Cats and dogs make great companions and quickly become a part of the family. The process may feel very arduous, particularly in chaotic households where a sickly cat, alpha dog or a needy pet is placed. Pets are like humans — they all take in information different ways.
Some cats seem to understand the intent and the words their human family speak fairly quickly. Other dogs and cats never seem to catch onto language quite as well. Some may have trouble hearing, seeing, or processing information. But, enough about that.
It is important to remember how behaviorally oriented pets are. For instance, researcher Pavlov rang a bell every time he fed his dog. From then on, whenever Pavlov heard a bell, he would salivate and drool everywhere.
This is an opportunity for every pet owner to re-train themselves. For instance, cats generally do not like water if it is sprayed on them. To train them to stay off of counters, spray them with water if they attempt to get up where they do not belong. They will make a negative association that getting on a counter means they will be sprayed with a cold shot of water, so they stop doing it.
Dogs are similar in that they respond in a behavioral manner. Though, it is important to use positive reinforcement. Give them a high degree of praise when they do their business outside. If they make a mistake inside, the best bet is to immediately take them outside and give the short command “Potty outside”. Do not reprimand them otherwise, because they will not remember why their owner is yelling at them. In fact, raising a voice is like barking, and may train them that it is OK to bark a lot and very loudly. Plus, it causes stress, which can make a dog pee inside out of nervousness. Putting their nose in their mess is meaningless to dogs, as is yelling at them or hitting them. Use positive reinforcement for best results.
Mind Pet Training Phrasing
Anyone who has ever had a dog knows they have no sense of time unless it is 6 am and they want to pee outside and eat. Otherwise, to them if they steal their owner’s shoe right out from under her, and she gets it back and waits until she puts the shoe back to talk to the dog, it is too late. The dog will have no idea why their mom is suddenly barking at them, so they will continue to steal and chew on shoes because they technically have not been told otherwise.
Also, the syntax for giving commands is short command then the dog’s name. Never the other way around because they will get distracted when they hear their name. “Sit, Fido” is the best way to give a command. The ineffective way is “Fido, sit.” Speaking of sitting, teaching dogs the basic commands takes a few minutes per day. Simply stand over them, and when first giving the command, say “Sit, Fido”, while gently pushing their rump down. Once they sit, the owner needs to give praise to them, and make a big deal of it. Treats are also good, but it could lead to Fido sitting and then looking at their owner for a treat.
The basics of pet training are not all that hard. It is tough for new pet owners to be consistent and energetic enough to keep up with the constant training that pets require, especially at the beginning.