We will transport you once again in the skin of a cat to know if the saying “like cats and dogs” is true or not.
What idea crossed their mind? Adopting a dog? You had peace in your kingdom, and now this foolish scatterbrained arrives! In addition, they chose the “large” size for a dog. Well, that’s not a big deal! No matter how small or large a dog is, no dog is big enough to scare a cat like you. You are much more agile and fast, so you can do a lot of damage in a short time to an animal that can be 20 times your size. That’s probably why they trimmed your nails this morning. The Internet is full of videos where we see cats attacking crocodiles and even bears and winning. In a fight against big dogs, the cat has the advantage 95% of the time. The only problem is that the remaining 5% is often deadly for the cat so we’ll have to be careful here.
Fortunately, the saying “like cats and dogs”, which implies that two people cannot get along, is totally wrong. In fact, you as a cat, get along more easily with a dog than with another cat. The problem is that you do not know anything about this big dog that your human servants hold on a leash. Since you have rarely seen dogs in your life, it is difficult to know if the tail that wags in all directions, the yelps and the tongue that comes out mean that he wants to play or he wants to eat you. So you have to get to know him.
– No, don’t be afraid, says your favorite human. His name is Chocolate and he is very nice. He’s just a little too excited to see you. He wants to play with you.
You look at your human with a desperate look. Chocolate? Really? They called this brown dog, Chocolate? Seriously, creativity is not the biggest quality of the family! Since your name is Vanilla because you are white, you do not even imagine how they are going to call their baby on the way. Besides, it’s another event that, you know, will affect you soon. But that’s a problem for another day, (subject our next blog). For now, let’s focus on Chocolate, who seems to take you more for a chew toy than a cat.
Fortunately, your human has taken the time to learn more about the subject on the BeOneBreed website. They can follow the advices that canine and feline behavior experts post online. They may not be creative, but at least they are smart your humans! The last thing to do would have been to hold you in their arms and try to get close to the dog. This kind of strategy can easily turn into a disaster for humans and also for dogs and cats. The strategy of putting the cat in a crate and having the dog turn around would not have been much more pleasant. They chose the reassuring way to do thing, that is to let you escape if you want to. Also, they offer you a safe high spot and far away enough from the dog on a leash so you will not want to escape. Cats know very well that dogs do not climb. In fact, you noticed that they took great care to position high places in each room of the house like cat trees or furniture, especially in the rooms along the corridor leading to the bedroom. They did well because you probably would not have taken the chance to go so far on the floor and risk being chased by the dog. That way, you have a safety island everywhere that allows you to get from the bedroom to the living room without any problem.
In addition, these islands provide you an excellent watchtower to properly analyze the body language of the dog and to decide if the tail that wags like that means that you can risk yourself on the ground or if you’d better wait for him to sleep. Without these many high places, you would need a lot more time to get to know this dog.
Hey there, wait …. but what is your human doing here? Yes Yes! That’s right! He brings you wet canned food! A flavor that you love and that you rarely have! WOW! He also brings it to you on your cat tree? All because there is a dog in the house? If it’s going to be like that every time, then bring on the doggies!
But, what’s going on now? Now they are approaching you with the dog, always on a leash! Well, as long as you can stuff yourself with canned food, life is beautiful! They are getting closer … it’s still fine for me! They continue to approach. But here it is a little too close for you and you stop eating. As good and informed humans, they step back a few steps with the dog. Perfect, it’s good now so you start eating again. As long as they respect your pace and the tolerable distance for you, he’ll be fine. As you finish your canned food, your humans enhance this experience, which is pleasing for the moment, bringing treats and playing with you every time you look at the dog or approach him. Definitely, he’s paying this dog! The closer you get, more rewards you have! So why not get closer to him faster?
What is weird is that the technique they use with the dog seems completely contrary to yours. The more Chocolate ignores you, the more they seem to reward him. This is not stupid. They encourage the dog to ignore you and not take you like a toy while associating your presence with something pleasant. At this rate, and especially with so many treats and games, it will not take much time for Chocolate and you to become the new best friends in the world!
