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Top Dog and Cat Training Tips
July 16, 2020
We’d all like a well-behaved pet, right? Well, like many great things in life, it takes hard work to get there! Whether you have a young furry student or are about to teach an old dog new tricks, keeping a few of our Bivvy training tips in mind will help your work move more smoothly.
Preparation is Key
The first step, no matter the age, is preparation. What behaviors are you trying to instill? If it’s learning a fun trick, that’s one thing. But, if you have specific house rules you want your pet to follow, it’s important everyone in your household aligns to instill those behaviors. We’re looking at you, pushover pet parents! We all want a happy pet and a happy house, so being clear on expectations early will help your new family member settle in.
Having household rules and shared cues that everyone sticks to will help your pet pick up more quickly on the positive behaviors you want them to have. For example, if everyone knows the pet isn’t allowed on the furniture, they can all use the same stop hand signal and when the pet stops say the same verbal cue, “Good boy! Good girl!”. Your pet, as smart as they may be, needs a significant amount of repetition to remember over time what they should be doing. Repeating commands every few minutes in training sessions will give short-term results, but you need to continue this daily until your pet automatically responds on the first command. Setting an alarm in your phone to remember to complete your training session for the day may help too!
While your positive reinforcements of pats and scratches are highly appreciated, your pet will really respond to commands if they know there’s a treat in it for them at the end. Stock up on small treats for continual rewards. Keep in mind you may give your pet ten treats in one training session, so try to find small, healthier options. Bite-sized pieces of cooked chicken goes a long way too!
Finally, we suggest reading up online to learn the best tips and tricks from the pet whisperer of your choice. Pets don’t understand English when they’re born, believe it or not, and they may need physical cues to help a command click. Knowing the best way to train your specific type of pet will go a long way!
Be the Pet Parent You Wish You Had
Wait... that saying still works here, right? No matter the phrase, the meaning remains, being a positive pet parent will do wonders for your furry friend! Positive reinforcements are a key component to success when training your pet.
While you’re at it, prepare your deep breathing exercises, because training a pet requires patience! As we shared above, repetition is key, and your pet is going to take a lot of times of trying before they get it right. Your repetitive, positive reinforcement while keeping your cool will help your pet’s performance nerves. They know they’re on the spot, and easing any tension is going to be a big win for you and your pet.
This isn’t to say you can’t be stern when you need to be but shaming your pet or being aggressive will not get you the progress you seek. Take the high road, even if your favorite shoe met its match!
Speaking of eating something they shouldn’t, be sure to insure your cat or dog with our affordable Bivvy pet health insurance. You never know what your pet will get in to, and it’s smart to have your bases covered in case of an accident or illness. Plus, you can add Bivvy Wellness Care for added preventative and routine support!
If you need training reinforcements, don’t be shy asking for help. Do an online search for pet training classes in your area. If you send your pet to a doggy daycare, ask if one of the employees offers special training sessions before or after the daycare’s daily hours. If paying for training sessions isn’t for you, check with your pet parent friends to see if you have a secret pet whisperer within your midst. They may be open to training your pet for a day or showing you new skills to try at home.
Training is something every pet parent has to go through. Remember, you’re not alone and there are resources, paid and free, that are out there to help you. You’ve got this!