Too Old to learn how to be awesome! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Too Old to learn how to be awesome!

My male that I rescued about 6 months ago is a really smart dog, but is it too late for him to get training? He's about 7 and knows some basic commands, but I want to have him be very obedient.

One of my main issues is not having him on a leash. When I'm out doing stuff in the yard, my female will stick around and hangout. If my male is ever off his leash, he will do anything to get the heck out of there! (My yard is partially fence so he can escape). It would be nice to train him in such a manner , but I don't know if the age can affect how he learns new things?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 07:05 PM
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they can still learn no mater how old they are. I had a 17 year old male that had to learn hand signals because he was deaf. I taught him how to crawl just before we had to put him to sleep.

ETA: I adopted my GSD, Dodger at a year and half old (he's 2 1/2 now) and I had to teach him everything, we're till working on off leash come and staying with me completely off leash it's a work in progress, but he's learned a ton of things since I've had him

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 07:15 PM
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I think you can absolutely train him, age doesn't matter. The fact that he's in a new home means that you are essentially already training him to become adapted to your new home and surroundings, bed time, etc. which means you can train him to get used to your yard and hanging out in it.
I would start practicing recall. Every time he comes when you call him, you give a treat. Start doing this inside the house or a fenced area, then gradually practice outside, or with a long line.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 08:59 PM
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Be very careful about trusting him off lead if he's a roamer by inclination. This can be verrrry hard to reliably train with some dogs, especially if they have a history of roaming. For those that can't be trusted 100% it can also be dangerous.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:03 PM
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Your dog is not too old for some more formal training - I bet he would really enjoy the mental stimulation and the cementing of the bond that training brings with it - but I agree with RubyTuesday - if he is a roamer by nature, he may never be trustworthy off leash. If he tends to wander, I would rather work with some physical way of confinement.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 06:06 PM
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You can still train him. If you want off leash control you could also use an e-collar to teach good recall especially if he likes to run away. To me that seems to be the most important lesson. If you don't know how to use an e-collar get someone with experience to teach you how to use it properly. Don't use it as a crutch.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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very helpful suggestions... thank you all.
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