We can say that our pets are full members of our family. We also notice that this connection, creates positive changes. We are more often at our vet’s to prevent diseases because we want to keep them with us as long as possible. As a result, our educational methods are closer to a more positive and scientific vision. Here are my tips to strengthen our relationship of trust with our best canine friends!
Since it is impossible to communicate verbally with our dog as we would with another person, it is essential to learn and understand his non-verbal language. You understand the many facial expressions when he asks you to pet him, take him for a walk or even when you know without a doubt that he would like to eat the crust of your sandwich. Our dogs are very good at reading us and interacting with us.
It is even more important to learn to recognize the signs when he is uncomfortable and listen to them. Your dog’s body is talking about everything, not just an item. For example, if your dog wags his tail, he does not necessarily mean he is happy. You must always observe the whole body. (eyes, head, fur, mouth, tail, ears, etc.)
Good emotions at the right places!
Yes, our dogs feel and experience different emotions every day! Our role is to make sure they are mostly positive! It is certain that your dog may be afraid or fear one or two different situations such as thunderstorms or car trips, but your role is to understand and support him.
Like humans, dogs cannot always overcome their fears. So, your dog has to rely on you to scratch his ear in order to make the moment go faster or encourage him with your favorite words, without ever lying to him saying that it’s over when it’s clearly not the case.
The mutual respect
There is nothing to “break” in your dog. On the contrary, everything must be built. Respect must begin with you, because, as we say, you are the human endowed with an incomparable intelligence! Your dog will be happier and I swear, you will be too.
Let’s be constant, clear and calm!
Let’s be serious, your dog does not need a hierarchy or a leader! Your dog does not need aggressive restrictions, but simply clear rules and consistency from you. Also, keep in mind that no one but you should dictate the rules, they are only your decision. Your caretaker role is to create balance and that depends on your dog’s needs. As there is no identical dog, your calm is essential to find the balance.
Finally, remember that building a relationship takes a lot of time and energy. However, this relationship can break very quickly if you have a different point of view of a relationship of trust. Knowing that your dog can easily share 10 years of your life, I believe the investment will allow you many unforgettable memories.
A very big problem in behavior is certainly the difficulties that we can experience when we want to give medication or groom your dog. Here is my advice to give you a little help!
In the case of manipulations, you have to know that it is rarely a question of obedience, but rather the use of the bond that you have with your canine companion. Trust, participation in manipulations and the mutual respect is literally the key of success.
Myths that could be very harmful
- Do not worry, he will get use to it
A dog will get accustomed only if the situation is neither positive nor negative. If your companion is already not receptive to manipulation, time will probably change nothing.
- Do not give up, because otherwise he will win
On the contrary, when your dog tells you that he reached his limit you must listen to him to avoid even more intense and dangerous reactions for all.
- Your dog is difficult because you have not manipulated him enough.
On the contrary, people often tell me they can, without difficulty at home, touch the eyes, ears, mouth, legs, etc. The problem is the association that was created with a tool like hair brush or a place that is perceived negatively like the vet clinic.
Exercises and tools
Desensitization is a method of taking many elements and work on them one after the other. You could start by taking out your dog’s nail clippers, giving him delicious treats and putting the nail clipper back into the drawer and repeating several days in a row. You should remember that you should never exceed the tolerance of your dog and add the steps very gradually.
Instead of keeping your dog from leaving, why not teach him fun stuff like coming and putting his muzzle in your hands. You can also teach him to lay his head on a chair or on the corner of the sofa to help him to choose to stay.
Show him the inside of your hands and as soon as he puts his nose say “touch” and reward him immediately with treats. Repeat gradually by moving your hands (from left to right and up and down) and as soon as your dog understands the game, you can simply say “touch” by showing your hands and he will gladly lay down his muzzle. Then encourage your dog to maintain this position, increasing the length of time.
“Chin” The steps are exactly the same as the “touch” request. Find a chair or a folding bench at home and point your finger to the surface. At first, you will give a reward and this even if your dog does not completely lay down his chin on the surface. With training sessions of 2-3 minutes a few times a day, you will see that your dog will become faster and more confident and he will completely lay down on the chair. Then you can ask him “chin” on any surface without any problem.
