Question: We have a 7 yr old aussie who has extreme anxiety. Her biggest issue is barking at strangers that come to our house and there is no off switch. We are getting an 8 week old terrier puppy. Is it possible to start working with my older aussie on some of things you teach, such as place. To help her get into a calmer state in a "safe zone" at the same time at our new terrier. I'm determined to not make the same mistakes twice. Thank you.
Answer: I never think it's too late to train a dog or condition behaviors in dogs. I do think that the age needs to be taken into consideration and there needs to be an understanding that it likely takes as much, or more time to train out a bad habit than to train a good one initially. All that being said, your dogs only 7 years old and you've go nothing but time...what do you have to lose?
"Place" training in the way we use it is one of the most useful and easy things to teach a dog. I would look at what we do with pups and also what we've done with some older dogs at workshops. I've seen dogs that are described as "high energy" and "anxious" settle right in. It's not a difficult thing for them to understand if we are able to explain it in a fair way that makes sense to them. Best of luck and keep me posted. Thanks, Jeremy