teach an old dog new tricks

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teach an old dog new tricks

To teach some new skill or behavior to someone, especially an older person, who is already firmly set in their ways. Usually used in negative constructions. A: "I really think we should adapt our business practices if we want to keep up with the times." B: "Kid, there's only one way I know how to do things. You can't teach an old dog new tricks." It's great that you want to teach your grandpa how to use a computer, but just be aware that it can be hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

proverb You cannot teach some new skill or behavior to someone who is set in their ways. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

teach an old dog new tricks

Change longstanding habits or ways, especially in an old person. For example, His grandmother avoids using the microwave oven-you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This expression, alluding to the difficulty of changing one's ways, was first recorded in 1523 in a book of husbandry, where it was used literally. By 1546 a version of it appeared in John Heywood's proverb collection.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

(you can’t) teach an old dog new ˈtricks

(saying) (you can’t) make old people change their ideas or ways of working, etc: My grandmother doesn’t want a computer. She says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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