With Halloween fast approaching, people find it hard to resist dressing up their pets - whether the animal is ok with it or not!
While it seems cute and all in good fun, please stop to consider the emotional well-being of the animal. Some dogs are ok with being dressed up, while most cats are not.
Just like a head halter or harness, you must acclimate your pet to the feeling of wearing a costume.
Sadly, uninformed pet parents may take their dogs out on the streets while wearing an embarrassing costume; this can lead to dog fights and bites!
It is vital that people understand the signals our pets give us - they are constantly trying to communicate with us via body language. Please take a look at my previous post about understanding dog body language.
Take a look at this photo of Jasper,...
Read Time: 8 minutes
If you're on this page, you already know how destructive chewing can be - it's frustrating!
The combination of management and proper training (which gets to the root of the problem) are your keys to success in eliminating this behavior.
I'm going to tackle those exact subjects as briefly as possible for you in this post, because I know how valuable your time is to you. You want answers - now!
So without further ado:
The first thing I tell my clients at the first training session is: you have to correct the relationship between you and your dog (and between your dogs, if you have multiple). You have to set rules in place that are based in fairness and set the calm tone you want for your household.
This isn't about authoritarianism, but rather celebrating...
Are you searching for a veterinarian in State College? How about Altoona, Clearfield or Lewisburg areas?
I've compiled a list of vets in Central PA to help my clients and other local pet lovers find care for their furry friends. It includes vet clinics, their hours, addresses, phone numbers, and websites - all in one list!
Don't hesitate to share the above link with your friends so they can benefit!
Heather Smith, ABCDT (Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer)
I am excited to announce the release of Pet Lover's Passion Membership!
This is a dog training and cat training membership community for all pet owners who want to strengthen their relationship with their pets while working on problem-solving behaviors and teaching tricks and sports.
Inside, you can gain access to member-exclusive monthly Q&A sessions, and special blog posts. Join a like-minded community of pet lovers and be inspired to make the most out of life with your dogs and cats - we're in this together!
With your membership, you can:
- Ask your training questions in a monthly Live Q&A and listen to past recordings
- Access a library of Pet Lover's Passion content from all platforms
- Participate in surveys to shape the future content of Pet Lover's Passion
The Difference Between a Dog Trainer and a Behaviorist
Not all trainers can also call themselves behaviorists. The difference between the two is: trainers have knowledge and experience in different training methods, while behaviorists have deep insight into the thought patterns of animals (or humans) and are adept at discovering the root causes of behaviors.
For example: Trainers often teach tricks, sports, train service animals, and solve common nuisance behaviors, while behaviorists are called in to deal with aggression cases, severe anxiety issues, reverse negative associations, and most importantly: get to the root causes of behaviors and figure out ways to solve them.
Over my years of experience, I can say with confidence that I am both a trainer and behaviorist.
This is why my...
The season of giving has come again! (Honestly, we should be giving year-round :)
You may be wondering what to give some of the people on your list... especially the animal fanatics!
Well I may have some solutions for you on this page...
(The links below are affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you buy from these links. I work very hard to bring you free pet training tips and advice, so please consider using my links if you're going to buy from these companies. Thank you!)
Woof Blankets turns your cat or dog's photo into a piece of art and prints it on a blanket! This will make a great keepsake gift that will be cherished by your loved one for years to come!
Should People Dress Up Pets for Halloween?
Sure, it's cute, but have you thought about how they feel about it?
I think dressing up a pet who has been trained to accept wearing things using positive reinforcement (praise & positive associations) is acceptable for photo ops, as long as they're not showing any signs of stress or humiliation.
For animals, playing "dress up" is very unnatural and uncomfortable. We must take caution and look out for their mental and emotional well-being.
Dressing up certain animals with aggressive tendencies can exacerbate the problem, as stress causes these animals to snap.
Dressing up shy or fearful animals can make their anxiety worse.
Taking any dog out in public while wearing a costume can cause major communication problems. What I mean is,...
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