An Old Dog Can Teach New Tricks
Like an old friend they just feel comfortable. They know our moods, they accept our imperfections, and their loyalty is absolute. They willing get up with us in the middle of a sleepless night and lie quietly by our feet as we think of the concerns of a busy day, or consider the consequences of a troubling situation. They are our confidents, our sounding boards, clearly listening but never telling our secrets. Their eyes reflect a concern, a compassion which touches something deep inside us. As they age and begin to move more slowly, we begin to question how to deal with our special friend.
Older dogs enjoy the stimulation of the world around them. Their daily walks may be slower, shorter, and less active, but the smells and sights along the way are just as satisfying. They still love to share time and experiences with their special friend - you! Make a short walk around the block a daily routine for you and your aging friend.
Older dogs enjoy the company of youth. I always like to introduce a puppy into the family when my older dog begins to slow down. Puppy excitement and enthusiasm is contagious. The puppy seems to want to learn everything the older dog has to offer. The two of them will walk around the yard inspecting every bush, every smell. Like a two year old human child, puppy must be asking thousands of questions; wanting to know what caused a particular smell, why the ground is scratched, or what made that loud sound. Older dog probably answers like a wise and caring grandparent would a human child. The pairing of youthful curiosity and mature knowledge probably satisfies both puppy and older dog. Keep in mind it is exhausting having a puppy around all the time, so the older dog will need some private space
Older dogs can be excellent teachers. A well trained dog can help you to teach a puppy to behave. When they are in the yard, call "come." The older dog will respond and puppy will follow. When the older dog accepts your command willingly, this suggests to puppy that you are important and are in charge. Use the same concept when teaching "sit", "down", or general household rules. When you command "sit", the older dog will respond and puppy will soon follow. Your older dog can make a positive influence on your puppy's development, and this influence will be with you for another generation.
Be aware of your older dog's special needs. Enjoy their friendship, that intangible emotional connection, and the experiences which you have shared together. There is nothing more comfortable than a special old friend.Noel Pepin -- Noel Pepin Canine Behaviour Specialists