Teaching your pet good manners takes patience; Frenship Vet Clinic offers tips
During the holiday season and other special occasions, we often remind children to be on their best behavior. That’s good advice for pets as well!
Pets are loving members of the family, but no pet owner likes dealing with a “bad dog.” The good news is that with patience and a little training, you can help your four-legged friend behave according to your expectations and enjoy spending quality time with the family and guests.
Here are some basic “good manners” for pets:
• Doesn’t jump on people or use “paw” at people to get attention
• Doesn’t put teeth on people for any reason (this includes play-biting)
• Doesn’t display “drama” at the front door or window when someone approaches
• Walks nicely on the leash and greets other pets and people calmly
• Plays politely with others
Helping your pet learn these behaviors isn’t difficult, says Dr. Steve of Frenship Vet Clinic in Wolfforth. There are three keys to helping your pet develop good manners.
1. Define the “house rules.” This applies to everyone in the house, people and pets. For example, if the rule is no dogs on the furniture, make sure everyone lives by the rule. Your pet will begin to understand what’s expected and learn that no matter who is near him, the rule is the same.
• Be consistent. Establish and stick to a routine that incorporates the behavior you expect from your pet. Routines establish predictability which then helps everyone live up to their expectations.
• Stay calm and patient. Yes, teaching manners can be frustrating at times. Stick with it and stay calm. When you allow drama to take over, your pet may be accidentally rewarded for a behavior you really didn’t want reinforced.
There are a variety of training methods you can use to teach your pet the basics of good manners. Visit with your veterinarian for recommendations.
“Keep the training positive,” stresses Dr. Steve. “You can use praise, petting, play, treats, or toys as positive reinforcement. After your dog has learned the desired behavior, you can begin phasing out the rewards. Of course, your dog will always appreciate you treating him to lots of affection.”
Sometimes pets may act out not because of a lack of manners but because they are sick or afraid. If you think a physical issue may be at the root of your pet’s behavior issue, be sure to ask the veterinarian for a complete health examination. Share information about the behavior that’s occurring and the circumstances around it.
Remember, too, that pets have different personalities. Your dog may simply not enjoy being around groups of people, for example. If you are having guests over, provide your pet a quiet, private place to rest away from the noise and activity.
For more information about teaching your pet good manners, or help addressing a specific behavior, contact Frenship Vet Clinic. Celebrating their 11th anniversary this year, Frenship Vet Clinic is here to meet the health care needs of your family pets and everyone is welcome!
Frenship Vet Clinic offers a full range of pet health services, including vaccinations, dental, other preventative medicine, diagnostics, internal medicine, surgery, and others. At Frenship Vet Clinic, your pets are treated like the valued family members they are!
Frenship Vet Clinic is located at 202 E Hwy 62 in Wolfforth (on the access road of the Brownfield Hwy). For information or to schedule an appointment, call them at 806-866-2838. You can also visit them online at www.frenshipvet.com.