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Behavior Basics

Socialization & Training

Most surrenders of pets to the SPCA and rescue groups are for behavioral problems.  Proper socialization and training are essential to having a well adjusted happy pet.  Puppies and kittens have an optimal socialization period where they are better able to adapt to new stimuli (situations, people, animals, objects, etc.).  From 4 weeks to 4 months of age, your puppy or kitten is more readily able to accept new things without being fearful, the more things you can expose them to, the better he or she will be at accepting new things throughout their lives.  Base the exposure of your puppy to "new" places on its vaccination status!  It is never too early to start training your puppy or kitten!  Yes, cats and kittens can be trained; it is more challenging, but starting young gives you an advantage.  Consistency is the key to any training program.  We recommend positive reinforcement methods of training for both cats and dogs.  Rewarding desired behaviors instead of punishing for unwanted behaviors. Talk to our Licensed Veterinary Technician for tips on training your new pet

Commands Every Dog Should Know

Sit, Stay, Come, Stop, Drop it!  Mastering these commands can help keep your dog safe.  In the event that your dog gets into something potentially poisonous, it is essential to teach him to drop anything from his mouth on command. Stop!  Have you ever seen a dog get hit by a car?  Teaching your dog to stop dead in his tracks or to return to you on command can help prevent serious injury.  Sit! Stay! a well behaved dog is a pleasure to be around, one who will sit and stay on command won't be jumping on visitors, or rushing out of an open door.  Training should begin as soon as you bring home a pet and continue throughout their lives.  Once a pet has mastered a command, it should be reinforced periodically.  Training gives your dog or cat a mental workout, it keeps the brain engaged helping to keep your pet happy and healthy!