you can't teach an old dog new tricks


Also found in: Acronyms.

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

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

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

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

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 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

teach an old dog new tricks, one can't/it's hard to

The elderly cannot or will not change their ways. This saying dates from the sixteenth century, at first appearing with a literal meaning in a book of Husbandry (1523) and then in John Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection. It is still current.
See also: dog, hard, new, old, one, teach

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 ?
* It is said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but Cliff Lede winemaker Michelle Edwards has taught her bloodhound to sniff out TCA.
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.
YOU can't teach an old dog new tricks, and dogs don't come much mangier than chauvinistic, self-absorbed television newsman, Ron Burgundy.
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but at Monmore on Thursday night Liscahane Razl proved that theory all at sea.
THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks and that's a blessing for anyone wanting a bet on tonight's Championship showdown at Bloomfield Road, writes Steve Davies.
Of course you need a balanced diet but you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks after all.
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LINDA RICHARDS 0191 201 6423 linda.richards@ncjmedia.co.uk THEY say you can't teach an old dog new tricks - but tell this rescued greyhound.
YOU can't teach an old dog new tricks and the belated sequel to the high octane 2001 family comedy lacks so much of the sense of fun that made the original film a blast.
There's a saying that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks'.
Perhaps that person personified the saying: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." That might well apply to dogs, but everyone of whatever age should learn from experience.
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but Margaret Elliott would disagree.
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks and as long as Donny Osmond realises that all he has to do is turn up and sing Puppy Love, he'll never have to learn any.
YOU can't teach an old dog new tricks, and the Government is the perfect example of this.
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