Old dogs new tricks
There is never an age when you cannot teach a dog something new. They are perhaps one of the most amazing creatures; and even when they are well into their senior years they are more than willing to learn. I have already disgusted that we are in a very transitioning stage with our dogs now. Jessie is loosing her hearing quickly and because of this I have had to make some changes. Last night she displayed to me that she's got it down.
I have been removing Jessie from the kitchen when she is done eating. This has been for her own protection but it has been very upsetting to her; so I change it again. I decided that she could be on the corner bed if she stays there. She isn't so offended by the bed appointment as she can still see (barely) what is going on. But she went further last night; while waiting for her to finish her 3 second chow down I watched to see where she would go after she was done. To my surprise she went no where; she stood at her bowl, gave a quick glance over her shoulder and Luke but didn't move an inch.
I watched longer; she quickly through a look over to Tilley and then back to me. At this point I realized that she had already got the idea "the association." Move towards someone else's bowl and you are removed. Smart little dickens she is. So I let her remain for a few moments longer just watching her. Sure enough she was not moving towards anyone's bowl. And you must know Jessie to get that this is huge; Jessie will literally stand between one of the poodles legs waiting to snatch their food, she is not stupid but she is fearless. And unfortunately just about completely deaf so that she no longer hears warning growls.
She made me smile when I realized that even at this age; 13.5 years old she has learned this new adjustment very quickly. I will still remove her and would like to teach her to automatically go to her bed; which will be much more difficult. She can stand and not move hoping that I will not remove her, that she is okay with but to remove herself would be a whole "freak'n with her head thing." Jack Russell's don't move away from the food, it is just not in them to do so. Oh they can learn to but it is a challenge.
So it again comes down to association; it is all about association. Create an association and you've got it.