'Biggie' Gibbons makes his debut! - AmericaNowNews.com

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Can an old dog learn new tricks?

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If you watch America Now, you know Pet Pro Luciano Aguilar learned to train dogs in the military and served on the Air Force One K-9 detail for five years. Today, he works with civilian pooches and is one of the country's leading dog trainers.

America Now host, Leeza Gibbons, met with Luciano in an attempt to learn how to deal with her newly adopted pooch, "Biggie," and to see if the four-year-old dog can still learn new tricks.

"You can definitely teach an old dog new tricks," says Luciano. "As a matter of fact, it's a little bit easier to teach an older dog new tricks, because their brain has developed, as opposed to a puppy."

The first commands that you teach your dog should always be geared for keeping them safe. So before getting into training or tricks, check to see where he's at with simple obedience.
 
"We're going to start with the 'come' command first," says Luciano. "What you want to do when you're doing the 'come' command is you want to bend down, come down to your dog's level. This will make you more inviting. Once you come down to his level, be ready with a treat. And the leash is going to help you guide him towards you."
 
Luciano says he can teach Biggie to spin.

"The first thing that you want to do when you're going to start teaching your dog a new trick, is you want to, what we call, charge the hand. Which means let the dog know that there's treats in here," Luciano explains, indicating his treat-filled hand.

"Whenever he sees my hand, he's going to start following it," says Luciano. "So when we're teaching the 'spin' command, I want to come down close to his level, because he's so small, and then what I want to do is I want to bring the treat behind his ear and have him follow me. Once he gets all the way around, I'm going to reward him like this. Spin, spin, and pay. Good boy!" 

Luciano demonstrates by rewarding Biggie with a treat.

"Now it's not magic," says Luciano. "He's really following the treat. But with repetition, he's going to get it and he's going to understand and he's going to have an imprint of that behavior to that command."

The reminder here is to do your homework. Do not give up, keep a neutral tone, and you always want to end on a positive note. Your dog should leave the training scenario happy to come back and do it all over again.  

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