Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

It may be hard to believe, but there was a time not so long ago when Eko wasn’t a ninety-five pound, fearless knucklehead.  When I brought Eko home for the first time he was scared of just about everything, but luckily he had a big sister to help him along.  My mom’s dog, Scout, is about as gentle as they come and for months she kept an eye out for Eko whenever they were together.

dog friendly road trip

Best buds

Eko was still a gangly pup when we left on our road trip, but he returned to NJ a seasoned adventurer.  Scout helped teach Eko the ropes when he was just a squirt, so now we’re hoping to return the favor.  Check out our attempt to teach an old dog a new trick!

As you can see, Scout still hasn’t got the hang of the dog door quite yet.  We’ve been practicing for a few days and I hope to have her bounding through the door Eko-style before we head back to Chicago.

Some of the best advice I have ever received about dogs has come from you guys, so if any readers out there have suggestions about how to train Scout please let me know!

18 thoughts on “Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?”

  1. We just went through this with an adopted shelter dog. We led her through the door with a leash. Ex.: I would pitch the hand end of the leash through, and from the other side, pick it up and give a steady pressure pull. Not actually pulling, but a soft tension. This dog was born in the wild, but picked it up and was doing it without a leash in one day. We are working on the fear of unknown sounds issue now.

  2. I think you are trying the right thing by giving her food but you are going to fast. You could use some hot dogs in small amount and a clicker. Let her stay in or out and if she move towards the door click and treat. Everytime she does this continue to click and treat. She will get the idea. Just dont pull the food though the door that is making it harder for her and your putting more pressure on her. Go slow and it will work out. Good Luck

    • Thanks for the tips Lisa, I think it was definitely a good idea to take my foot off the gas so that Scout can learn at a more incremental pace.

    • Thanks for checking out the video, hopefully we’ll have a new video up soon of Scout racing through the door on her own!

  3. Will… I pinned the door open for awhile so my little Champ could get used to it and one day he just started using the flap. Of course mine is a double so he wasn’t understanding the double flaps.

    Love the name plates in the doors!!!

  4. Well, if it was my Jack Russell terrier, Id just have to put a sign there that says No Dogs Allowed and hed be through it in an instant! I am pretty sure he can read, among other things.

    • Haha, I think you’re right Gary – dogs’ number one talent is getting into places they shouldn’t!


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