The basket muzzle
The basket muzzle is a safe tool that does not prevent the dog from anything except biting. If a groomer or a veterinarian has to put a muzzle to your pet or recommends that you do it at home, ask for his help to incorporate the tool, which may be essential to prevent biting if your dog is really that uncomfortable.
Finally, remember that animal health technicians and trained professionals in behavioral grooming can perfectly assist you and even work and do manipulations that make you uncomfortable. Just choose your partner well.
Let’s continue to carry you in the skin of your cat the time of a blog to understand the hierarchical behavior of cats and the management of their territory. Ready? Let’s go!
You are peacefully lying in your favorite box. The one that contained the beautiful cat basket that your owner had bought just for you but that you never used. That’s when you hear your feline companion of the house, Fluffy, approaching your box.
– Hey! it’s time to switch! He simply said.
According to the contractual agreement you have with Fluffy, it is when the neighbor comes back from work that you have to give up your place and go to sleep on the bed. You get up and you stretch slowly when suddenly you realize that you have not yet heard the commuter train located near you. As a cat, you do not perceive time as humans do. For you, time is not calculated in hours and minutes, but rather as a series of events. As the neighbor always returns from work after the train passes, you understand that Fluffy seems to want to change the contract you established a long time ago.
– It’s not time to switch places, according to our contract. Why change when it’s been 5 months since our routine is established?
Fluffy seems a little disappointed that you unmasked him.
– It is because yesterday, our owner decided to close the window near the cat tree in the living room since the cold weather is back. So my favorite place has lost its appeal, he replied.
– And you really want to renegotiate our agreement on these bases to occupy this box sooner?
You see that Fluffy hesitates. You do not take a chance and you immediately begin to negotiate by staring at Fluffy in the eyes and scold lightly. If he does not understand, you will probably have to hit him with your paws and if that’s not enough, you’ll have to fight, which is not your goal at all. You know that Fluffy also does not want to get there either. After all, you are not two hungry stray cats who want the only mouse available in the neighborhood. Here, all your needs are already fulfilled and you know that you will have to continue to cohabit with Fluffy no matter what happens. A battle would only increase the stress in the house.
Nevertheless, this box is very comfortable and, as autumn arrives, you know that the heat near the box will make this place even more comfortable, so it is important to keep your privileges. Then your owner gets involved.
-Hey friends, don’t fight! she said.
Why doesn’t she mind her own fluffballs?! For this kind of thing, she should not interfere otherwise how will you be able to sign your contracts? Well, maybe intervening by throwing a cushion when you’re engaged in a big fight could be justified, but when it’s just rumbling, screaming and hitting the muzzle, humans should never interfere in your things. If she intervenes too often, the contracts will never be signed and you will be in perpetual negotiations. Worse than that, it is quite possible that the confrontations become more and more violent simply because you never succeed in signing the contracts.
Lucky for you, Fluffy decides it’s not worth it and turns his paws sighing and settles into the basket, much less comfortable than your box.
-Well, my “dominant cat” always win, says your owner.
What does she mean? It is not a matter of being the dominant of the house. Domination is not a trait of character. A dominant cat does not exist. We could rather talk about hierarchical behaviors for something specific, at a specific time, and it always depends on the importance of something to a cat. For example, even if this time you kept your box, when the time comes to access food in the morning, it will be Fluffy who will have the right to eat first. On the other hand, in the evening it is often your turn to go first. That’s how you set the contracts. Fluffy gets access to your owner’s affection first. You really have to be called Fluffy to love to get petted and sign a contract to have first access to your owner on the sofa after diner. And yes, contracts are sometimes as specific as that.
-You have to learn that, here in the house, I am the dominant, said your owner, laughing.
POUHAAAAHAH AH AHA HA! You’re laughing. Rectification: you would be laughing if you were able to do it. You could tell him that inter-species dominance does not exist. Whether we’re talking about a cat or a dog, this principle of domination or the “leader of the pack” is totally false and it is precisely because of some high-profile canine world that people still believe in these falsehoods. You cannot dominate a cat just as a cat cannot dominate a human. This is a topic that we will discuss in another article. You have already lost enough sleep time because of Fluffy, you surely will not lose more because of your slav … hmm … owner.
