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Learning from an Old Dog?

August 21, 2009

2 dogs runningThe only thing an older dog directly teaches a younger dog are a few basic ground rules, like playing on their terms, not stealing toys, food, or sleeping spot (resource guarding). Older dogs understand the importance of first establishing good communication, teaching a younger dog to read their body language. Even a snarl, growl or snap is a normal form of communication. This is why many older dogs will first ignore a young puppy from a few minutes to a few weeks to establish these rules. Of course dog owners do the complete opposite, we spend the first few weeks giving our puppies anything they want.

Younger dogs can indirectly learn some good things from an older dog, a few examples would be-when they follow an older dog onto the grass and around in circles, this triggers the younger dogs need to eliminate. If the older dog is trained to “come”, the younger dog by following the older dog may indirectly learn to come, to the older dog’s name.

Most of the time it’s the bad behaviors not the good ones an older dog influence. Like when an older dog is digging, chewing (or other behaviors) the younger dog might join in. These behaviors are natural dog behaviors, but not every dog displays them, and young dogs can be influenced at an early age. The older dog can also influence where the digging is done or what is being chewed.

How well your older dogs behaves has an effect on which good and bad behaviors they can influence, not directly teach. The second dog gets the least amount of  “proper training”  from the older dog and the second dog needs training the most. Don’t rely on your older dog to do anything, in this case you are the older dog, uh, I mean teacher, they need to learn from you.

Because your dogs are too distracted by each other to learn new things, and the younger dog is more focused on the older dog than on you, they need first to be trained separately before they can learn together, It’s also advisable to separate them from time to time by taking just the younger dog on walks or car rides. If possible have your older dog spend a few weeks at a trusted friend or relative. For faster results practice shorter training sessions using the 1-minute training session.

If you have any comments on this blog, feel free to leave them below.

Comments

5 Responses to “Learning from an Old Dog?”

  1. Robert on September 4th, 2009 12:39 am

    Hi Daniel,

    With certain breeds, older dogs or untrained dogs they can become possessive of certain items, sleeping area or food. Its called resource guarding and its an unacceptable behavior but a natural dog behavior. They are just communicating with the other dog or your boy friends dad, to stay away! Obviously we dont want anyone hurt and I usually don’t like giving advice on aggressive issues, mainly because there’s more to it than hearing a short story. For aggressive issues, I always recommend asking your vet who they recommend?. You will find many answers to your questions if you just browse around my blog and future blogs. I’m not sure if your one of these people but, many people baby little dogs and they need to be treated like a regular dog. especially breeds that are known to be aggressive (read 10 breeds to avoid) what I do know is, all dogs should be taught good obedience. not with your dog in the kitchen and you holding a treat, but your dog outside around distraction, and listening with or without a treat. even if your dog doesn’t respond like a border collie, just going through the training is usually good enough. It communicates to your dog they don’t have to right to act out. When you train a dog properly your also teaching them what not to do. another thing to to is re-direction therapy. It just means when they display behaviors you don’t like, you redirect their focus to something else.
    Again, there is really so much to tell you and things for you to do, but I’m not comfortable giving to much advice on aggressive issues. I need to be there and unless your in Australia or want to fly me out to you, calling your vet is your best bet. Please let me know your progress and thanks for the comment

  2. Robert on September 29th, 2009 5:20 pm

    Thank You for the comment. I’m new to the blogging world, I’m just getting started.

  3. Robert on October 9th, 2009 5:51 pm

    Thanks, I appreciate that

  4. dog jumping up on December 3rd, 2009 5:20 am

    I love the two in the picture. Looks like the small is trying to do what the bigger dog does.

  5. Robert on December 3rd, 2009 6:01 am

    The small dog is trying to keep up for sure, he might miss the opportunity for a pat on the head

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