Q: Is it true that it’s difficult to train an older dog?

A: Many factors influence a dog’s behavior and training. The dog’s history, health, genetics and age are some of these factors. While in most cases, the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is simply not true, it does sometimes take longer and require more effort to modify an older dog’s behavior. The thing to do is recognize your dog’s “learning baseline,” that is, start where your dog is successful and incrementally (using baby steps) build the behavior from that point, with kindness and compassion.