Q: Is it true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
We have a four-year-old Border Collie that’s a bundle of fun, but completely hopeless on the obedience front. We concede it’s our fault – he’s a puppy school dropout. Do you have any tips for teaching basic manners to a dog?
This old wives’ tale is definitely not true. Dogs (especially Border Collies) love learning and it is often a matter of finding what drives them to make the training successful. Some dogs love treats, some love pats and some love to chase a ball as a reward. Border Collies are also very intelligent and so need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise to prevent boredom-related behavioural issues. You could also look at some training classes to work out the best strategy for your dog.