Training Tips for Your Pets

Dog learning to sit and stay.

6 Tips to Help You Learn How to Train Your Pet

If you've ever tried to teach your pet a command or trick, you know that training isn't always as easy as the experts on YouTube videos make it look. These six tips just may make the training process less stressful and more productive.

Keep Training Sessions Short

Long training sessions don't deliver better results and may only frustrate both of you. Schedule training sessions for five to 10 minutes at most. A few short sessions throughout the day may produce better results than one long session.

Eliminate Distractions

Find a calm, quiet area of your home to train your pet. An audience can be distracting when you first begin training. Although you may want to eventually ask other members of your household to participate in training, the one-on-one approach may be best at first.

Pay Attention to Your Pet's Signals

Just like people, pets find it hard to concentrate if they're tired, hungry or hot. If your pet seems lethargic or loses interest in training, postpone the session to another time. Your dog or cat is more likely to retain the information when well-rested and fed.

Similarly, don't start a training session if you're tired, hungry or irritable. If you're not in the mood to train, you may become impatient, which can derail the training process. Training should be a fun experience for both you and your pet.

Put Yourself in Your Pet's Paws

Puppies and kittens don't innately understand English the moment they're born. After a few weeks or months, they'll begin to associate words and gestures with actions. If you say "out" and pick up your pet's leash, he or she will eventually realize that the word means that it's time for a walk or outside playtime.

Imagine if you found yourself in a foreign country unexpectedly. You might only understand a few words of the language initially, but you would become more fluent through practice and repetition.

Although your pet may already recognize a variety of words, the words you use for training may be unfamiliar. It may take some time until your cat or dog understands exactly what you mean when you say "roll over" or "sit-stay." Some pets will make the connection in just two or three training sessions, while others may need more practice.

Offer the Tastiest Treats

Just like people, pets appreciate perks for a job well done. You may prefer a raise or bonus to a chicken- or liver-flavored snack, but your pet will be perfectly happy with a treat.

Giving your pet a treat after he or she responds to a command is an excellent way to reinforce positive behavior. The same old treats your pet receives every day won't make the same impact as flavorful treats that are only offered during training sessions. Offering a variety of tasty treats will help keep your pet motivated to learn new commands and tricks.

Teach These Commands First

Before your pet can master an Instagram-worthy trick, he or she needs to learn sit, the basic command that provides a foundation for all other commands and tricks.

Teaching sit isn't difficult. Place a treat in your hand and hold it slightly over your pet's head while giving the sit command. As your pet looks up at the treat, he or she may automatically sit. If not, gently push his or her hind end down while repeating "sit," then offer a treat. Repeat the process a few times every day.

After your pet masters sit, work on other commands, such as come, leave it and sit-stay. Sit-stay is a particularly helpful command. It can stop your furry friend from dashing out into traffic and makes grooming and veterinary visits easier.

Whether you have a question about behavior or concerns about your pet's health, we're here to assist you. Contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Sources:

Cesar’s Way: 5 Essential Commands You Can Teach Your Dog

https://www.cesarsway.com/5-essential-commands-you-can-teach-your-dog/

Petfinder: How to Teach a Cat Tricks

https://www.petfinder.com/cats/cat-behavior-and-training/how-to-teach-a-cat-tricks/

Association of Professional Dog Trainers: The Benefits of Training

http://www.trainyourdogmonth.com/tips/benefits.aspx

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00am - 12:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Took two of my kitties in on Wednesday. They were seen promptly and taken care of by some of the kindest people. Left with medicine and the lady at the front desk made sure my payment method was correct after some issues with the card company. Thank you all for your patients and time. My fuzzy buddies love them, and so do I."
    Clare D.
  • "The best vet around. We just recently moved out of the area but we are still bringing our animals to visit Dr Johnston and his amazing staff. The ladies in the front office to the staff in the back are the best. They all make you and your pets feel like family. They take time to listen to your concerns and try to come up with the best possible plan for you and your pet. We have been going there for about 10 years and even though our drive is a little longer we will continue to take our pets there."
    Tawnya H.