How to Train an Old Dog?

“Is it possible to re-educate an adult dog?” – a question that is often asked by those wishing to take a pet from a shelter. The answer to it is affirmative, but one must understand that training an animal with character and already formed habits will require more time and patience. How to re-educate an adult dog?

Not all dog owners have puppies. Shelter pets very often find a home when they are adults. And, unfortunately, these are not always animals with excellent character. It often happens that a frequent change of owners injures the dog, and no one can guarantee that the previous owner strictly followed the training rules and socialized the pet in time. Despair is still not worth it. There are many ways to re-educate a dog. You need to start with the basics – obedience, socialization, and correction of destructive behavior.


If the dog does not obey, does not know the commands, and does not have restraint, the first thing that needs to be instilled in it is obedience. In the process, you should adhere to several basic principles:

Do not hurry

Raising a dog takes time, an adult pet will need about a year to correct its behavior and learn to listen to its owner. You shouldn’t rush, but you should devote all your free time to your dog.

Be consistent

Workouts should be daily and last at least 20 minutes. At the same time, try to divide this time into two full lessons of 10 minutes each and train your pet a little during the day.

From house to street

An adult dog may be absent-minded and not overly attentive. Therefore, it is better to start training at home, without distractions. After the dog has mastered the command well, you can move on to training outdoors: first, away from city noise, and then with distractions (for example, in the yard).

Diversify your lessons

Jack Russell Terrier training to walk with a handler

This does not mean that you have to train different teams every day. No, the pace, time, sequence of actions should be different.

Repeat the command once

It is very important not to repeat the command several times, expecting that the dog will do it on the fifth attempt. Demand execution the first time. Otherwise, the dog will continue to carry out the command from the fifth order.


Socialization is teaching your pet to communicate with relatives and family members. In the case of an adult dog, we will talk about resocialization, that is, retraining.

If the pet reacts inadequately to relatives and other animals, for example, begins to bark, pull the leash or behave aggressively, he needs resocialization. It can take from several months to several years, so you have to be patient.

One of the best methods that dog handlers recommend is parallel walking. The method consists in finding a company for the pet – another dog to walk them at some distance from each other. Gradually, the pet should get used to this society. Once this happens, the animals should be introduced closer.

I must say that re-socialization is not recommended to be carried out on your own, especially if the owner has no experience of communicating with dogs.

If the pet reacts too aggressively to relatives, it is better to contact a professional dog handler and work with him on the behavior of the animal.

Correcting destructive behavior

Dog owners are very often faced with destructive pet behavior: torn shoes, sofa upholstery, gnawed corners of the table and chair legs, as well as wallpaper and doors – all this can be an unpleasant surprise not only for puppy owners. Sometimes even adult dogs can behave destructively.

The reason may be neurosis and stress that pets experience in the absence of the owner from boredom, melancholy, and loneliness. In addition, the reasons may lie in health problems.

And if a puppy can be successfully weaned from addictions, then this cannot be said with certainty about an adult dog, especially about a dog from a shelter. Here are some basic principles to follow to achieve results:

Remove objects of interest to the pet

First, train yourself and your family to always put your shoes in the closet. To protect furniture and wallpaper, you can try using a special spray, the smell and taste of which repels the dog, but it is better not to use citrus fruits and red peppers – this can harm the pet.

Scold in time

Do not punish your dog if you find tattered shoes after coming home. But if a pet commits a “crime” in front of your eyes, then it is possible and even necessary to scold him gently. But immediately after that, be sure to show that he has his own toys to chew and bite.

Walk your dog more

The main rule is that before leaving for work, you should take a good walk and tire the dog with all kinds of games and activities. It will take a lot of effort, but the result of a tired and happy dog ​​will please you. She simply will not have the strength and desire to destroy the house.

So, is it possible to re-educate a dog? Yes. Can you always do it yourself? No. In some cases, the help of a professional may be required: a dog handler or a zoopsychologist. The owner will need patience, perseverance, love, and affection.

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