How to Train an Older Dog: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

how to train an older dog

Training a dog is a journey, whether they’re a young pup or an older companion. You might think, “How to train an older dog? Is it even possible?” Well, I’m here to assure you that it’s never too late. Just like us, our furry friends can learn and adapt at any age. If you’ve recently welcomed an older dog into your home or are looking to teach your longtime pal some new tricks, this guide is for you. Together, we’ll explore simple, effective ways to help our older dogs learn and thrive.

Can Older Dogs Learn New Things?

Of course! Age doesn’t stop dogs from learning. Older dogs might need a little more time and patience, but with love and consistency, they can learn just like young ones.

Good Things About Training an Older Dog

There are so many reasons to train older dogs:

  • It helps them feel more sure of themselves.
  • You become closer friends.
  • It keeps their brains working well.
  • They get to move and think a lot.

Tips For Training An Older Dog

1. See What Your Dog Knows Already

Every dog is different. Before teaching new tricks, watch your dog to see what it already knows. Maybe it can already sit or give you a high-five.

2. Train Your Old Dog Like It’s a Baby Dog

Even if your dog is old, pretend it’s a puppy. Start with easy commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” This way, they get to remember the basics.

3. Using a Crate Can Help House Train

A crate is like a cozy bedroom for dogs. For older dogs who might forget where to go to the bathroom, crates remind them of the right places.

4. Make a Daily Plan for Your Dog

Dogs love routines. Doing things like walking or feeding at the same time every day makes them feel safe and happy.

5. Older Dogs Might Learn Even Better

Sometimes, older dogs are less naughty than puppies. They might pay attention more and learn faster.

6. Think About Your Dog’s Past

Some older dogs had different homes before. Be gentle and patient, especially if they seem scared or confused.

7. Teach More to Dogs That Know a Lot

For smart older dogs who already know many tricks, find new and exciting things to teach. Maybe a dance move or fetching the newspaper.

8. Be Kind and Have Fun While Training

Always be nice to your dog. If they do something right, give them a treat or a hug. Make sure training feels like a game.

9. Love Training Time with Your Older Dog!

Remember, training isn’t just about teaching. It’s about spending happy moments with your furry friend. So, always enjoy and cherish the time.

Exploring More Training Questions from Dog Owners

Many dog owners have questions and face challenges with their pets. We want to help by looking at more common issues and how to handle them:

How to Train an Older Dog Not to Bite

Older dogs might bite due to fear or pain. It’s essential to stay calm when this happens; yelling might only frighten your dog more. It’s also crucial to understand the reason behind their biting. If they’re in pain or don’t appreciate sudden movements, you can adjust accordingly. A firm ‘no’ can deter them from biting, and always remember to reward good behavior with treats or praises.

How to Toilet Train an Older Dog

Toilet training is essential for any dog, irrespective of age. Establish a routine where you take your dog out after meals, before bedtime, and first thing in the morning. Whenever they do their business outside, offer praise or a treat. If there are any indoor accidents, make sure to clean them thoroughly, so they don’t mistake the spot as an okay place to go.

How to House Train an Older Dog

House training revolves around consistency. Watch for signs that they need to go, like sniffing around. Then, consistently take them to the same spot outside. Each time they get it right, give them praise or a treat.

How to Kennel Train an Older Dog

Kennels can offer a safe haven for dogs. Choose one that’s the right size for your dog, and make it cozy with blankets or toys. Start with short sessions inside the kennel and gradually increase the time. Offering treats when they enter can make it a pleasant experience.

How to Stop an Older Dog from Pooping in the House

The key is to know their schedule. Feeding them at consistent times can help predict when they’ll need to go. Allow them easy and quick access outside, especially after eating. If accidents happen, ensure you clean the spot well to remove any lingering scent.

How to Train an Older Dog to Use an Indoor Potty

Indoor potties can be a great tool, especially during bad weather. First, select a consistent spot for the potty. Initially, you may need to guide your dog to the potty until they get used to it. Whenever they use it correctly, reward them.

How to Train an Old Dog to Pee on a Pad

Pee pads can be handy for older dogs. Place the pad in a consistent spot and guide your dog to it initially. With time, they’ll learn. Always reward them when they use the pad correctly.

How to House Train an Older Rescue Dog

Rescue dogs might have had different experiences in the past. Approach them with patience and understanding. Stick to consistent feeding and potty routines. Always speak softly and with kindness.


In the end, it’s clear that age is just a number when it comes to training our beloved dogs. “How to train an older dog” might have seemed like a daunting question at first, but I hope that after going through this guide, you feel more equipped and confident. Older dogs, with their unique blend of wisdom and adaptability, can indeed be taught, loved, and understood in new ways. Remember, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are your best allies. No matter where your dog’s starting point is, with these methods, you’re sure to see progress.


Is it harder to train a dog the older it gets?

While older dogs might have set habits, they can still be trained. It might require more patience compared to training a puppy, but it’s definitely possible.

How old is too late to train a dog?

It’s never too late to train a dog. Whether they’re young or in their senior years, all dogs can learn new behaviors and commands with the right approach.

Can you train an untrained older dog?

Yes, an untrained older dog can be trained. It may take time and consistent effort, but older dogs can learn just as younger ones can.

Can a 2-year-old dog be trained?

Absolutely! A 2-year-old dog is still very trainable. In fact, many dogs are in their prime learning phase at this age.


For those looking to dive deeper into the world of dog care, training, lifestyle, and foods, our website,, is a treasure trove of information. From practical tips to heartwarming stories, we cover everything dog-related. Do give it a visit and become a part of our ever-growing community of dog lovers.

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