Whether a first time pet owner or you're a seasoned pet owner we could all use some helpful tips for training our pets. Below is advice for training your pet and making every moment with our furrry compainons enjoyable.
1. Like golf, singing or playing the guitar - training is a skill
Subtle adjustments in how you move, and the timing of the movements and rewards can make a big difference in whether you can successfully communicate your intentions to your pet. Enlist an expert in the field if you are not getting the results you are looking for.
2. Dogs, cats and other pets need exercise every day.
For dogs, walks provide not only exercise, but they are crucial for continued socialisation to people, new environments, and other pets. Pets, like us, have 5 senses that need to be explored on a daily basis.
3. Actions speak louder than words
Focus on the messages your body is giving, pay attention to your pets reaction, and reduce the number of words you use when communicating to make training more simple.
4. Throw your dog’s food bowl away.
Animals spend hours searching for food. They are hardwired to enjoy this behaviour and studies show that given a choice, all species studied prefer to work for their food once they know how to, rather than getting it for free.
The best way to use food as entertainment and enrichment for the pet is to use it in training and games when you’re home as this provides both food and structured interactions with you. You can also place food in toys and puzzles made specifically for the purpose of entertaining your pet.
5. Positive reinforcement is not just about giving treats for good behavior.
It’s about performing exercises in a manner and speed that make it fun. It’s about using everything your pet likes or wants, to your benefit—toys, patting, attention, balls etc.
6. The goal of training is to make behaving well fun for the pet.
Animals are more likely to behave well when good behavior is fun to do.
7. Behaviour rewarded is behaviour repeated.
In order to change behaviour, it’s important to reinforce desired behaviours, but we also have to remove reinforcers or motivators for unwanted behaviours.
8. A walk is not a time for your dog to do their own thing.
It’s a time for you to connect with your dog and have fun. Practice exercises during your walk where your dog focuses on you as if you’re playing games. The goal is that the walk becomes like an enjoyable conversation.
9. Every communication you have with your pet is a training session
Be aware of what you may be doing to reward inappropriate behaviors throughout the day especially when you are not having planned training sessions.