Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks at Brazil’s Tennis Exhibition [Video]

Diana Faria
by Diana Faria
Chasing balls isn’t all fun and games – it’s training, too! To prove that older shelter dogs can still learn new tricks, four rescue dogs were trained to retrieve tennis balls during a tennis exhibition match at the Brazil Open.

Many factors come into play when it comes to dog adoption rates in rescue shelters, breed and age being two major players. Case in point, a younger dog (especially a puppy) is more likely to get adopted than an older dog usually because those who are adopting the canine believe that s/he is harder to train to do tricks, potty train, etc.

Those at the Brazil Open aim to change that. Old dog, new dog… it doesn’t really matter. Every dog loves to chase after balls, tennis balls included!

Costela, Frida, Mel, and Isabelle were rescued from Sao Paolo’s slums and were trained as “ball dogs” for an exhibition tennis match this week at the Brazil Open. These four rescue dogs were trained to retrieve stray tennis balls and return them to either the players or the dog coaches – and they gleefully did so.

Costela is Portuguese for “rib”, which is the only thing this poor pooch had when rescuers found him. He was so malnourished and covered in ticks that rescuers called him Costela. Now, Costela has a new lease on life by being a ball dog, where he gets to have fun and get cheered on while doing it!

The dogs wore orange bandanas and chased after stray balls for a good half an hour and dutifully returned them (which is actually the hardest part!), while Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena and Portugal’s Gastao Elias, played. Hopefully this reminds those who are looking to adopt to keep their eyes peeled for older dogs because they can, indeed, be taught new tricks!

Watch all the adorable action in the video below!

[Source: Time]

Diana Faria
Diana Faria

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