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Teach Your Dog These 7 Tasks To Make Your Golden Years Easier

| Published on February 16, 2016

You think a lot about caring for your dog as he ages, like ways you can make life easier for him, products that will improve his health, etc. But as you start aging, you will need to focus on some of your own health and needs, too. And there’s no reason why your dog can’t help you out with them!

If you’re in your golden years, getting a dog or teaching your current dog some handy “tricks” to help you continue to live independently is a fantastic idea. It gives your dog jobs to do that might take the place of some of the walks or training you can no longer perform with him, and it’s good for you because you have someone there that can help 24-7. Here are a few helpful things you can teach your dog.

(Not sure how? Find a professional trainer in your area to help you.)

#1 – Fetch Items

Teach your dog to fetch something useful, like the newspaper, remote, or anything you may have dropped that you cannot get.

Image source: @TaroTheShibaInu via Flickr
Image source: @Taro The Shiba Inu via Flickr

#2 – Find It

Let’s face it, we can probably all use this one, no matter our age! But if you are prone to misplacing your phone, remote, keys and/or wallet, teaching your dog how to find them is a great idea.

Image source: @Tarotheshibainu via Flickr
Image source: @Taro The Shiba Inu via Flickr

#3 – Pull

Many of us have a hard time getting our shoes and socks off. You can teach your dog a cue like “pull” and he can help pull off your shoe or sock without turning it into a game of tug-of-war. This is a very controlled cue that needs to be taught correctly.

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Image source: A Fairytail House

#4 – Opening Doors

You can teach your dog to open drawers and cabinets, as well as shutting them, to help you with daily activities. Put a rope on that heavy fridge door and your dog will not only open the fridge, but can be taught to fetch you a soda out of it!

 Image source: @TheUSArmy via Flickr
Image source: @The U.S. Army via Flickr

#5 – Reliable Come

If your dog doesn’t already “come” reliably, you need to work on this now. As you age, you can’t be running after your dog or going to get him in the dark when he won’t come in from the yard; it’s not safe.

Image source: @FredRockwood via Flickr
Image source: @Fred Rockwood via Flickr

#6 – A Long Stay

This is important for older owners as response time slows down. It takes us longer to get in and out of the door, and we don’t want our dog rushing by and tripping us or getting away. Work on lengthening their sit or down stay to make it easier on you as you age. (This is also great for greetings so they don’t knock you over!)

Image source: @SteveStarer via Flickr
Image source: @Steve Starer via Flickr

#7 – Push a Button

This can be helpful for several things, like turning on lights with push button clickers, so you don’t have to enter a dark room and risk tripping on something. Or, to push your medical alert button if you can’t for some reason. Don’t underestimate what you can teach your dog to do, he just might save your life.

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