TESH: Older Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

Despite the old adage – you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Animal behavior specialist Dr. Nicholas Dodman says that older dogs can learn anything a puppy can. You just may have to stop some old, bad habits first. Also, don’t expect an older dog to master tricky moves that require quick reflexes. As the body ages, reaction times slow down. That’s true for pets and humans. But according to research from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria, older dogs outperformed younger dogs on reasoning tests, and tests of long-term memory. For the study, they trained Border Collies to touch a touch-screen with their noses to get a reward. The older dogs picked it up more quickly than the younger dogs……And when they were tested again 6 months later, the older dogs displayed better memory.* That’s because an older dog’s more-fully-developed brain helps them focus for longer periods of time, which speeds up learning, and improves long-term memory. Bottom line: Older dogs are smarter and far more adaptable than we’ve been led to believe, and very capable of learning new tricks! But it’s no new trick for you to share this delightful intel with your listeners, so be sure to do so and they’ll be back for more from The John Tesh Radio Show!

Needing a mid-week break? Make it a walk in the park! Whether it is along Kittanning Riverfront Park or on the Armstrong Trail, a new study from Stanford University says it reduces people’s tendency to dwell on negative events. How do they know? They had people walk in a grassy, tree-filled park and then conducted brain scans – and saw that the scans showed less activity in the brain areas associated with overthinking and self-criticism. So the next time you can’t shake the mistake you made at work – or a down mood – go find a park and you’ll feel a lot better.