I own a 7 year old Presa Canario with strong prey/play and food drive, and I've just recently gotten into the Ellis marker method of training. Before I used mainly compulsion or escape/avoidance (as I was taught the more "brute-force" version of training dogs before). As this was very ineffective on my dog, I've been training him less and less over the years, so he became hard to handle.
Before this, he was just a pet dog, and I let him get away with lots of less-than-desirable behaviour, he would bark endlessly at noises outside the house, he would run at people and generally be hard to control.
In less than 2 weeks of training, I have a completely different dog. Even at 7 years old, he took to the training like a... well, like a dog to food :P
Without any specific training, JUST from the activity within engagement and conditioning, he's much calmer and relaxed, he went from reactive to active almost immediately.
To sum up: Even at 7 years, it's not too late. But if you, like me, see a negative response in the dog to your previous "markers", change these. Don't bring negative accosiation with you in future training.
Written on August 27, 2015
I have an almost 3 year old English Springer Spaniel. I do obedience training with her and I have just purchased the 5 DVDs recommened. It has been a few weeks now and I already see a big differance in her focus and motivation. I want to thank you for the direction that we needed. This is a 5 star plus. Thanks:)