It’s good to learn new things at any age. Humans AND dogs. It keeps us fit.
I have friends in their 9th or 10th decade who keep themselves mentally and physically agile. Human friends, that is. And I imagine for our doggie friends, this can add to their quality of life as well. It’s exciting to learn new things. Don’t you feel satisfaction when you learn how to do something new?
Jaymi Heimbuch of Mother Nature Network wrote this article on tricks to teach an older dog. He attaches videos below each trick to demonstrate how to teach the skill.
You know your dog’s physical ability, so adjust the level of physical requirement for your dog’s comfort.
Jaymi went over a number of tricks. Here I’ll just mention 3 of them.
- Teach your dog to ring a bell to let you know that he needs to use the bathroom (isn’t this handy?)
- Teach your dog to walk backwards. He is learning to use his body differently. (Maybe you can teach him to do Michael Jackson’s moon walk. :-))
- Teach your dog to find something with his nose–scent work.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Ring a bell to go out
Your senior dog may be house-trained, but is he also trained to tell you precisely when he wants or needs to go out? You can give your older dog a great tool to tell you what he needs by teaching him to ring a bell as a cue to go outside.
An interesting trick to teach your senior dog is how to walk backwards. It’s a great one to help with getting him to think about using his body a little differently. Most dogs aren’t really aware of where their hind end is — it’s just the part that follows their front end. By teaching your dog to walk backward, you’re teaching him to be aware of where his back legs are going. It’s great for both mental and physical agility.
Keep life interesting for your dog by creating a game around using his nose to find a reward. This is a great trick especially for dogs whose hearing or sight has diminished with age. The trick teaches them to use their noses even more purposefully, using scent work to find the hidden treat or toy.
You can read the entire article here.
Article source: Jaymi Heimbuch of Mother Nature Network
Image source: Totallyirelephant on Imgur