We all want to take the very best care we can with our pet. The problem maybe that of a great care without training, which in many circumstances makes for a bad pet. While we maybe able to tolerate the bad behavior, our friends and neighbors may not.
We should always remember that a well-trained pet is not only a delight to have around for most everybody, but also a safe pet for people, other pets and our pet. When we take our pet with us, they must demonstrate the ability to follow commands and be comfortable on others ground. This means at the very least puppies should start with socialization and dogs three to six months should have obedience classes. We as the stewards of these pets need to recognize the need to not only attend and acquire these valuable commands; also we need to continue the reinforcement of good behavior, thereby allowing for the predominance of good behavior…
An excellent example of a dog after going through obedience training and learning basic commands; is in a yard or park playing fetch with a ball. Another ball from another person is rolling into the street; our dog is given first the command to ‘leave it’ and then the command to ‘sit’. If well trained the dog will not continue to chase after the ball and will sit right where it is while a person looking at traffic will go get the ball. Our pet is safe and not even considered that our dog was chasing the person running for the ball.
Puppy socialization is a great way to learn how to decrease bad behaviors and instill good behaviors. A good example is the puppy which has just discovered it can bark. Now the puppy barks, when there is any noise and we live in an apartment building: one method of training is to use a small metal can, such as a pop can, place a few rocks in it and every time the puppy begins to bark we simply shake the can. The moment the puppy quits barking, it is rewarded with a treat. With puppies food is a great equalizer, however a special toy is another treat, which can be given to the puppy only after it is not presenting a bad behavior. Also significant praise is always a good treat, because puppies crave attention. They especially seek our positive attention; they have truly been born to please us in most cases.
The common denominator here is one learning or enrolling in a behavior class and then to continue the habits from this day on. This behavior modification is best used with other pets around, so classes facilitate good experience. While with an older pet, the behavior maybe one which must be modified while in private lessons and then extended in to the classroom; allowing the older pet to feel more comfortable and safe in the classroom setting. For more information go to www.humanesociety.org