Training a dog is an important part of owning one.
It helps create a bond between the dog and owner, and can make life easier for both of them.
But at some point, you have to stop training a dog – even if he seems like he could use more work. So when is that point?
There is really no such thing as a fully trained dog, there is always scope for more advanced exercises that can be introduced to working dogs and pets. For most dogs training normally stops when the dog becomes older and is less capable and willing to carry on with the activities.
When should you think about stopping training?
There are some signs that it may be time to stop training a dog.
If your dog is showing signs of fatigue or seems unwilling or unable to continue, then this could be an indication that he has reached his limits.
Additionally, if you feel like your training sessions are no longer fun for either yourself or your dog, it might also be time to call it quits.
If your dog is suffering from an ailment that might prevent him from enjoying or participating in training then this too could be a sign that it is time to stop.
Is there a need to stop training a dog?
Just as with people, as your dog gets older he will begin to find some activities more demanding.
He will be at greater risk of injury and will take longer to recover, both from the exercises and from injury ( if he sustains one ).
So, you will need to adapt your training to compensate for your dog’s capacity.
You’ll need to consider what you can and cannot do with your dog and whether he enjoys it and make allowances within your training to accommodate him.
At some point your dog will need to ‘retire’ from training but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t do some of the things that he enjoys, for example retrieving or hunting – you just can’t be as demanding as perhaps you were when he was younger.
Dog training never ends
A responsible dog owner will always be aware of their dog, how he reacts and whether he seems to be enjoying what he is doing.
The mental and physical aspects of training are great for dogs and most breeds love the input, challenges and the engagement with their owners.
As a dog owner, rather than thinking about whether training stops and when this should be, try to think about how you can adapt training for your older dog.
With puppies training is more about play and development than formal exercises and expectations because we make allowances for his age and understanding.
With older dogs you should adopt a similar approach, make allowances for his age and mobility so that he can continue to enjoy exploring and learning with you.
While it can be hard to stop training a dog, there are many reasons why you may need to do so.
Whether your dog is getting older and less able to participate in certain activities, or if he is simply no longer having fun during training sessions, you should always listen to what your dog is telling you and act accordingly.
There is no need to feel guilty about stopping training – your dog will still love you just as much, and you can always find other ways to bond and have fun together.
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