2015-07-21 – They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The assumption behind this saying is that you had no trouble at all teaching tricks to the dog when it was young—that the dog’s current lack of educability is a result of its age.
That hasn’t been my experience. I’ve never been able to teach any really good tricks to any dog I’ve ever had. Not when they were young and not when they were old. The best I’ve been able to do is to get them to sit or to pee and poop outside or to occasionally catch a Frisbee or a ball.
No reading, writing, nor arithmetic. No talking. No riding a bike. No gainful employment. Nothing. And age has nothing to do with it.
Human children are different. They learn different things at different ages. When they are little they learn to use the toilet and talk. Then they learn to read and ride a bike. If they live outside the United States, they next learn math and geography and maybe English as a second language. Then they learn to drive a car.
You can’t teach a dog to drive a car. Most of my dogs haven’t even lived long enough to get their learners permit.
Sometime around the age children learn to drive a car, they learn about government and politics. Sometimes they become idealistic. Then in a few years they learn cynicism. If they are lucky, they develop a sense of humor.
Dogs never learn cycnicism. And they never develop a sense of humor. No matter how old they are.