“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” We won’t say this idiom is typically true. Instead, we will say you can, honestly can. Your dog will determine whether you can or not.

As they say, it’s never too late; if your dog is mentally and physically healthy, he can still learn tricks and techniques. However, teaching a growing puppy and a fully grown canine dramatically differs.

Teaching your old dog can be fun because, compared to a young puppy, older dogs are less energetic and can focus better. So, let’s start with how to train your dog, so you won’t have to say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

dog reading book

Get Started With the Right Tricks

While playing fetch with a growing puppy is enjoyable, the same activity can be challenging on an old dog’s joints. So, the advice is to choose the right trick according to your dog’s age.

Before you start losing patience, remember that your dog is willing to learn but cannot pick up the tricks, you might need to make some adjustments. Health issues and energy levels can affect their capacity to keep up. Since high-activity tricks can exhaust your puppy, here are some easy tricks your dog will love to learn.

  • High five, handshake
  • Wave
  • Spin
  • Back up
  • Giving a kiss
  • Roll over
  • Play dead

By selecting easy tricks for old dogs, you’ll say, “your dog can learn at any age” rather than “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Rewards Can Help Them Learn Faster 

It’s always possible to teach an old dog new tricks. A combination of suitable tricks, patience, and reward can help you reinforce good dog behavior in your pet.

You can use dog treats to control their behavior and encourage them to learn new skills. Rewarding your dog will help reinforce the behaviors you want to see in them. Choose goodies with a high perceived value such that your dog drops everything to obtain one. To prevent overfeeding your older dog, use small treats.

Take your time with reward training, and most importantly, be patient with your old canine companion.

Keep the Training Sessions Short and Fun 

As we previously mentioned, older dogs are less energetic, so the training can be particularly taxing. In addition, the brains of aging dogs may undergo many of the same cognitive deficits as those of aging humans, notably in learning, memory, and problem-solving.

Shorter training sessions aid your dog in learning his new tricks as effectively as possible. Start with 10 to 15-minute intervals and change based on your dog’s engagement. Since your dog can quickly become exhausted, stay alert for these symptoms-

  • Heavy sniffing
  • Lowered ears
  • Excessive Licking
  • A lot of yawning
  • Boredom

Short sessions will keep your dog at ease while allowing them to focus better on learning.

Consistency is the Key

Whether you’re training an adult dog or a young puppy, consistency is crucial to dog training. Your dog should understand what you expect of them. So, keep your instructions clear and consistent. For example, keep your tone consistent and use the same verbal orders for similar tricks.

It might be considerably more complicated for older dogs than younger puppies to learn new tasks, so giving your dog a little at a time is crucial. Before your dog masters the first trick, choose a trick to focus on. This will lessen confusion for your dog and increase its likelihood of success. Teaching them techniques one by one will keep things more straightforward for them.

Don’t be Hard on Your Dog 

When it comes to training your dog, you need to be passionate about it. Ensure you provide your dog attention and praise anytime they exhibit the trick you want them to learn. Expecting immediate results will only lead to failure for both you and your dog. Make a strategy that works for you both, but keep in mind to be patient and optimistic about your training objectives.

One more thing you need to understand is that not every time is a training session. Give your dog time to relax and play with their favorite toys. Teach them only during the session. Small training sessions each day can bring outstanding results, and you won’t have to say that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”


Training an old dog can also be fun and come with unexpected outcomes. It will undoubtedly require patience, consistency, and self-control, but it is never too late to begin training. So, get up and start by teaching your old dog new tricks.

When needing more guidance and assistance, visit the website of Helping Fido. We help dog parents with training and other advice. Our little advice can help you build a better relationship with your pooch.

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Hello, I am Daniel Michael, who loves dogs and has extensive experience in the field. I have a passion for writing articles that help other dog lovers navigate the complexities of dog ownership and care. I have spent countless hours researching, learning, and working with dogs of all breeds and sizes, and I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with you through my writing. Whether you are a new dog owner or a seasoned pro, I am confident that my articles will provide you with valuable insights and practical advice that will enhance your relationship with your furry friend.