You can teach an old dog new tricks

THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.But Tay the nine-year-old Sproughton Labrador is sure giving his younger classmates a run for their money.

THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

But Tay the nine-year-old Sproughton Labrador is sure giving his younger classmates a run for their money.

The prize pooch has beaten scores of dogs to the finals of the James Wellbeloved and Association of Pet Dog Trainers (ADPT) 'Tails of Achievement' awards.

On September 1 he will compete at Newbury Racecourse against 15 of the country's best dog training school graduates for the 2007 crown.

But until February this year, the canine companion had not set a paw in a training centre.

The pet was so devastated by the loss of his pal Ben that he appeared to lose the will to live, spending most of his time asleep.

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His owner Barbara Rush, of Burstall Lane, Sproughton, was desperate to give him a new lease of life and turned to the dog training class she had taken Ben to for help.

Tay quickly became the mature head of the group and soon won his bronze Kennel Club good citizen dog award. He also learnt how to perform heelwork to music with his owner.

And now all the effort appears to have paid off after he reached the finals in the national contest.

Ms Rush said: “For me, Tay proves that old dogs can learn new skills and refresh old ones.

“Their brains and bodies need to be kept active or they will vegetate along with their owners.”

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