Dos and Don'ts for a Well-Behaved Pet
GUELPH, ON: Adopting an animal is always a source of immense joy for the whole family. However, when the time comes to train this new family member we are often faced with several dilemmas: do I let him sleep with us? Is it so bad to give my pet table food? Is it normal for my dog to bark when someone rings the doorbell?
Pet owners often have a tendency to let a new cat or dog do whatever it wants just so that he or she gets used to its new environment. We may even tell ourselves: he is just so small or fragile. Setting your rules for your pet from the outset will be the basis of his education. Ask yourself the following questions:
•What will be your pet's sleeping habits? Where will your pet sleep?
•How often do you feed him? In what room in the house?
•When your pet is alone in the house, do you give him free access in the house? Or do you put him in a closed room?
•Will your pet have access to all rooms in the house? Or only certain ones?
This list is certainly not exhaustive, and it is up to you to determine the extent (limit) of your pet's daily routine and yours as well.
Know how to reward good behaviour
It is as important to reward good behaviour as it is to recognize bad behaviour. But be careful not to punish perceived undesirable behaviour; all physical punishment and screaming at your pet is highly discouraged. In addition to being ineffective, these methods could lead to changes in behaviour, and even aggression in some pets.
When good behaviour is observed in your pet, don't hesitate to give him a treat and to pet him. Taking time to play with your pet will also be a true gift for him.
Attention-seeking is also a behaviour that many owners tend to accept, but it should be avoided.
For example, when your pet comes to you begging for a treat, don't touch him, don't look at him and don't speak to him. In the long run, he'll understand that he can't get what he wants from you by giving you a sad look and he will stop this behaviour. It's hard to stick to this training but it's well worth it in the end, so hang in there.
Go out and stretch
Exercise is always recommended to promote the right balance between your pet's mind and body so that your pet will become a well-balanced dog or cat....and therefore well-mannered!
Find a walking schedule that works for you and your pet, and try to maintain the routine that you've established as much as possible. Our pets don't really like the unexpected!
In summary, the training for your pet depends first and foremost on good discipline on your part. Be prepared, motivated and most importantly, stick to the rules you have set.
You can also enlist the help of a dog or cat trainer in all stages of this process. Talk to your veterinary health care team for more information on training your new pet.