Obedience Training

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Obedience Training

by Melissa Steele

Obedience training for cats and dogs are two very different things. Though some may want to teach their cats to sit and heel, it is a more reasonable goal to teach your cat to use the litter box or a scratching post. Dogs, on the other hand, are more amenable to the intricacies of commands.

Basic Obedience Training for Cats

Cats don't learn commands. They don't learn to react to certain situations or temptations according to your happiness. Cats only do what makes them happy. If it feels good, they do it. If it is an unpleasant experience, they won't repeat it.

It's all about psychology. If your cat has an annoying habit of meowing incessantly when she wants something, don't give her what she wants. Give in and she learns that meowing will make her happy, i.e. she will get what she wants. Don't give in and she learns that meowing does nothing for her.

Punishing your cat for bad behavior doesn't work, either. It's almost impossible to catch your cat in the act of bad behavior and once the crime is completed, no punishment will be associated with it. When you yell, it only lets the cat know that being around you is unpleasant, making you the thing to avoid instead of peeing on the carpet or scratching the furniture. Save your breath.

Instead, play with your cat. Sometimes they act out when they are mad at you or just bored. By giving them positive associations with you and something to fill their time, they will be less likely to create their own diversions.

Rewards make cats happy. When you see your cat scratch the scratching post, give her excessive praise and special treats. If your cat has been avoiding the litter box and opting to poo in your shoes instead, make sure she has a regular feeding schedule and when you see her looking around for a place to 'go' get her to a litter box and repeat the excessive praise and treat routine when she uses it.

Making sure that the offensive behavior isn't fun for the cat is another way to train. Lay fabric like tulle or two-sided tape over furniture so that your cat gets her claws stuck instead of enjoying a good scratch. If it's laying on the furniture, try a citrus scent or menthol as many cats don't like it. Just make sure that the bad behavior isn't fun and good behavior is rewarding.

Basic Obedience Training for Dogs

Dogs, unlike cats, respond to commands and they highly value the happiness of their owner. Creating simple commands and teaching them to him with consistency, one at a time, are all key to teaching your dog to recognize what it is what you want him to do.

The struggle of training is getting your dog to consistently respond correctly to commands. Some dogs find it difficult to focus on commands when distracted or given the command in different situations. It's important ? especially for commands involving safety ? that you practice commands in a variety of circumstances. These include:

Distractions like bouncing balls, jumping or singing, other dogs, and treats.

Distance between you and your dog.

Distance between your dog and the focus of the command (if applicable).

Different locations

Different ground surfaces

Varied order of commands

Different times of day

Different tones or levels of volume

Changing body positions or disappearing after delivering command

Above all, reward your dog when he responds to commands even for a few seconds and make training fun by focusing on the reward of accomplishment rather than punishment for inattention.

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for PawDigs.com This site features Pet Essentials with Style including stylish dog beds of all sizes and styles.

Melissa Steele - EzineArticles Expert Author

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