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Old Dog, New tricks??

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by LinznMilly, Sep 21, 2013.


  1. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    My Saturday night Muse ;)

    Been round to my dad's after work tonight and, as you do, he asked about the dogs (or Mutts as he affectionately calls them :D)

    I mentioned that Milly surprised me today because I'd been working on getting her to lie on her side - either for the Play Possum trick (for some reason, I don't like the thought of calling it Play Dead... Maybe BANG might be a better alternative :eek:) or for Roll Over. Anyway. First time she lay on her side, she was rewarded with a C&T. 2nd time she did it, she did 3/4 of a Roll Over, rolling from one side to the other, but not to the point of righting herself... she got her C&T and the very unusual sight of Mum dancing around the room - for which she promptly joined me :D

    Anyway, I've had less success with Max, bless him. I try the same technique with him and he just back up into a sit :eek: and I mentioned this to dad. Dad made allowances for him, saying it's his age and "Old Dog, New Tricks etc". I said I wasn't so sure because I've taught him a number of new commands already in the 3 years he's been with me - Crawl (needs more practice, but he's getting there), Spin, Other Way, Find It/Where Is [the Kong/Ball] ... even started him weaving through my legs, Close the Door - and our latest trick - Meerkat. My dad's reply to this was that he can learn simple tricks, but for the harder stuff he's simply following the treat, but he no longer needs the treat as a lure for Spin, Other Way or Close the Door. :confused:

    So, what's everyone else's thoughts? Are older dogs as capable of learning new tricks (albeit perhaps a bit more slowly) or is my dad right, and all Max is doing is following the cue?
     
    #1 LinznMilly, Sep 21, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    The other night I was training my 2 dogs to run in a circle round my legs. My older (12ish) dog learnt it quicker than the young (4) one. Her arthritis and cataracts restrict what she can do.

    She's always been a quick learner
     
  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Thanks for sharing that Burrowzig. Max has always been a quick learner, too. Milly looks stumped for a while but she catches on eventually. :D
     
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