In this blog, we will redo the exercise of carrying you in the skin of a cat the time of an article to better understand his behaviors. Without making the anthropomorphic error of thinking we know what a cat really thinks (to associate human feelings to animals). So the goal of this article is simply to use a fun way to communicate knowledge about feline behavior. Ready? Let’s go!
THE CAT’S EMOTIONS
Darn! Him again! My new owner’s boyfriend has come back. Two days have passed since I last saw him and I was hoping that he would never come back. Unfortunately, not only is he here, but he has a bag filled with clothes, which means he will stay more than a day. Since he is in her life, my slave …. oops … I mean my owner, does not look like herself anymore. Sometimes she comes back home late or not at all and she has changed her behavior. When he comes home, it’s even worse. I cannot even sleep on the bed with her, because there is no more place for me.
All these changes in my routine are beginning to play seriously with my anxiety and it’s quickly getting worst. WHAT? What is he doing? As if it wasn’t enough, the new boyfriend decided to watch TV sitting in my chair. Yes, mine! The one on which I always make my 4th cat nap… or is it rather the 5th? This is too much for me which means that I have just exceeded my tolerance to anxiety. There are too many changes at the same time that I’m no longer able to handle it…
As this guy appeared at the same time as all these changes, it’s easy to say it’s his fault! I cannot even stand his odour. Maybe I cannot make the guy disappear, but I can most certainly make his odour disappear. As my level of anxiety is very high, my bladder is affected. For cats, this is often a consequence to stress. So why not relieve myself on the boyfriend’s shoes and thus, to eliminate his stressful odour? Why not take advantage of it and do the same on his side of the bed. Since he sweats a lot, his smell is very present.
Oh oh! My owner just noticed it. She does not seem very happy with my initiative … Well, she takes me in her arms, brings me on the bed and sticks my nose in my urine. Heaven… that is so unpleasant. Not only do I have no idea why she did this, but it also adds to my anxiety and, as a result, will cause me more anxiety. We’re going round and round here …
Oops! He just saw the little damage in his shoes! But what does he say? He just accused me of doing that because I was jealous of him! Absolutely not, champion! It’s not like that! Anyway, cats do not know what are jealousy and vengeance. These are emotions that are far too complex that would require us to judge others, to determine their intentions and to compare us to them. I do not want my owner for myself, because cats are solitary hunters and the possession of an individual is not part of our way of operating.
There is a much simpler explanation: the arrival of the new boyfriend coincides with several changes of routine and territory which are very stressful to me. That’s all.
But wait! The guy just mentioned the name of the CatEducator …. WHAT??? This guy knows the CatEducator … he’s his best friend in addition? Seriously? What is he waiting to call him? He finally did it. All cats love the CatEducator (the advantage of being the author of this article is that I have the right to make you say what I want when I carry you in the skin of a cat … :). Since we’re speaking of emotions, let’s talk about the subject of love. When you say you “love”, you have to agree that cats do not “love” like in the human sense of the word. If your definition of the word love is that you love your spouse because it brings you either happiness, security or cuddles then yes, cats are able to love. Humans have the ability to put their spouses’ interests ahead of theirs, cats are unable of doing that. In the end, what does it really change? If each party finds his account, that’s what is important, right?
With my ultra-developed sense of hearing, I heard that the CatEducator gives very good tips over the phone to the new lover: play with me, feed me and give me treats more often. This could mean that instead of seeing this guy as a source of anxiety and upheaval, he could become a source of fun and activities. The majority of guys know that if they win the cat’s affection, they win the girl! You can be sure that your owner will have no trouble to convince him to do all this for you!
Does your dog love attention? Does he finds it very amusing to steal the dishcloth, your shoes, a sock in your room or your child’s favorite toy? Are you tired of running after your dog all around the house? Here are my tips to help you find a new activity for your “outlaw” dog.
Why is my dog doing this?
Simply to attract your attention and spend his energy. Dogs won’t do unpaying behavior. So, at one point or another, your dog is having fun and enjoys the interaction you create with him during his “shoplifting” episodes.
A dog needs between 3 and 5 hours of activity per day and if his needed are not met, your companion will himself find activities to spend his energy.
