Whenever you get a new dog or cat, whether it is a puppy or kitten or whether it is an older animal from a rescue centre you are going to have to spend some time training them.
If nothing else you need to teach them where to go to the toilet!
All training that is carried out with your new furry friend should be in a kind, fair and effective manner.
This most commonly is a reward based training method.
Reward based training does not mean that you are bribing your animal to do what you want them to do.
Instead you are showing them what you like!
If you reward an animal for carrying out certain behaviours they are more likely to be repeated because it has favourable consequences.
If behaviour is ignored and the dog doesn’t get any reward for it they will eventually stop.
Of course with dogs there is a greater need to teach them more than just house training.
We need them to be sociable in society, not pull us over when they are on the lead and to come back when off having fun to name just a few things.
Therefore it is important to begin training with them as early as possible.
If you have a puppy your first training will be teaching them about the big wide world, teaching them that things aren’t scary and that people and other dogs bring good things with them.
This is what we call socialisation.
Many puppy owners will take their puppy to a socialisation class so they are able to play with other puppies.
However it is vitally important that they get to experience older dogs too as well as a variety of different people and environments.
If you are thinking about enrolling on a socialisation class ensure that they have small groups so your puppy is not overwhelmed.
Around six puppies in the class is a good number to start with.
You also need to ensure that the trainers have up to date knowledge and methods!
All training should be with rewards, no harsh or punitive methods including the dreaded choke or half choke collar!
Many dog owners when they get their new dog look for a training class to teach the dog the basics.
Again just like socialisation classes it is important that you speak with the person who is going to be teaching the class, understand their qualifications, how up to date their knowledge is and what type of methods they will be using.
The classes should be small with a friendly, knowledgeable teacher and they should be more than happy for you to go along to a class which has already started to watch how the dogs are taught.
A great place to start looking for a qualified and accredited dog trainer is on the Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ website.
Training your cat
Contrary to most opinions, it’s possible to train your cat, whether it’s to learn their name, toilet or scratch in a desired area and even sit, stay and recall.
If you have just become proud owners of a kitten, then like dogs they need to be socialised.
Invite people around of all ages, male, female and well behaved children to meet, cuddle and play with your new kitten, also take your kitten on a car journey to get them used to the vehicle.
If you are embarking on toilet training your kitten first find a quiet area for the litter box away from their feeding area, there are so many great designs of litter trays with lids to contain the odour and also self cleaning litter trays, it’s worth shopping around for these innovative products.
First watch your kitten and as soon as you think that she needs to go to the toilet then place her in the litter tray, it helps to place her in there first thing in the morning and after every meal.
When your kitten goes in the litter tray give lots of praise and perhaps a small treat.
You will find that litter training a cat is so easy and they pick it up very quickly.
Cats are clean animals and will require a clean litter tray, if your cat starts soiling outside the litter box it could be because they have a dirty litter box, perhaps their home ‘territory’ has changed or it’s possible they may require more attention.
Most importantly love and enjoy your new pet.
Get in touch with Kim and Verity.
Contact Pooches Galore: www.poochesgalore.co.uk/index.htm or 07919 150223.
Contact Shampooches: http://shampooches.biz/ or 01423 528609.