you can't teach an old dog new tricks


Also found in: Acronyms.

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

You can't teach someone who is set in their ways to change their behavior. Good luck getting grandpa to start going to yoga with you. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

Prov. Someone who is used to doing things a certain way cannot change. (Usually not polite to say about the person you are talking to; you can say it about yourself or about a third person.) I've been away from school for fifteen years; I can't go back to college now. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Kevin's doctor told him not to eat starchy food anymore, but Kevin still has potatoes with every meal. I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: cannot, dog, new, old, teach, trick

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

If you say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you mean that it is often difficult to get people to try new ways of doing things, especially if they have been doing something in a particular way for a long time. The low levels of participation among older people are affected by the widespread belief that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Note: This expression is often varied. For example, if you say you can teach an old dog new tricks or an old dog can learn new tricks, you mean that it is possible to get people to try new ways of doing something. Our work shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks. An old dog can learn new tricks if he has both the will and the opportunity.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

you cannot make people change their ways. proverb
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

You can't teach an old dog new tricks

Getting people to change their habits or acquire new skills is impossible. Puppies are teachable, but older dogs are less apt to be able to be trained, or so popular wisdom had it. By the same token, an octogenarian who has read the morning newspaper for decades is unlikely to be willing, much less eager, to switch to the online edition.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
You can't teach an old dog new tricks and if he fights me the way he fought Thompson, he will get knocked out in three rounds.
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I'm really enjoying the rugby in a new place and I haven't looked back,' he said.
Deciding that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, Linda - played brilliantly by Liza Tarbuck - sets her sights on a young man she can educate in the ways of love.
Just goes to show you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
From the above-mentioned early hits to great self-penned songs from the new CD like You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks, via songs from his 1980s Springsteen-produced era like This Little Girl is Mine, and inspired covers of Ray Charles, Presley and Chuck Berry standards, the man is nothing less than a human jukebox.
IT isn't true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Every dog has his day, if you lie down with dogs you will get up with fleas, let sleeping dogs lie, a live dog is better than a dead lion, why keep a dog and bark yourself, a barking dog never bites, love me - love my dog, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, dog does not eat dog (and I thought it was the reverse).
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but Aberdeen's Darren Young could show Alessandro Romano a thing or two about responsibility.
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but Aberdeen's Darren Young could certainly show Alessandro Romano a thing or two about responsibility.
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but at 32, one time Premier League striker Marcus Tudgay insists he's looking forward to improving his game by watching Coventry City's precocious forward line.
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but veteran Megalala broke the habit of a lifetime when coming from behind to win at Lingfield last time, writes Graham Dench.
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks - but don't tell Danny, the pooch about to star in a Birmingham OPERA.
YOU can't teach an old dog new tricks, and dogs don't come much mangier than chauvinistic, self-absorbed television newsman, Ron Burgundy.
This Sunday against the Cardinals he proved that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
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