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July 13, 2012

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.
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!

Comments for Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

  1. Carol Conner says:

    Your already doing the most important thing by letting her watch Eko. I’ve fostered for years and this is by far the most practical way. My other trick requires Eko to not help.
    When Scout is outdoors and wants to come in, peanut butter on the other side of the door usually does the trick in a very few tries.
    Magic, who just past 14 months, learned from the rest of the pack. Now if he would just quit dragging me down the trail when he spots a critter..

  2. Tur says:

    Looks like you are doing all the right things to teach Scout, the only thing from my observation was that the bottom of the dog door might be a bit too high for Scout, and wood door panel may be too stiff and hard for an old dog to tackle. How old is Scout?

  3. Special Treats and a treat-er on each side of the door. Other than that you are doing all the right things. And yes an older dog can learn new tricks. I have rehabilitated quite a few abused dogs and they came through it just fine.

  4. M.A. says:

    Can you take the door off? The wood door might be intimidating … you could try taking the door off for a bit and then using a rubber flap/piece of cardboard etc. and work your way up to the wood door. That and just make sure everyone in the house is not acting as a doorman all the time, Scout will figure it out eventually! If all else fails Wyatt can come and get stuck it in and she can duck out between his legs if Sheila wants )

  5. connie says:

    maybe prop the door open so Scout is just going thru opening without having to push door? Idk, my dogs open my back door by their selves without a doggie door. Comes in handy, except they dont close it behind them.

  6. Gary Stelter Sr says:

    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.

  7. Christine says:

    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!!!

  8. What a cute video and even cuter pooches!

  9. Lisa says:

    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

  10. Carol says:

    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.

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