Who says you can’t teach old French Bulldogs new tricks?

Most dog owners –  new and experienced – associate training with puppies and younger canines that much learn important commands to function within their new setting.  Older French bulldogs are beyond help, right? 

Wrong!  Many folks who have taken the leap to bring older French Bulldogs into their homes have been pleasantly surprised to witness super eagerness and resilience from their four-legged companions.

French bulldogs absorb new ideas and thoughts throughout their lives, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that teaching older ones specific commands does not have to be harder than it is with a puppy.  In theory and practice, it will come down to three critical factors:

  1. The French bulldog’s inherent characteristics, including genetics.
  2. Previous habits picked up prior to your ownership.
  3. The dog’s personal attitude and motivation towards learning.

Keep in mind an older dog’s physical limitations prior to the start of training.  French bulldog’s with less than perfect eyesight and hearing require special attention and care.  Therefore, speak with a strong, clear voice and use unambiguous hand signals.  Be especially forgiving when your friend misses a command, since it is likely a physical error, not deliberate disobedience.

Older French bulldogs likely will not be as energetic or feisty as puppies, so you should use low intensity training sessions of modest duration.  It is also smart to take your dog’s age and physical condition into account when beginning a new activity.

How To Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Do not quit on your dog, especially when the going gets tough and it seems pointless to continue trying with a command.  Know that older dog adoption necessarily means weaning your new arrival of bad habits – not the easiest of tasks.  Persistence against ingrained actions will pay off eventually, just as forming “blank” puppies does.

Nutrition plays a critical role in your bulldog’s level of alertness and willingness to participate in training.  Recognized brand name foods as well as home-made meals and treats should work well, especially if they are genuinely meat-oriented and void of so-called “by products”.

You can teach an old dog new tricks, even if training older French Bulldogs can be quite challenging.  At the same time, nothing will feel as rewarding to you, the “Alpha dog” of this team.  Reap the rewards of a well-trained bulldog for many years to come.

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