Old dog, new tricks?
November 27, 2012 5:51 PM Subscribe
What sorts of things should we be considering to keep an older dog amused and happy?
posted by Pomo to pets & animals (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The new addition to our family is a large breed neutered male, aged 10-13 years (not sure; got him second-hand). We are concerned that he doesn't get enough mental stimulation and want to make sure his golden years are as pleasant as possible.
I'm looking for suggestions for techniques, tricks, tips, and products that might help in this regard.
He is dog-agressive, so can't go to off-leash parks or have play dates. He doesn't have any interest in toys and really only gets playful once in a blue moon; the only kind of play is wrestling with humans (no tug of war or anything like that will interest him). He gives up easily on Kong-style toys despite being highly food-motivated.
He usually sleeps most of the day while the family is at work, sleeps through the night, and also sleeps some of the time while everyone is around in the evenings. He's a little overweight from too many table scraps and a very healthy apetite, but doesn't seem to enjoy walks longer than 30 minutes or so (will put the brakes on mid-block). I don't think it's from any kind of physical pain: he seems to be hale and hearty, just mostly lazy.
So, I guess my question is: is this dog actually happy sleeping that often? Should we force a more vigorous exercise regime and hope he learns to like it? Are there any products that we could use during the day to give him something interesting to do, given that he doesn't like toys? Is it a good idea to leave the windows open so he can see the world and bark at things (don't worry, no neighbours) or does that stress a dog out? Are there any tricks I should be teaching (besides the basics already learned -- sit, leave it, stay, lie down, roll over, shake paw) that won't wear out the old joints? Maybe he could be trained to run a vacuum so we're not constantly picking black fur off ourselves?
It's a pretty broad question because we're willing to consider all sorts of suggestions. Just let me know if more detail would be helpful.