8. Train Your Pet Well
A well trained pet is a happy pet and the owner of a well trained pet is a happy owner!
For dogs, responsible ownership involves having a well-trained dog that are obedient and safe.
This training should be start as soon as the puppy comes home and socialisation from aabout 10 days after the vaccine course is completed.
For cats it's important you provide a stress free cat friendly environment and you play with and handle your kitten from as early as possible
In Blacklion we have our own in-house Pet Behaviourist available. Mark McCorry, one of our Veterinary Nurses, has a degree in Advanced Animal Behaviour and runs his own Pet Behaviour and Training Clinic ZenPets.
More on Pet Behaviour and Training is available on ZenPets including a raft of brilliant pet training videos
Can I train my kitten?
Unfortunately, not really. Cats are great pets but they’re so, so different from dogs! They just won’t listen to us and they’ll make up their own mind as to what they want (and don’t want) to do, they have a different kind of, ahm, intelligence.
A baby kitten will learn to use a litter tray in about 5 minutes; a puppy can be having ‘accidents’ for weeks!
One thing though – a kitten’s normal play-behaviour is to play-bite and scratch. Don’t encourage this; it can get a bit too much especially if there are children in the house. Just say no and put your kitten down when he or she starts to play like that.
In summary: cats are great but you’ll (probably) never make yours sit!
Training your puppy
Responsible ownership involves having a well-trained dog and this training should be start as soon as the puppy comes home.
Puppies are continuously learning from the moment their eyes are open and responsible breeders will ensure that the elements of training have commenced long before you acquire the puppy at 6-8 weeks of age. Remember training is not some formal process but should occur all the time you are together with your dog.
Training and socialisation are intermixed, a well socialised dog is invariably a well trained dog and vice versa. Thus puppies should be socialised. They should be handled by family members and strangers as soon as possible and then be introduced to other dogs, preferably to puppies, as soon as their inoculation programme allows.
Are you relaxed & interested yet?
It is better to train your dog once he’s run off some steam, which means he can focus better and be more alert. If you are using treats to train him, do your training before meals so that he is hungrier and keener to work for his reward.
Remember though, the top tip is to reward the behaviour you want and ignore the behaviour you don’t want.
Don't forget to learn all you need go to ZenPets where there's factsheets, tips an tricks and a great video resource on dog training thanks to Dogs Trust.