how old is too old

Posted by djhawkins4320
Aug 15, 2013
We have a 8 year old female retriever mix, along with 3 other dogs. Our 8 year old has had problems with her knee ever since we got her. We seem to think that is getting worse now, and wondering if she is in more pain now. She seems to be very easily aggrevated, and irritated with other dogs and people. She has always been very protective of me, and my husband likes that, being he works alot, and I am home by myself. I just want to know if it is too late to try and train her to not be so protective, and give her anything for her pain. Is joint supplements too late, since she has had this problem for years already
Posted by Preethi KOP
Aug 17, 2013
Hi there,

Thank you for writing in to us.

To start with I would recommend taking your dog in to see a vet. You can kill two birds with one stone with this visit- 1. You can ask your vet for advice on your dog's knee, assess it's severity and discuss possible medications/pain relief etc. and 2. Ask your vet if there are diets/supplements out there that will help her get better or prevent it from getting worse. There are diets that certainly help with joint disease (eg. Hills j/d), but it's efficacy would depend on what specific disease process your dog suffers from. Your veterinarian will help explain this to you once they diagnose what the problem is.

As for your dog being overly protective, it is never too late to attempt training. It will just take lots of patience and perseverance. Have a look at the ebook on alpha training as well as the one on aggression, they will have useful tips and methods for you to try. Getting her to understand the word 'NO' and training her to be obedient to the words 'sit and stay' should be a good way to start. Be calm and assertive at all times and show her that you are her 'pack leader'.

I hope you are successful in treating her medical problem and that training goes well.

Kind regards,