Although the term “back to school” automatically conjures up the thought of school children with backpacks, we’re referring to your pet child.
Fall is the perfect time to send your new pup, adult or senior dog “back to school” either by enrolling him in private or group training classes or teaching him at home.
Dogs of any age have the ability to learn new commands and games. All dogs can benefit from learning new tricks, but training a senior dog in particular can help to keep his mind sharp and enrich his world. Think about it. Your senior dog may not be able to get around physically as he used to, but he can mentally move around when you stimulate his mind. And, teaching new tricks to an older dog helps to reduce the risk of doggie depression.
You can stimulate your dog’s mind through play. These games are especially beneficial for senior dogs:
· Kongs and Cubes filled with treats or dry food are great because your dog has to work at getting the food out.
· Hide and seek with a favorite toy encourages your dog to find the item using his eyes or his nose (especially if the toy has a treat tucked into it).
· Offering squeaky “nesting” toys challenges your dog to figure out how to get smaller toys out of a larger toy.
Training your dog doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s also not a competition to see how much and how fast your dog can learn. If you’re teaching your dog at home, make it fun for both of you. The key to making training stick is repetition. We suggest checking out the wide variety of training books and websites that are available today and find out what works best for you both.