How to change the situation?
- Store items that stimulate your dog. Do not give him the chance to create a situation of failure. Allow your dog to learn the best behaviors in an environment suited to his skills. This step is temporary and you may be able to put your cushions back on your sofa.
- Instead of paying attention to him when he steals objects, reward him when he is calm. We have long believed that we learn from our mistakes, but in reality, we learn more from our success and the same goes for dogs. If your dog is rewarded when he behaves well, he will have the reflex to repeat this action over and over again.
- The two most important words to remember are: environmental enrichment. Add playful and food dispensing toys, activities like games and chewing at home to properly stimulate your dog’s many needs. A slow feeder and all toys that are good for chewing are a great option. You just need to find the different toys and the ideal routine to offer him at different times in the house.
Teching to your dog “grab” and “let go”
With a dog rope, you can quickly teach him to “grab” and “let go” any object. Dogs do not like confrontation, so I propose a game!
Simply present the rope toy (ideally long enough to allow you to hold it with your dog) and as soon as he puts his mouth you can say “grab”. After a little practice, you can easily ask him to “grab” anything in his mouth. Thus, your dog will have the reflex to look at you before taking a few things for the purpose that you tell him “grab”.
Then, to teach him to “let go,” you just have to play with the rope and bring it between your legs and stop playing. Your dog will quickly find the game annoying and he will release the object. At that same time, you can say “loose” and start the tug game again to reward him.
I strongly recommend that you consult a behavioral specialist if your dog shows signs of anxiety or aggression when taking an object from him. You could take advantage of a specific intervention depending on your situation and your dog.
Always in habit to have fun, but in the educational way, we transport you in the skin of a cat in order to know the essential steps to transform the latter into a playful walker…
My owner did not believe it: “I can’t believe that happen. How many videos of cats collapse on the side without moving as soon as we put on a harness? It proves that cats are not made for walking on a leash! ”
However, here I am strutting on the sidewalk of the neighborhood, tail and head high, making the other owners envy mine and stop him to ask how he did. Although, to see the quantity of pretty ladies who accost my owner, if all the unmarried men of the neighborhood did the same, their celibacy would stop quickly!
Of course, this is not done for all cats. So, for some it will be a pleasure, for others it will be a trial. We must respect everyone’s desire. For me, it was done step by step and so gradually that I learned to love to walk on a leash. It took several steps before getting to walk so easily.
The first step was to lock me in the bathroom and offer me a succulent meal of cane food. While I was enjoying myself, my owner dangled the harness in front of me. He did that for two or three sessions. So far, nothing very complicated. Then, to be able to reach the cane and to stuff myself once more, he made me pass my head in the harness. Step by step, he put the harness on me while I was eating. It was funny and easy … after all, as good a cat as I am, as long as it does not hurt and the food is good we do not care about the rest, right? Then he added playing to all of that and it was by playing that I understood that I had no reason to believe that it was a straitjacket and that my movements were very fluid! As usual, I could move.
So I went from 1 minute to 2, to 5 then to 15 minutes by having the harness on me. As I seemed to become more comfortable, my human left me full access to the house, but still making sure to play with me. Then, came the time that the harness did not bother me anymore and that’s when he added the leash and started walking around the house with me. He prevented me to go to certain places and he rewarded me when I did not insist.
Finally, the first outings came. He took me in his arms and didn’t let me out of the house myself. My owner still proceeded step by step. If he had not done that, I could have taken bad habits and got out without my harness!
At first I only went out on the balcony, in the arms of my owner, with my beautiful harness. Always with cane food or playing to make it all nice and he brought me inside after a few minutes. Each exit was longer and farther and farther away, but without leaving me on the ground. I quietly noticed his stratagem: my owner brought me back safely inside, but only after I showed a small sign of improvement in my stressful state pushing me, to relax more and more quickly. He is smart my human, don’t you think?
Finally, after several sessions, he put me down, always with food and playfulness. It was the time to decide what kind of walk I was going to do. Was he going to take me for a walk or was I going to walk him? Obviously, the second method was much easier for him, but I was not going very far. One day he used the good old method of encouraging me to walk in one direction, rewarding me for walking a bigger and bigger distance from a few centimeters to several meters, and finally realizing that I had done the neighborhood tour … after three weeks!
