An older dog can, maybe, possibly, learn new tricks

Kiko the seven-year-old wonder pug is finally starting some obedience training at home with the help of an Ian Dunbar DVD. As Sam and I are hoping and planning for a puppy next year, we figure Kiko should be at least somewhat of a role model for good b…


Kiko the seven-year-old wonder pug is finally starting some obedience training at home with the help of an Ian Dunbar DVD. As Sam and I are hoping and planning for a puppy next year, we figure Kiko should be at least somewhat of a role model for good behavior. So each day after breakfast, on our walks, and after dinner, we practice some obedience training. Kiko learned how to “sit” at a very young age, but we did not further his training much, and we have often used the word “No” to signal for him to do something else instead of using the positive training methods we are learning now from Ian Dunbar. In the last few weeks Kiko has learned to “lay down,” “stay,” and he has also learned the term “off” for when we want him to get away from something. Kiko is VERY food-motivated, so it makes training easy with treats. However, I know that as soon as the treats are taken away, the obedience stops. Kiko will just look at me with his head cocked to the side and a quizzical look on his face as if to say, “But you forgot the treat mommy. I’ll wait here until you go get it and then I’ll do what you want me to do.” 😉 Clever one he is. I am hoping that, with time, he will learn to do what I am asking without treats, but I imagine it might take a bit longer than puppy training since he’s had seven years to perfect non-obedience training.

We are also working on “heel” but that seems to be hit and miss. He gets distracted when we walk past his food bowl or if we walk into the kitchen he is soon off sniffing and scavenging for food. Ahhhh, dog training is hard work! For now, enjoy a recent photo of Kiko doing what he does best . . . snoozing in his bed with his stuffed animals, Cow and Frog.

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