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Dog & Cat Behavior & Training - Introduction

Many pets end up in shelters because they have not been taught how to behave inside the home.

Training a pet to be a good family member is vital for the welfare of the pet, and the family.  A happy, healthy pet should be a joy and considered a family member.

DOGS

General Information

Our favorite website for dog training and behavior issues is DogStarDaily.com  Some of the most educated dog behaviorailists write articles for Dog Star Daily.

Potty Training

The most important behavior to teach a family dog is to go potty outside the home, or in rare circumtances, on a potty pad.

Crate Training

From Dr. Nicholas Dodman's book, The Well-Adjusted Dog:

Most dog owners think that crates are only good for housetraining puppies, and they dispense with them as soon as their pup is housetrained.  Don't do that!  Most dogs love their crates - at least, ones that have not had a punishing experience in one.  It has been suggested - by dog psychologist Dr. Dennis Fetko - that if you want to be your dog's best friend you need to

  1. take care of his health;
  2. have him (or her) neutered (or spayed)
  3. train him; and
  4. provide him with a crate.

That's not bad advice; and it's interesting that a crate is right up there in the big four.

Think of a dog crate as the dog's room.  A safe place to go when things are out of sorts.  At Iowa Pet Adoptions, we suggest people feed dogs in their crates.  Eventually, raising the food bowl will prompt many dogs to hurry to their crate.

We suggest foldable, metal crates, with at least two doors.

The crate should never be used for punishment.  It can be used to redirect a pet.  If the pet makes a mess and you need to keep her out of the way while you clean up the mess, calmly take the dog to the crate.

Sleeping In Bed With Humans

There are some people and even some so-called experts who think pets should not sleep in the same bed as their humans, that it will confuse the pet as to who is in charge.

We think it is fine, behaviorally, for pets to sleep in the same bed as humans.  There may be medical reasons why certain pets and certain humans should not share a bed, but this is rare.

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