How old is "too old?"

DD4MSpock

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My next door neighbor's new dog is growing by leaps and bounds. It's at the point now where it's become difficult for my neighbor to control him, even when walking on a lead. He just keeps pulling and pulling. My neighbor is in his early 60's and a bit thinner than me an a little more frail (although he used to do roofing in his day). The dog (I believe) is under 1 year but growing fast. From what I understand, he is a "mutt," but I think there's quite a bit of "pittie" in him (facial features, head shape, etc.). I even asked my neighbor to let me try and walk him, just to see. For the most part, he was OK. He walked around the cul-de-sac without much stress, his owner always in sight. He did pull a little when returning to his owner's driveway, but he was just fine as I transferred the lead back to the owner (and also when I took it, initially).

My neighbor is coming to the point where he thinks he may have to re-home the dog because "he just can't handle him anymore." My question is, could it just be a matter of "obedience training?" Is the dog too old to learn how to "Heel" when walking? I mean, as a young teen, I used to walk a big honkin' dobie all over the place! That dog was properly trained, and knew how to heel when on short lead (we always kept him on a 20 ft lead for walking but would retract it when we needed him to heel for crossing the street, etc.). And, when I stopped, so did he, sitting right on that heel.

How old is too old to begin that kind of obedience training, etc., for dogs? That might be an option for my neighbor. We'll see.
 
Definitely not too old! It might be good for them to go to a group training class. It depends on the training facility, but he might be a little too old for a puppy class. However, beginner obedience is generally open to all ages that are outside of the puppy age range.

I would also suggest a prong. It will really help him get some control over the dog.
 
Definitely not too old! It might be good for them to go to a group training class. It depends on the training facility, but he might be a little too old for a puppy class. However, beginner obedience is generally open to all ages that are outside of the puppy age range.

I would also suggest a prong. It will really help him get some control over the dog.

Thanks much. I confirmed with the owner this morning that he is 3 mos. old, so still a pup.

I'll try to help him find some reliable group training in my area.
 
It's never too late to train and 3 months is still a baby. So are you going to take him?
 
The dog can be trained at any age. The owner needs training to be consistent and firm. I strongly recommend a prong collar for a young dog.

My dogs are trained for heeling in the Obedience ring and I use the HEEL command. When we're on a walk, I have a WALK command where they have to stay on my left, but can sightsee.

I have the recall for the long line where I call them to heel position. That's useful if we're taking a walk and are about to meet someone, so I can shorten up on the lead. I use HERE with my palm towards the dog extended a foot or so from my side. I teach that by putting a treat between my fingers so when they see the palm, they come to it and get the treat. (I find it very useful in Barn Hunt when I want to call AJ to a place I want him to search.)
 
Thanks much. I confirmed with the owner this morning that he is 3 mos. old, so still a pup.

I'll try to help him find some reliable group training in my area.
3 months is still very young, and you are really just starting training at that point. Now that I know the puppy is younger, I would hold off on the prong for awhile. Most people will recommend the puppy is 6 months at the youngest to use one. I would still recommend the group class though. It will help teach handling techniques and teach the puppy to focus in a distracting environment.

You can also tell him to look up some videos on leash pressure training. I know Tyler Muto has a few on YouTube, but there are others as well.
 
Thanks much. I confirmed with the owner this morning that he is 3 mos. old, so still a pup.

I'll try to help him find some reliable group training in my area.

My previous reply was based on your original post where you thought he was older. I start training at four months.

Puppies minds are developing as they age. There's periods where their minds start developing things, such as fear, when they need positive experiences.
 
Several years ago I had a dobergirl that though compliant with recall & leave it never wanted to walk at heel & so I lived with it. When she was 7-8 years old we got a Dobie puppy that seemed to pick walking at heel up with no problems & I decided to re double my efforts on the “old girl”. No special collar, just determination on my part that I’d lacked in the first place. Surprising it didn’t take long before she was walking to heel nicely. Clearly I’d given up on this aspect of training too early.
 
Haven't seen him in a while. I'll check with the owner, later this morning. I usually see them walking in the cul-de-sac about 10-10:30am.

Didn't see him at all, today, nor did I see'hear the dog in his back yard. That's not a good sign. I mean, he could be away for a bit. but his trash can was put out this morning for pick up and then taken back later. So, someone is doing that much.
 

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