POSITIVE PET TRAINING
There are many different ways to train a dog, such as; clicker training, vocal commands, hand commands and other techniques. Each have their advantages and different styles work better for different people and dogs. Professional animal behaviorist agree that they should always be trained with repetition and positive reinforcements (praises, rewards, treats). An animal's Behavior isn't bad, it just maybe unwanted by the owner. What makes sense to them may not to us. Try to see the logic of their behavior from their eyes. By forming a strong bond with your pet and making them feel loved and safe they are more apt to want to perform the behavior that you want them to do.
Some dogs are very protective. They feel it is their job to scare away strangers and alert their owners of any suspicious activities and they take their jobs very seriously! They interpret anyone yelling at them to stop barking or someone telling them NO or BAD as they are not doing their duty good enough and will bark louder and longer. Using reverse psychology may work best with them. Telling them "GOOD DOG" after a couple of barks makes them feel they have done their job to your satisfaction and they will stop.
Other dogs think with a pack mentality. If you raise your voice when they are barking they feel it is a team effort and will continue on.
When a dog feels an intruder is about to come in or the mailman is going to steal your mail again, their adrenaline increases and they become excited. A trainer recommends to bounce a ball a few times before opening the door, the dog will jump for it and release some of its energy, (also it is hard to bark with a ball in your mouth).
People often wonder why their dogs follow them into the bathroom. Dogs often wonder what the heck people are doing to their water bowl in the bathroom
Professional animal behaviorist recommend that cats be trained by using REMOTE CORRECTION and POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Mr Kitty smells something different in the kitchen and feels it is important to investigate, (it could be a mouse that needs to be chased off ).He decides he is going to jumps on the counters to identify that smell. From his point of view he is doing the logical thing and doesn't see any harm in it. Rather than yelling and forcing him off, you would take a soda can with coins in it and shake it loudly and repetitively (This is REMOTE CORRECTION). Cats do not like these kind of noises and after awhile they will associate them with the action they are doing (even when you are not home) then Mr kitty decides that counter suffering isn't worth it anymore!
Animal behaviorist say that cats do not understand punishment nor associate it to an act and it only causes them stress and anxiety (which can cause health and more behavioral problems, remember cats pee to relieve their stress) and mistrust of you.
If a cat had a bad experience, the environment, people or odors may trigger its memory and cause it anxiety which may cause it to pee there, try to remove the problem that is causing it stress.
LITTER BOX BLUES
Some of the reasons cats stop using their litter boxes are
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Cats like a quiet area to do their business where they can easily escape if they feel threatened. If there are noises around the box, such as; people, other pets, dogs, washing machines, TVs or other things they may use it.
Since cats have a stronger sense of smell than us, their boxes may not be up to snuff for them, even if we cannot smell anything they can and no one likes to stop in you know what. Scooping every day, adding new litter in and changing it can help. Use a mild unscented dish soap and rinse it really well if you need to, never use any chemicals in their boxes because the residue can be toxic to them.
Veterinarians recommend that there should be one box per cat and one back up box. Some cats will not share their boxes because they do not like the smell of other cats urine in them (can't blame them)
Some cats feel that scented litters smell unnatural to them and will avoid using them. The scent smells better to us, but confuses them (doesn't smell like dirt) There are some litters that are made to attract cats to their box. Cat Attract is one of them, you can purchase them at pet stores. You can use half of it and half other litter that does not offend them to save on cost. It might be best to mix them in the beginning if you are changing litters.
This is one of the most important reasons to be looked into
If a cat has a urinary infection UTI or is straining to go it should be seen by a Vet. A can might associate the unpleasant feeling of a UTI with it's box and avoid using it. It will need medication or the infection will get worse.
If a cat has had a bad or scary experience with it's box it might also avoid it. If someone yelled at the cat and plunked it into it's box it will remember that and not want to relive it. Giving it treats and praises after it uses the it will help encourage and create a good association with the box.
This is the number one reason that cats stop using their boxes. When their claws are remove the digging sensation does not feel the same, since that cannot dig as well without them they pee where there is no litter. It is also the number one reason that cats are surrendered to shelters and put down. Cats use their claws to defend themselves and without them they feel they have to bite
HAZARDS TO CATS
Many of the chemicals around your house can present a hazard for your feline friends. Keep these materials in a place your cats can't reach, and ensure any spills are cleaned up promptly.
Signs of Poisoning
Blood in the stool/urine.
Loss of appetite.
PETS AND STRESS
Some pets experience stress while their owners are away. I will do everything I can to reassure them they will be safe and make them feel as secure and comfortable as possible.
It is natural for them to relieve their stress in their species's own way. Dogs may chew on objects they normally wouldn't, such as; bottles of pills, lotions, shoes, clothes and things that have your scent on them. Also, plants, wood, pencils, pins, rubber bands, shampoo, soap, candles, small metal objects, household cleaners and other items they haven't chewed on before. I recommend that you remove these items out of their reach before you leave for their safety.
Cats have as natural reflex to pee to relieve their stress. Part of their brain triggers them to instantly do that (it is not intentional). They also may hide under a bed or in a certain area while no one is home, therefore, it is a good idea to have more than one litter box for them and to keep a litter box in a room that they normally hide in and or to close the doors to other rooms, so they don't relieve themselves in them.
Animal behaviorist recommend that people never punish or yell at an animal for naturally relieving their stress, this only causes them to feel more anxiety, fear and confusion which leads to more stress, which causes the same behavior. They suggest that you try to make them feel safe and provide other options, such as; a pheromone calming collar, plug in diffuser or spray. A thunder shirt or calming treats can provide comfort to dogs and cats experiencing anxiety. These can be purchased at most pet stores. My advice is if you are going to use the shirts, start putting them on them a few days before you leave to see if they will try to remove it.