As someone with a senior dog, I appreciate learning the importance of adjusting my habits so that my beloved Cleo is content, yet as stimulated and energized as she can be, at this stage of her life.
Karen Peak is the developer of The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project, owner/operator of West Wind Dog Training and author of Am I Ready for A(nother) Puppy or Dog?
I love the times I get to work with an old dog. My favorite clients are the adopted senior dogs given a second chance. However, there are things the owner must consider before bringing an old dog out of retirement.
1. Get a complete senior vet exam done. Aches, pains, deafness, vision loss, and other age-related problems can affect a trainer’s and your ability to work with your dog.
2. Use positive motivation training only. No dog needs to learn with pain, nagging, intimidation, shocks, ear tweaks, pushing, etc. Additionally, senior dogs may have physical issues that could be worsened by these old-school tactics. Be kind, gentle and slow.