you can't teach an old dog new tricks

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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.
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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.
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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
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