Good Dog (and Cat)! Behavioral Training for Pets
The holidays are upon us, and if you’re like us, you are excited about seeing family, friends, and celebrating the season with delicious foods and parties. But, you also might be a bit apprehensive about all the activity, travel, and guests – and how the excitement might affect your pets.
Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and sometimes changes in routine and new people that the holidays can bring can cause behavioral issues to arise. If you’re worried about barking, jumping up, spraying, or chewing, you may benefit from learning about behavioral training for pets and how it might make your life (and your pet’s life) easier and less stressful – especially during the busy holiday season.
Behavioral Training 101
First, let’s be clear on what exactly behavioral training is. Behavioral training is a type of training that teaches pets to behave well around other pets and people. This might also include some basic obedience commands, but overall the goal is to teach dogs to be good canine citizens, and cats to be good feline citizens. Behavioral problems can also be addressed using this type of training.
Some of the reasons your pet may benefit from behavior training include the following:
- Excessive barking
- Separation anxiety
- Aggression/ biting
- Spraying by cats
Behavioral Training for Pets
To further assist you in knowing if your pet could benefit from behavior training, consider the following questions put together from the team at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center:
- Does your pet jump up on you when you return home?
- Does your cat leave you “presents” when you’re away?
- Does your cat spray or territory mark?
- Do your neighbors complain that your dog barks excessively when you are away from home?
- Do you return home to find that your dog has chewed on your couch, carpet, or walls?
- Does your dog pee and poop in the house?
- Does your dog paw at you for attention?
As you’ve probably guessed, a yes answer to any and all of these questions means your pet could benefit from behavioral training.
Why Do They Do That?
Many behavior problems stem from miscommunication between pets and their people. Sometimes we also inadvertently reward the very behaviors that we find unacceptable. Pets usually have cues and triggers that they’ve learned over time, which elicit the behavior. They aren’t trying to annoy you – really!
An example would be if your dog jumps up on you when you return home, and you bend down to pet him or talk to him in a welcoming manner – this enforces the jumping behavior because you’re telling your dog you like what he’s doing. That’s why it’s often important to turn to the experts, an animal behaviorist, for insight and help.
How to Help Your Pet
If you’re interested in helping your pet to learn how to behave well, please contact us for more information about our behavior consults, right here in Shillington. Our board certified behaviorist can help. By working together, we can help you understand your pet’s behavior and how to help correct it in a positive manner. Call us today to schedule your consultation.