Dog Training for the Elederly

April 10, 2018

Being a dog trainer, I get called when people are having difficulty handling their pets. (I also do cats.) Most of the time, people need a dog trainer because their dog is too hyper or excited in certain situations. This hyperness and abrasiveness varies in intensity from case to case. A typical client I come across frequently is an elderly person who lives in assisted living. Elderly people who live in small spaces on a fixed

 

income and have physical limitations tend to choose small dogs. The thinking is that they are physically easier to handle and eat less. Neither one of these are necessarily true unfortunately. Smaller dogs can actually be very high energy and it can take even longer for them to burn energy due to their small size. 

     Popular small breeds are  dogs like Yorkies, mini schnauzers and Pomeranians. These breeds can be very intense and dominant. In assisted living situations they often do not get walked enough if at all. On top of not being able to exercise, their only change of pace or stimulation comes from visitors. This can cause them to go into a frenzy when staff or family come into the room. It also means the dog will try to escape to get a small taste of freedom from the cramped living space. A better type of dog for this situation would be a lazy dog like a bulldog. There are dogs that not only do not need decent walks, they can't physically handle them. While there are typical traits to certain breeds, the upsurge in rescue dogs being adopted means that less dogs are being bred carefully to insure these traits. For this reason, you can find lazy Yorkies and energetic bulldogs. What you need to do is get to know the specific dog before you take him home and ask yourself if you can provide the best environment. While a good dog trainer can help you mentally control your dog when you can't physically, you can avoid some struggle by choosing a dog that is closer to what you want.