1. Patience, Patience, Patience
It’s long been proven that pets are sensitive and can pick up on our emotions quite quickly.
According to ack.org, losing your temper while training your pet is emotionally damaging to them, especially when they are still trying to understand what you want from them. Stay positive, stay patient, celebrate their progress, and be firm and consistent if they do not grasp what you are trying to train them.
2. Be generous with affection and praise
Pets love us and they love being loved by us. No matter how your cat may act indifferent towards your affection, or how Fido finds their kibbles more interesting than you on most days, they secretly love our attention.
Don’t be stingy with the overly zealous praises, hugs, rubs, and petting when pets do something you’re training them to do correctly, or progressively. This form of physical positive reinforcements establishes a deeper bond and a clear connection for them to grasp what you are training them to do.
3. Love comes second to treats
While it is nice to think that our presence and willingness to make us pet parents happy is enough motivation for furbabies to be trained, in reality treats are more effective and the primary reinforcers when trying to establish new behavior during training. Don’t be offended if you shower you pet with praise to no effect when it comes to learning new tricks. They respond to treats, so grab their favorite pet food made with all-natural ingredients, and have them and your love at the ready throughout their achievements. Double training as a time to nourish furbabies with healthy rewards and treats like Cloud Star Treats which are minimally processed and made with wholesome ingredients.
4. Grow their strengths
There’s a famous saying by Einstein that goes ‘If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.’ This applies to furbabies too. When training your pet beyond the basics of sit, stay, come, adding tricks that complement their innate personality, instincts, and affinity will give them a stronger sense of accomplishment and identity.
For example, retriever breeds such as the beloved Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retriever are called such because they have strong retrieving instincts. So teach them advance fetching techniques such as ‘fetch your leash’, ‘fetch your chew toy’, ‘fetch my slippers’ etc. to encourage their natural instincts. A great training tool for fetch fanatics would be Kong or Chuck It toys which are made of durable non-toxic material that was made to be chewed.
Pets with a strong affinity for jumping can have that energy channeled into something productive. For example, energetic terriers who love to jump need not only be trained when not to jump, but when to jump as well. Incorporate training that’s fun for them such as a doggie play course where you train them to jump, crawl, and run through obstacles. This type of training triples as exercise, play, and quality time.
Pets with distinct personalities, can be trained to highlight their endearing individuality. Is your cat a total diva? Train them to pose! Does your dog love absolutely everything? Train them to kiss!
For Pet Parents who have more than one furbaby, don’t just train them for human’s sake, but train them for their furry friends as well. Train fellow pupils and catmates to high-paw together, groom one another, hug each other, wink etc. It’s cuter when pets do these tricks to each other so get your cameras ready and be ready to document and show off you furbabies most precious and intelligent moments!