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School Days


School Days

Obedience training is one of the most important aspects of raising a dog. Training serves to strengthen the bond between a dog and its owner. It builds communication, understanding, and mutual respect and trust. It also effectively demonstrates to your dog that you are the leader. A well trained dog will be much happier, and so will you.

Obedience training will help your dog become more responsive. There is great pleasure in knowing that your dog is not a risk or nuisance to others. The ability to have immediate control over your dog’s behavior could even save his life in an emergency situation. Ideally, training should begin during the puppy days, but dogs of any age can be trained. The right time to begin is right now.

Enroll in a local training class to learn the basics and to let your dog receive socialization. Training should be fun for you and your dog. The key to success is practice and consistency. Keep the training sessions short. Three short lessons of 10 minutes will be more beneficial than one 30 minute lesson. You can even integrate training into your daily routine. The most important part of training is rewarding your dog for good behavior. Lavish your dog with praise, praise, praise (and maybe a special treat) for doing the right thing. Never hit, kick, slap or spank your dog, as this type of negative punishment can make your dog become leery, hand-shy, fearful or aggressive.

A well behaved dog can also be used as therapy in many facilities. Studies have proven that animal assisted therapy can bring joy and comfort to many people who live in care facilities and make a difference in the quality of life. The pets bring a sparkle to the day, provide a lively subject of conversation and rekindle old memories of previously owned pets. It would be difficult to find a more heart-warming way to spend time with your pet.

Once your and your dog have mastered basic obedience your may enjoy taking it to another level by doing agility. Agility is a fun sport for dogs and their people. Performing the tasks of jumping, climbing, and crawling under, over, around and through various obstacles builds confidence in your dog in addition to keeping him physically fit.

If a dog were your teacher, you would learn stuff like this:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy
When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising. Run, romp, and play daily
Thrive on attention and let people touch you
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
When you’re happy, dance around and wiggle your entire body
When you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing. Run right back and make friends
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Stop when you’ve have enough
Be loyal
Never pretend to be something you’re not
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day, sit close by and nuzzle them gently

If you tell a dog owner you can train a dog to roll over, stay or lie down, they will probably nod in agreement. If you tell a cat owner you can teach a cat to respond to commands, they will probably snicker in disbelief. With patience and understanding, you can train a cat, but since cats don’t think like dogs, you must use different techniques.

Trained cats are healthy and happy because they have a mental stimulus. Dogs are primarily motivated by praise and cats are more motivated by food. On the days that you plan to have a training session, don’t free feed your cat. Cats will work better if they are a little bit hungry, so remove the kitty food after breakfast. Be sure to use a soft, friendly voice to praise “good kitty” when it has done something good. While dogs can begin training at a very early age, it is best to wait until your cat is at least 9 months old before starting a training program. As with training dogs, several short sessions is better than one long session. Let your cat learn at its own pace, and only work on one trick at a time. Keep the training fun and interesting, and make it a time that you and your cat can enjoy together.

A cat’s ABC’s about living the good life…

Act nonchalant
Be comfortable
Control yourself
Fake what you don’t know
Grab at passing opportunities
Have moments of wild abandon
Ignore the ignorant
Jog in your sleep
Knead people
Let it all hang out
Make friends with your neighbors
Nap often
Overstep boundaries
Play with your food
Quit while you’re winning
Return to your favorite places
See things others don’t
Take your time
Understand human limitations
View things from more than one perspective
Wait at least 60 seconds before responding
X-pect only the best
Yawn and stretch at regular intervals
Zzzzzzz in the sunshine

There is no substitute for spending quality time with your pet.
Training your pet will build a lifetime friendship with your companion.

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