You have to be patient with a cat! This method is a little more restrictive for me, because I had to follow a path, but I want to go further! The other way is very pleasant, because I decide to go where I want, even though there are certain dangers … like the time one evening when I was inspecting a bush, I fell face to face with a skunk! Let’s say that my human and I still “smell” the effects of this evening!
Spring and summer are great periods to potty train a puppy. This step is crucial to get off the right paw with your puppy that can also provoke a lot of headaches. Here are 6 simple steps to successfully potty train your puppy!
- Choose a location!
Choose a corner or a portion of your backyard to allow your puppy to know his landmarks. Choose a room or a specific location in the house or your condo to prevent your puppy from choosing the entire home in order to relieve himself.
For the outdoors, your puppy could go anywhere without it being problematic. On the other hand, for potty training inside, I recommend a room like a bathroom or laundry room or even the balcony if you are in a condo. Your puppy should have a visual fence. That’s why I encourage a room instead of an open space.
- Maintaining a logbook
Your logbook should be very simple, you should write down what your puppy did, the time, the place and what he was doing just before. A puppy urinates an average of 7 to 12 times a day and can make 2 to 5 stools. It is important to be able to recognize the times of the day when your puppy needs to relieve himself.
The logbook will allow you to better recognize the times when you need to be attentive and proactive with your puppy. You can better remember the schedule and routine of your puppy.
- Environmental monitoring and management
It is difficult for your puppy to hold back or prevent possible accidents. It is your responsibility to monitor your puppy at all times. You can tie up his leash to you while you prepare supper or put it in his kennel or fences to avoid accidents.
Do not hesitate to close nonessential doors to your puppy. Fences for toddlers are also great ways to restrict your puppy in a safe way.
- Accompany your puppy
You should be next to him when it’s time to relieve himself. No need to stay 30 minutes or more outside. Escort him for less than 3 minutes and then you go back inside and keep watching him if he has not done anything.
Do not hesitate to put your puppy on a leash to manage his space and to help him concentrate. You must also accompany him to encourage his successes.
- Reward your puppy
Contrary to what we believe, it is not necessary to give a treat to your puppy when he successfully does his business outside. I simply recommend you to literally explode of joy by talking to him and petting him. So, your puppy will be so valued for his good action that he will have the reflex to start again in the same way.
Punishment must absolutely be avoided. Do not force your dog to smell his poop and don’t reprimand him physically. The punishment does not have the effect of teaching a puppy a good behavior. As potty train is not a natural behavior for your puppy, you have to accompany him in this learning.
- Communicate with your puppy
Potty training is like teaching a puppy to sit down. You have to choose a word so your puppy can associate the action of relieve himself. For example “toilet”, so every time your puppy does it, you repeat the word “toilet”. This will allow you to better communicate with your puppy. Once inside, if you see him turn in circles or smell the floor, you just have to tell him “toilet” and he will have the reflex to move to the intended place.
Finally, by adhering to the 6 steps your puppy should find his landmarks in just a few weeks. Puppy education courses are also a good way to get your puppy trained with the help of a canine educator to make sure your new companion is developing normally.
Let’s continue in the spirit of our previous articles where we carry you in the skin of a cat the time of an article to better understand his behaviors. Without making the anthropomorphic error of thinking we know what a cat really thinks.
This time, you are in the shoes of a cat that has just been adopted by his new family. After spending a few weeks in a shelter, you might think you would be relieved to find yourself in a house, but you do not. This is another stressful change and you just got used to the shelter.
Luckily for you, your new owners are familiar with the CatEducator and have read BeOneBreed’s blog on the introduction of a new cat at home (They are well informed and smart. You are lucky!). That is why, as soon as you arrived, they isolated you in a room with a litter box in one corner of the room, water and food in the other. You immediately notice two things. The first is that your olfactory sense tells you that you are not the only feline in the house, which further increases your anxiety. The second is that the room is filled with treats … treats all over the place!!! WOW!
