Who Says You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

Do you know anyone who has ever complained “Well, I’m too old to change now, so they’ll simply have to accept me as I am!”

Doesn’t that remind you of the saying that states, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Oh, you can’t? To that, I say “Hogwash!” One should never stop learning and well . . .  actually dogs can learn new tricks!

Case in point: Our twelve year old Cocker Spaniel (84 in dog years) has more miles on him than most people. He has traveled throughout New121208 01732 states and has lived with us in 5 of them. He’s adapted to different climates with different yards, play areas, gravel and grass. He has chased birds on the beaches of Maine and Florida as well as walked around Devil’s Tower, Wyoming and the deserts and Grand Canyon of Arizona.

Since he’s previously only lived in a motorhome or one story homes, we were concerned about our new home’s stairs. How would he handle it? Our newest home has two stories and we were unsure how he’d manage climbing up and down eleven steps at his age.

Turned out to be no problem at all! All that exercise has transformed him into a lean, mean,  sweet licking machine! He acts younger today than he did five years ago. His mind and his body remain active.

In fact, we can learn an important lesson from an old dog. Change is good for the mind, body and soul!  The brain needs stimulation, new habits rejuvenate us and when a bad habit is conquered, our soul praises our Lord. So why do we settle for mediocrity? If we have the desire, anything is possible!  Our Cocker simply wanted to go outside in his yard and chase squirrels and birds more than he wanted to hang around the house on his soft cushy bed!

Why do you want to to hang around becoming a couch-potato? Discover an adventure, create a goal! When it comes to health, ask yourself how much do you want it? Going through the motions isn’t much fun when it’s boring, so pack some stimulating goals in your life! Create smaller, reachable goals and reward yourself with a non-food item after each one is reached.

It takes three weeks to create a habit. If you had started at the beginning of the year, that aspiration has already been reached. Isn’t that wonderful?

“But Ellie, I messed up and I stopped doing what I wanted to do. I got discouraged and quit.”

You’re not alone, even the Apostle Paul had frustrations with that, so you are in good company.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)

Even Paul wasn’t perfect and he knew it. Do you expect perfection when it’s unattainable? Let me ask you. If you were on your way to Disney World for a family vacation but took a wrong turn, would you turn around and say to your family, “Sorry kids, I’ve made a mistake. Looks like we’ll have to head back home”?

Of course you wouldn’t! You’d find the right highway and head toward your destination. Give yourself this same motivational self-talk when you stumble toward a goal:  “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:14)

We’re not perfect and humans will make mistakes every day.  Successful people overcome challenges! How much do you want success?


23 thoughts on “Who Says You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

  1. Great analogy about taking a wrong turn and going back. Gonna take that to heart. Just finished reading, “Food Triggers” and am going to work on my plan over the next two days. Thanks for the prayers and sound advice.


    • I’m so happy to hear from you! Also to see that you are never giving up on your health quest! I know you are stronger than that and you’re realizing that for yourself now. So glad you liked “Food Triggers” too, it’s good to read how someone else conquered this challenge and gives a great deal of practical application too. Stay focused my friend, blessings,


  2. Love the pic of your dog. We had a Cocker many years ago, “Cookie”, she has a gem. I miss her terribly. Heart lesson < greater than sign and the number 3 as in ❤ no spaces 🙂


  3. Yes it is True Ellie ,Worldly Perfection is unattainable but God’s perfection in Love is not and that’s regardless of what size we are. I have shared these Scriptures below with you before Ellie but would also like to share that in Romans 7 Paul was talking about his Carnal flesh being in control and that made him feel wretched but he than went on to tell us how to overcome the flesh in (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6- Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) and this is before we die not after.

    We are to aim to be perfected in Love now and this has nothing to do with the ups and downs of weight gain and loss but comes when we walk in The Spirit not the flesh. Our Temples are to reflect God’s Holiness and this is within not about our otter shell, although as you shared for good health we need to look after our bodies too.

    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore Perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect.

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto Perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    2 Corinthians 7: 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, Perfecting Holiness in the fear of God.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man/woman of God may be Perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    1John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made Perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but Perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made Perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be Perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne.


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