The longer the time the longer the time!
Like us, the longer dogs have been practicing a behavior the deeper the habit becomes ingrained. The deeper it’s ingrained the longer it often takes to overcome.
This isn’t about supporting the old saw about “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but is just a reminder of how much easier it is to reroute a behavior while it’s still relatively new. (Hint: Fix it as soon as it appears!!!) Of course we can retrain even old dogs that have been practicing negative behaviors for years (we do it all the time), but if you get to a problem in its infancy, it’ll be easier (for you and your dog!) and typically much more quickly resolved.
So this tip is here to remind you that if you go after an issue early, it’ll be easier and quicker for all involved, and if you don’t manage to get the issue early remember to give you and your dog some extra slack and be extra-patient as you work through long-practiced problems.
Deep habits need some deep work.