20 Apr Behavior Training for Dogs and Cats
Keep Calm and … “What the Woof is THAT?!”
(Dog and Cat Behavior)
a true story by Kitty Poppins
Boogeyman vs Cucumbers
I know many stories about human behavior. Their fears and their illogical way of thinking. The people in my queendom are afraid of many things. Things like wolves that turn into people, some dude called the boogeyman, and flying objects in the sky (not all of them, only the round-shaped ones). Just when you think this kind of behavior can’t get any stranger, you walk into the living room, minding your own business… and they’re watching these things from the light-box. “Movies” is what they call these things. I call it stupidity; if they’re so afraid of these creatures and objects, why would they spend their leisure time staring at them voluntarily?
As a cat – the creature nearest to perfection – I’m hardly afraid of these things. In fact, I’m hardly afraid of anything. I know it’s not a usual thing for a cat, but that’s me. It’s just a part of my wonderful personality and behavior; to be fear-free.
However, there are a few exceptions. Because there’s a big difference between being fearless and being stupid. Therefore, my friends, if you ever bump into one of the following things – run for your nine lives.
1. Car rides
Let’s face it; there’s no way anyone can enjoy being stuck in a box that rattles and shakes. At least nobody with any common sense, that is. That being said, some of us are mindless enough to loooove car rides, but I won’t mention any names. (Just kittying – we’ll get to Sherlock Bones in a few).
These green tubes are deadly and not to be trusted. From a distance, they may seem harmless. But they’re incredibly unpredictable and untrustworthy. Shy away and use caution when entering a cucumber-infested area (also known as the kitchen).
3. Strange dogs
If you’ve read my stories before, you’re already familiar with my colleague Sherlock Bones. And you’ll also know how he is; entirely goofy and harmless. (The worst he does is boop Mini-Kitty off the stairs or step on my tail when zooming around the house. Annoying – yes. But harmless.) However, I’m here to tell you that “harmless” is not always the case when it comes to dogs. Strange dogs, like the ones that pass your house or lurk behind the fence in your neighbor queendom’s yard, can be as mean as a green vegetable. Stay alert and always send your friendly queendom doggo to investigate first.
There you go. Things to look out for during your pawfect cat-life. And without further ado, let’s jump into the not-so-fearless chuckle-nuts; Bones.
The Alien Called the Vacuum Cleaner
So, I already mentioned Sherlock Bones and his beyond-remedy-goofiness. He also has fears. Not as many as humans do, but if you ask me, just as ridiculous ones. Because of the disturbance his temporary anxieties bring to my queendom, I’ve tried to help him several times. To educate him. I’ve done my best to explain that there are only a few things that can truly hurt him. And that ninety-nine percent of the time, these things appear only in the kitchen, bathroom, or neighbor-yard areas.
Nonetheless, these are the things our tail-wagging, tongue-hanging friend is afraid of.
1. The vacuum cleaner
I get it. It’s loud, annoying, and let’s face it; as useless as can be. An hour of complete chaos; furniture moved, carpets rolled and folded, people yelling over the noise. And in a matter of a fleeting moment, the queendom will once again be filled with cat and dog hair. But the worst thing is to watch Bones having a complete doggy-breakdown while this machine hums to life. In his mind, this air and dirt sucking alien is evil – and there’s nothing you can do to convince him otherwise.
2. Construction work
Our queendom stands next to a busy road and multiple buildings. Humans walk in and out of the area all day long. I’m not sure what people-paws are made of, but they seem to destroy the pathways outside just as efficiently as a kitten destroys a set of new curtains. Then, in comes the loud machinery. From dusk ‘til dawn, they dig and bang, shove and tear. The noise is unbearable. Bones is afraid of it. I’m disturbed by it. Mini-Kitty stares through the window in awe. People call it construction work. They promise us it’ll go away “soon enough.” Until it does, Bones and I like to hide under the stairs and wait for that day to come.
3. People leaving the house
Yes – you read that right. Bones is terrified whenever our queendom people leave the house. Where are they going? Why aren’t they taking me with them? Will they pet other dogs while they’re gone? Will they ever come back? Mini-Kitty and I couldn’t care less. We explain to Bones that so far, our humans have always returned from the outside-queendom-area. Why wouldn’t they do so this time as well?
See what I have to live with? The only reason I deal with Sherlock Bones’ shenanigans is that he protects and investigates the neighbor doggos to keep us safe. That, and his fear of excavators makes it so I don’t have to hide under the stairs alone.
The indestructible Mini-Kitty
I know what you’re thinking. “Mini-Kitty is so tiny, all brand new… she must have a fear-list longer than five dogs and five humans combined.” Nope. Not even kind of. Mini-Kitty thinks she’s indestructible, immortal. I keep reminding her that even though we are known to have nine lives, those lives will eventually expire. And what does she do? Shrugs. Meows. Bounces off.
But not to worry. If you can’t lead a Mini-Kitty to common sense, common sense will come to Mini-Kitty… eventually. I give her two years’ worth of bathtime, one vicious neighbor doggo, and three encounters with a lurking cucumber to change her mind.
Her (fearless) highness – Kitty Poppins
5 Ways to Help Your Fearful Pet
If your pet is afraid of something that is a part of your everyday life, it may be possible to train them to become used to it. Reward for good behavior, ignore unwanted behavior. Take baby steps and keep a positive mind.
- Prepare for special occasions
If your pet is afraid of fireworks, prepare well before New Year’s Eve rolls in. Talk to your veterinarian for different options that may help your noise-anxious pet.
- Be patient and kind
Keep in mind that your pet is not trying to be difficult. Help them as much as you can, but keep yourself calm and collected. Dogs especially reflect on their owner’s behavior. Also, you should never punish your pet for fearful behavior.
- Ask for help from behavior trainer
You don’t need to dedicate two nights a week for years to deal with your pet’s behavior problem. One or two visits to a behavior trainer may be enough to give you the toolkit you need to train your pet and make you both happier and more content.
- Have you tried Aptus Relax?
The Aptus Relax calming chews are very popular among cats and dogs! You can read more about the (yummy) stress-relieving complementary feed here: https://www.aptuspet.com/product/aptus-relax/