We can teach new tricks to an old dog, the old saying is that you can not teach an old dog new tricks is wrong. Teaching a dog new tricks is a very good way to keep the dog mentally stimulated. Be very careful with a dog that has achy joint pain or arthritis. Jumping or sitting for a long period of time could be hurtful to a senior dog. Dental issues can limit the tricks the dog can do by using its mouth. Also vision and hearing problems must be taken into consideration.
Here are the tricks:
Teach the dog how to put the toys away in the toy box. Start off with one toy, toss the toy away from you and move the toy box in front of you. Have the dog bring the toy back and place it in the toy box. Praise and reward the dog with a treat each time the dog gets it right.
The next step is phase out the game of fetch and put down the same toy away from the toy box and call the dog. Have the dog pick up the toy and drop it into the toy box.
Teach the dog to ring bells when it has to go out to potty. Start with familiarizing your dog with hanging bells. Put the bells in front of you and let the dog touch them and give the dog a treat each time. When you see the dog has caught on, hang the bells on the door knob. Each time the dog goes potty have the dog touch the bells and say “let's go potty” and take the dog out.
By teaching your dog to walk backward, you're teaching the dog to be aware of where his back legs are going. It's great for both mental and physical agility.
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