It’s been six months since Rex came to live with us, and apart from a few seconds of madness he hasn’t put a fang wrong! He’s really become part of the family now, and we loves him. It’s like he’s found his place, and he’s happy and relaxed in it. He’s such a good dog, and a pleasure to have around.
So, can you teach an old dog new tricks? Well before I answer with an emphatic yes I have to tell you that Rex is not an old dog. He might be 11, but he looks and acts much younger. I think he thinks he’s about 5!
Right, old dog new tricks, we’ve worked hard, and Rex has learned lots of new stuff, he’s still learning, and still improving. Rex is very bright and catches on quick, if he knows what you want he’ll do it.
Like many French dogs, especially big ones, they have the run of the garden, but never leave home unless it’s to the vets. For us though part of the pleasure of a dog is going for walks with it. When Rex came he didn’t have a lead. I started taking him for a walk every morning always at the same time, and always the same circuit. I’d do some training with him then after the walk I’d brush him. Brushing him was a good way for us to bond, and a good way for me to impose my will on him in a kind way.
Rex could already do sit, lie down, and give a paw, but that was about it. Now he walks well on the lead, is reliable off the lead, comes when called, and does a great sit and stay routine. All these are very important as you never know what you might meet, cattle, horses, runners, cyclists, other dogs.
Rex has come a long long way since those early days. He still has a way to go, but…. when we lost Big Jess, the best dog that ever walked the face of the earth, I kept her lead and chain as a sort of keepsake. I decided that I would use it with Rex, but only when he was good enough. I’ve been using it with him for well over a month now. That’s how good he is.
There’s more photos and a vid of Rex in action here.