There is almost nothing better in life than getting a new furry family member. While you are likely ecstatic to have your little friend in your home, there are of course some difficulties in the initial months. Both puppies and kittens need some training in order to get along with other members of the house and to do their business in the right place. Below are just a few tips that will hopefully make this transition a little easier for you and for them.
Rolled-up newspapers, spray bottles, and other methods of punishing animals work about as well as they would on you. They can either make your animal afraid of you or resentful of you. Instead, it’s better to praise behavior that you like rather than punish what you don’t like. Treats and affection are both great ways to show your pet they are doing the right thing.
Remember when you needed to be potty-trained and how patient your parents were with you? Well, no, you probably don’t. But if you did, you’d probably realize how you appreciated that extra time your parents took with you to make sure their lessons sunk in. It doesn’t happen immediately, but actually, with your pets it will happen a lot quicker than it did to teach you!
Confine to a smaller area
Giving your puppy or kitten the run of the whole house immediately is probably a bad idea. Unless you plan on keeping a close eye on them at every moment, this would mean having little surprises left for you around the house. It could also mean young children and the pets may frighten each other and get their relationship off on a negative track. Puppies do well in crates in their early months while you are training them. Kittens can be kept in a smaller room, like a laundry room, bedroom, or bathroom while they are learning how to use the litter box or being gradually introduced to other pets and people.
Taking small, predictable steps is important in order for your pet to know what is happening and to learn what is expected. If you put a litter box in a certain corner, keep it there until the kitten learns how to use it. If you have a schedule to feed or take a puppy outside, maintain these times as best as you can. Changing too many variables at once will make training more difficult and some lessons may be unlearned.
You want your puppy or kitten to have positive associations with you, so have fun with them. Develop trust and affection early while respecting their level of comfort. Play with them when they want to play and make sure they feel safe whatever is happening. This connection will make any other training being done go much smoother because they will respect you and want to please you.
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