Training an Older French Bulldog

Little Miss Muffin is three years old. But it has only been the last few weeks that she has been part of your family. Muffin is the second dog to become a member of the family, and it takes only a few hours for you to learn that her previous owner had not taken the time to house break her. The little French Bulldog may not eat much, but cleaning up after her in the house every day is going to get old…fast. But what is there to be done? Doesn’t ‘everyone know’ that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Take a step backward and look at that statement. Why? Why can’t Little Miss Muffin learn something new? And if she can’t, is there some magical age that she stops learning? The last question sounds ridiculous when written down, but if answered no, that there is no age she stops learning, then by default the old saying is wrong. You can teach an old dog French bulldog for sale in usa new tricks.

The difference between teaching an older dog and a new puppy something new is the new puppy is starting from a clean slate. Muffin will have to unlearn previous behavior before replacing it with the desired behavior. In this case, doing her business outside. The training keys for training an older dog are the same as the younger dog, patience and consistency. Especially the patience part, it may take Muffin longer to learn to go outside then if she had learned as a young puppy.

When introducing a new dog to a household with an existing, trained dog, there is a chance that Muffin will try to mimic your existing dog’s behavior. There is still a need for training, because having Muffin trained for only when Daisy’s around is only half helpful!

After you have identified the behavior you want to change in Muffin, use positive reinforcement to train her to act in the way you want, such as, using the great outdoors as her bathroom. Remember to be extra patient, as she will be confused at first with this change in her normal behavior.

Muffin may be past the ideal puppy age for training, but she is still a younger dog. What about an older dog of say…ten years old? If we’re sticking to the same logic as the beginning of this article, you should still be able to train this old dog. Some argue that it may even be easier to train an older dog. The reasoning behind this is that an older dog is less excitable than a puppy and therefore has a longer attention span, which gives you more of a window to train your dog before losing his attention. The flip side of this argument is that because your older dog is less excitable, he will have less of an attention span because he gets tired easier.

Whichever side of the argument is correct, a point to remember is your older dog will get tired more quickly than a twelve-week-old puppy. Be aware of your new older dog’s energy level as you are training. Don’t push him to exhaustion. Also be aware, especially if you are dealing with a large breed dog that their hips and joints won’t be able to hold up to tricks and running as well as a young dog.

Little Miss Muffin takes a little more work then bringing home a tiny puppy, but she’s had no trouble at all making herself a place in the family. She has her stubborn days that her previous non-training comes through, but little by little she’s responding to your teaching. The day will come that no one could tell which dog was trained from puppy hood and which one later in life.

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