Is It Ever Too Late to Start Training a Dog?

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: December 6, 2022

You may have had your wonderful dog since they were a puppy. You also may have found the perfect older dog that you now love dearly. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for your older dog to be properly trained. If you raised your pup without proper training, it’s likely that they have a ton of bad behaviors. If you just adopted an older dog, you may not even know the extent of their behavioral issues.
Either way, you’ve probably heard the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Is this true, though? Is it too late for your older dog? Below is more information about dog training for older dogs and what options may be available.

Is It Ever Too Late to Start Training a Dog?

The short answer is, “No.” The idea that an older dog can’t learn is silly. Dogs of any age can learn new behaviors and “tricks.” With that said, an older dog may first need to unlearn a lot of bad habits.
If you have an older dog that has formed bad habits, you’ll need to untrain them and teach them better habits. If you adopt an older dog, you’ll want to work with them immediately and reinforce good behaviors. If you’re lucky, they are properly trained already, and only small adjustments need to be made. With that said, they also may have grown up with owners that didn’t bother to teach them manners.
You also may be concerned because your dog isn’t “dog-friendly” or has issues with certain people. This is a legitimate concern, but it shouldn’t stop you from working with your dog to socialize them better. Even older dogs can be properly socialized. The time it takes may be a bit longer, and it may take quite a bit of patience. With that said, it’s possible to train your dog to become a pack member and show other dogs respect and affection.
With all of this in mind, training an older dog can be difficult to do on your own. You’ll need to recognize their problematic habits and behaviors in order to address them. From there, you’ll need to put a plan in place to teach your dog better habits. You also must slowly introduce them to other dogs and work on other socialization issues. This can all seem like a tall order…
To make the process of training an adult dog a whole lot easier, work with a professional dog training company like Stayyy. Stayyy offers a variety of different types of training. This includes training for dogs of all breeds, genders, and—you guessed it—ages!
Below is more information about the types of training programs we offer for adult dogs, along with the training process…

The Dog Training Process

The dog training programs provided by Stayyy involve the elimination of bad habits while reinforcing good behaviors. For older dogs, there may be a lot of bad habits to unlearn. With that said, the process is possible. If your adult dog knows their basic commands, we’ll work with them to ensure they listen each and every time.
Some other things we focus on include:

  • Mental stimulation
  • Exercise
  • Socialization
  • Breaking bad habits

Some of the bad habits we approach head-on include:

  • Leash pulling
  • Stealing food from other animals
  • Excessive barking
  • Jumping on people
  • Charging at other animals
  • Rushing in or out of the door
  • Eating off the counter

Socialization is extremely important. Your adult dog should be able to get along with dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. We provide dogs of all ages the opportunity to meet others and learn to be part of a pack.

Obedience Training

Obedience training is a core part of any form of dog training. If your dog doesn’t listen to your commands, it can lead to a whole host of problems. Not only will your dog ignore you when you tell them to do something, but they also may put themselves or others at risk. You may have an older dog that still tries to get out of the house. You also may have problems controlling them on walks. Best case scenario, this is extremely annoying. Worst case scenario, they may run in front of a car, attack another dog, or attack a person. If they attack, there is a chance of them being put down. You also may end up with a lawsuit on top of everything else.
Your older dog may have less dangerous issues that you want to fix like getting in the garbage, eating off the table, barking constantly, and going potty in the house, as well.
The obedience training program at Stayyy works on the basics with your dog. We make sure they listen every time. Even if they know their commands, we drill those commands with your dog to ensure they do what you ask, when you ask. This helps to keep your dog safe and keep everyone around you safe. Obedience training also relieves a lot of the tension in the household. Your dog will be much happier without you being upset at their troublesome behavior all the time.
We will work with you to make sure you project the confidence needed to ensure your dog stays obedient.

Pack Leadership Training

No matter how old your dog is, they are always looking for a pack leader. Someone is going to have to take the leadership position, and someone else will have to follow. Some owners like to think of their dog as an equal, but the dog doesn’t see the relationship the same way. There will always be a leader-follower relationship. If you aren’t the pack leader, your dog will fill the role. This leads to all kinds of behavioral and obedience issues.
In order to ensure your dog stays happy and mentally balanced, you’ll need to learn to be the pack leader. That is why we offer pack leadership training at Stayyy. We teach owners to become the leaders of their pack, which helps to ensure obedience and proper behavior.

The Stayyy Leadership Program

Our leadership program shows you how to properly become the pack leader in your household. There is a misconception that being the pack leader means ruling through intimidation and fear. This simply isn’t the case. Instead, it’s about projecting assertive, confident, and calm energy. If you assert that kind of energy, your pup will fall in line.
The Stayyy leadership program will teach you how to be a confident leader. We don’t just train your dog—we train you as well!

Dog Boarding

People are often concerned about boarding their dogs. With the boarding offered at Stayyy, there’s no reason to be! We provide dogs with lots of opportunities to play, socialize, and have a ton of fun. We treat each dog as an individual and meet their specific needs. We also ensure they get daily walks where they can stretch their legs, go potty, and sniff around.
In order to board your pup, we’ll need current vaccination records and written proof of DHLPP and Bordetella before check-in. If your pup is over four months old, we’ll also need rabies vaccination records. This is for the protection of our staff and our other furry guests.
When you are preparing for your pup’s vacation, consider these things:

  • A feeding schedule
  • Your dog’s favorite food and treats
  • Your pup’s favorite toys and blankets
  • Bedding
  • Kennel crate (if properly trained)

We look forward to hosting your furry friend at our doggy hotel!

Group Training Classes

Once we feel your adult dog has the basics of obedience down, they can join our group training class. The class provides the perfect opportunity for your adult dog to meet others, socialize, play, and learn how to become part of a pack. We keep an eye on your dog’s progression, and we increase the level of distraction over time to ensure they listen.
We offer group training at our facility, as well as dog beaches, dog parks, and other dog-friendly spaces. This allows your dog to explore and get used to different environments.

Day Camp

Stayyy offers a fantastic Day Camp program for dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. At Day Camp, dogs learn the fundamentals of obedience and receive basic training. Even if your dog knows the basic commands, we continue to drill them to ensure your dog always responds.
Our Day Camp program is very flexible. Let us know when you want to drop your dog off and when you want to pick them up (within our business hours). You can drop them off for a few hours or all day. It’s up to you!
Once you are ready to pick up your dog, we’ll make sure to send them home with some goodies.

Choose Stayyy!

It’s never too late to train your adult dog! Reach out to Stayyy to learn more about the training programs that are available for your adult dog.