeks of life for a puppy are the most important time for learning for a dog.

But, just like people, dogs keep learning and can be trained at any stage of life.

Training is important for many reasons. It makes them use their brain which helps to keep your dog happy.

When training is done at the same time as exercise your dog will be mentally and physically tired at the end and will probably sleep during the day.

The RSPCA teaches how to train dogs using rewards instead of punishment. This is called reward-based training. In rewards based training the dog is set up to succeed and then rewarded for performing the ‘good’ behaviour.

Reward-based training is fun for the dog! It also creates a strong friendship between the dog and owner. A good reward might be a tasty food treat or just saying “good dog!” in a happy voice.

Reward for doing the right thing. Do not punish for mistakes.

Get some professional advice.

An excellent next step would be to have your parents speak with a veterinary behavioural specialist or to book an RSPCA animal training course at your nearest shelter. You and your parents can find links to RSPCA state and territory websites as well as shelter locations here:

You can train your dog and have fun at the same time!

Here are some fun games you can play with your dog that help to teach them as well:

More resources for learning about training your dogs:

Have fun!



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