Toys, Treats, and Time are the Three Most Important Components of Pet Training
A big part of being a responsible pet owner is learning how to train them to live comfortably in the world of humans. Let’s face it, if it were up to our dogs, every day would be a romp in the kitchen trash and jump off the backyard fence. Dogs and cats don’t intend to break all of our human rules, they are just not wired to innately know them.
That is where training becomes center stage in the quest to bring order and balance and ultimately, contentment, to the lives we share with our animals. It is widely known that positive experiences create the healthiest learning environments, so finding ways to promote positive reinforcement is of utmost importance when training our pets. Successfully training an animal takes time, trust, treats, and toys.
Learning occurs in all animals, even humans, by establishing a relationship between behavior and consequences. Once a pattern of outcomes of behaviors is established, the negative or positive consequences of that behavior can leave a lasting imprint.
Take for instance the scenario of the basic training of a dog to sit on command. We typically reward the dog with a treat for each successful completion of this act, giving him positive consequences for the desired behavior. This positive reinforcement teaches the dog that there are good things in store when directions are followed.
The idea of providing our pets treats as rewards for good behavior is something in which almost every pet owner can identify. Yet thinking of how to provide a negative consequence can make people feel a bit uneasy. Negative consequences do not have to mean anything other than the removal of the positive.
In the same way that we give treats for positive reinforcement, we can simply remove them from the equation when undesirable behavior is exhibited. Think of it as a toy time out, or a treat withheld until directions are followed. Our pets understand this as an incentive to do better, not a punishment.
What actually motivates a cat or dog to respond to training will differ in every animal. For some, a play session or a walk may do just the trick, while in others, a food treat or toy is required. There are specific toys designed for training purposes, as well as those that are made to occupy a pet’s time. Referencing trusted sources such as UKUSCA doggie, a leading supplier for all pet needs, is a great way to find the perfect toys and treats for your training needs.
Incentivizing behaviors through rewards promotes confidence in our pets, as they learn to connect their actions with pleasing outcomes, they strengthen their relationship with us. Strong bonds create happy relationships, and that is truly the ultimate reward.