Red golden retriever giving a man a high five.

Many pet owners can easily fill in the question “why does my pet do…” with any number of things. There’s “why does my pet eat my shoes?” or “why does my pet jump up on strangers?” or “why does my pet beg me for table scraps?” Pet behavior defies human logic all the time. You can change troublesome or unwanted behaviors, starting with trying to understand their motivations. Main Street Veterinary Clinic has you covered!

It Will All Make Sense

If you want to change certain aspects of your pet’s behavior, the place to start is by simply observing them. You might not know or recognize the root cause of the behavior at first, but you can slowly start to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. 

Take your time when teaching your pet positive behavior. Instead of reacting to them when they jump up on the furniture, redirect them to something good that you know they can do, such as sitting for a treat. Be sure that your entire household upholds the same rules for your pet that you do. In other words, inconsistency is the enemy of progress when it comes to improving pet behavior. 

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Pet owners should never scold or punish their pet for behaviors they do not like. Getting negative attention for certain actions may lead a pet to repeat it over and over. Instead, try to ignore unwanted behaviors, and reward the positive pet behavior you want repeated. Over time, your pet will recognize that you like and reward them for certain things and will cease the other behavior that results in nothing.

Training your pet to respond to positive reinforcement will take time, patience, and repetition. It’s important that you react immediately to the good things, and consistently ignore the bad behavior. 

Common Ground

While you and your pet don’t speak the same language, you can still figure out what they’re trying to say with their actions. Once you know what motivates your pet, such as their favorite high-value, nutritious treat, you can use this as leverage to communicate. You can also use praise or toys to reward your pet. 

Basic commands, like “sit,” “down,” “leave it,” and “stay” go a long way toward positive pet behavior. The more chances they are given to demonstrate understanding and mastery of commands, the easier training will be. Clear communication can help keep your pet safe from harm

Celebrating Pet Behavior

One of the reasons that we love animals so much is because they’re different from us. When we create time to understand a pet and celebrate their uniqueness, the bond between pet and owner flourishes.

If you have further questions about pet behavior, or what you can do to support it, please call us at (540) 951-1002. Our team is always here for you at Main Street Veterinary Clinic.