I had a great time watching MythBusters tonight on the Discovery Channel. They did a whole show on dog myths, everything from getting away from tracking dogs to teaching old dogs new tricks. It was a wonderful example of what training can do for fantastic dogs.
For those of you who have access to the Discovery Channel, I really recommend you watch this episode. The MythBusters team did a whole series of tests using guard dogs and tracking dogs to see if, the common myths everyone has heard of are true. My favorite segment was the one where Adam tried to defeat the tracking dog. No matter what he did, running through streams, using pepper, climbing trees, nothing worked. The dog found him every time.
Another section of this show dealt with old dogs new tricks. They picked brother and sister dogs that were seven years old and started to teach the new tricks. I get the old dog new tricks question all the time from clients and you can absolutely positively teach older dogs new skills. I was thrilled to see what both dogs were trained using different techniques and the with the outcome being virtually identical. The dogs were given a test at the end of the show to prove that they had learned their basic commands
sit, down, heel, stay, and shaking of the paw. These old dogs learned all the techniques within a week which proves how rapidly you can teach older pets valuable skills. Both of the guys on the show used professional trainers during the week but that shouldn’t diminish the fact that these older pups learned everything very quickly.
So, as a professional dog trainer I was just thrilled to see such a fair treatment of training and see fantastic results from the training they put the dogs through. So if you get the chance tune into the Discovery Channel and take a look at the MythBusters show on dog myths. They will make you smile and it’s a great hour to spend on the couch with your pup.
Austin Dog Trainer