13 y.o. Is getting more stubborn and disobedient

by Justine
(Sydney)

I have a 13 year old mini schnauzer. He has cataracts and is slight deaf. When he was a puppy until older, around 10, he was very disciplined and obedient. However I find in the past couple of years he has become very stubborn, starts to growl and even snaps when I command an order. Can you please recommend what I should do as he is quite disobedient now with commands and not listening. Thanks in advance.

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Aug 25, 2017
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Old age grumpiness
by: Linda and Nax

Dear Justine, apart from the snapping and growling you have described Max to a tee.
Max is now 12 and a half years old and until about a year ago, he was very eager to please and well trained.
Roll on old age. He is now partially deaf with poor eyesight and is often in a world of his own. We have an expression for this in Yorkshire, we call it "yonderly" as he seems to be away somewhere yonder, often just standing staring into space.
He sleeps a lot more and very deeply and ignores most of our commands, except where food is involved. He has got very stubborn, often stoping dead on walks when he doesn't want to go any further.
I am afraid that this is typical Schnauzer behaviour in old age. I think you have to be more patient, try and spend some time stroking and petting him to keep that bond and basically don't ask to much of him. Let him enjoy what time he has left peacefully. Shorter walks, they like to sniff more than hike.
In short, they have become grumpy old men, but do try and keep him stimulated by still playing with his toys.
Try to reinforce training a little bit with food, take treats on your walks, etc. Max has become more food obsessed as well.
Good luck!

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