After having carefully walked around the room with the belly on the ground, pushed by your gluttony, you are reassured that the other cat is not in the room. In fact, you understand pretty quickly that he’s on the other side of the door, because you see his paws under the door. You do not have think about it. Your new owners shake a toy stick that stimulates your hunter instincts and makes you forget all these new stressful elements. In fact, you find the place rather nice with these treats and games.
Then, the door opens. You think that the other cat will take a swing and jump on you, but you see that he has been placed in another room to allow you to explore the house alone and without hassle. As you explore, you’ll find treats in every corner of the house. Each turn reveals treats, which prompts you to explore the place much more quickly. During your exploration, you see one of these new Katt3 (these new owners are really amazing!), cushions, interactive bowls and a water fountain, all you can say is that you are so lucky!
All this makes the experience much less stressful than you anticipated. Then, as you were not convinced enough of staying here for the rest of your life, you suddenly get a bowl of wet food … Your nostrils cannot believe it, McDonald’s for cat! You rush to the bowl to devour it and while you are busy to eating, the owners open the door of your room a few inches. You see the other cat, also feasting himself away from the other side of the door. As the door is only a few inches open, there is no chance that he can jump on you even if he saw you, he seems too busy eating his succulent meal.
– ” Hello!‘’ you say without stopping eating
– ” Hello!’’ Says the other, distrustful
– “Is that always the way it is? Do you always have cat McDo to eat? ”
– ” No! In fact, since you’ve been here, it’s amazing how many feasts I’ve had. I do not know what you told them, but thank you buddy! ”
– ” I thought it was because of you!”
As you are about to finish your bowl, the door closes. You can’t be more delighted with this first encounter. The scenario is repeated several times a day. They bring you a feast, the door opens, you see the other cat and it closes once the meal is over. You notice that each time your bowl moves closer to the door and that the same happens with the bowl of your new buddy. At one point, you find that the other cat is too close to you. Even if the door still prevents him to reaching you, you cannot help but throw a meow towards the other cat that does the same in return. You turn to the owners waiting for your punishment to have been bad, but they surprise you, they only move the two bowls from the door and put them at a more comfortable distance without saying anything else. How lucky you are! If they had punished you, you would have associated this punishment to the other cat and would surely have taken him as an adversary.
This merry-go-round continues for about a week, until you and your new roommate can eat at a distance of one foot on either side of the door, without any fuss. You sometimes exchange glances, nothing more. And if one or the other expresses a little dissatisfaction, the owners only take the bowls away and do things more slowly next time.
Then comes the day when the bowls are positioned at a good distance, the door open completely. The owners let you negotiate your territorial contracts together and share the resources without intervening, unless it turns into a fight. At the first sight of growling and small slaps, they will let you settle this between cats.
So you begin to purr of happiness at the idea that you have really joined an extraordinary family that will give only give you joy.
“Treats,” “food,” “sweets,” we often use food rewards because we want to spoil or encourage the good behavior of our dog. Let me give you some tips to use rewards properly.
What is a reward?
Whatever he likes! Food, a toy, a word, a caress. A reward is simply something the dog wants to get. Every dog is different and it is important to recognize your best friend’s preferences.
How to recognize the value of your reward?
Depending on the situation, the value of the reward may vary. For example, if your dog likes to run after your cat and you command him to “stay” if he listens you will you tell him “good dog” or offer him an enticing treat or even pull out a toy to play with him? We often make the mistake of offering something less interesting than the behavior we find disturbing.
Why reward our dogs?
Because a dog does not reproduce any behavior that is not profitable. If you do not use a reward to encourage good behavior, you may have the reflex to punish bad behavior and often this type of method does not always discourage behaviors that you want to see stopped in addition to causing anxiety to our companions.
Is rewarding always necessary?
Yes, because it is utopian to believe that your dog will “listen” to please you. Your dog responds to your requests to get or avoid something. However, the same type of reward is not always essential in all situations.
Should the reward be cut off?
Yes of course! We have to reward everything and then less and less often. It is wrong to believe that we will always have to give something to the dog, but we must remind him once in a while that good behavior could be rewarded.
In closing, we now know that we learn more from our success rather than our mistakes. All the more reason to encourage your dog’s good behavior and thus develop a strong relationship with him for many years.