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The Importance of Positive Reinforcement

Sunday, October 23, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

catdogshoeMany puppies and kittens fail to complete learning tasks in the early stages of training. This according to Suzanne Britts, Phd. CAAB, is because they either stopped trying or showed signs of distress such as yelping or engaging in abnormal behaviors. Your puppy or kitten begins life wanting and needing to learn. Don’t suppress the behaviors that you don’t like but rather re-program yourself to reinforce and encourage the ones you do like. Dogs and cats that hear “no” much more than they hear “yes” become afraid to try new behaviors. So if your dog refuses to go upstairs or your cat avoids the new cat scratching post that you just bought her, it may be because her willingness to try it was suppressed by so many “no’s” when she was young. When your dog or cat does something that you like, reinforce this behavior with a “yes good boy or girl.” When they really do something that you like, you can always give them a cat treat or dog treat and get them a new dog or cat toy!

Remember, pets are family!
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