Sometimes pet behavior problems seem overwhelming, but many can be managed with the application of a little knowledge and a little effort. Keeping people and pets together in a manner that enables successful pet ownership and is comfortable for both pet and owner is one of our many goals at Mending Spirits Animal Rescue.
PET BEHAVIOR LIBRARY FOR DOGS & CATS
This online library contains tried-and-true methods for managing many common pet behavior problems as well as tools for evaluating situations that may require additional resources.
HOW TO INTRODUCE A DOG AND CAT
Despite the stereotype, many dogs and cats learn to live together peacefully. Be patient and take the introduction process slowly, but know that whether or not your pets get along will also depend on their individual personalities.
PREPARING YOUR DOG OR CAT FOR A NEW BABY
Taking time to prepare your family pets for your new baby's arrival and properly introducing them once your baby is born will help to make this transition peaceful for everyone involved.
TIPS FOR DOGS AND PUPPIES
ETIQUETTE FOR DOG OWNERS
Dog owners have a responsibility to manage their pets' behavior and follow certain rules of etiquette.
OBEDIENCE TRAINING: This maybe be directed for puppies but actually gives good information for all ages. Your dog is always learning and refreshers are good.
Crate training makes it easier to supervise your dog and prevents her from having complete access to the house where she could get into mischief. It also helps with house training because dogs have a natural tendency not to soil their den or sleeping area.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common problems that dog owners face. The term is sometimes misused to describe any dog who barks or gets into trouble when his owner is away, but the true definition is a dog who panics when left alone.
Whether you are house training a puppy or an adult dog, these simple guidelines will help you get started.
POTTY PAD TRAINING YOUR DOG
While many owners toilet their dogs outside, indoor potty-training is a viable option for small breeds, particularly those living in cold climates or in high-rise buildings.
SOCIALIZING YOUR DOG
The greatest window of learning in a dog’s life starts around 3 weeks of age and closes between 16 and 20 weeks. This period allows puppies to be exposed to a wide variety of sights, sounds, smells, and sensations without becoming fearful. Puppies who miss out on these experiences may never learn to be comfortable around unfamiliar things, paving the way for anxiety, fear, and aggression later on in life.
MANAGING MOUTHING BEHAVIOR WITH DOGS
Mouthy dogs routinely grab at people using their mouths without causing injury. This often happens during play, exercise, and whenever they are overexcited. While puppies under five months tend to explore the world with their mouths, dogs past this age are considered adolescents and should no longer be play biting.
DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR IN DOGS
Chewing, playing, and exploring are normal behaviors for dogs. But these behaviors can sometimes escalate, resulting in the destruction of household property — a frustrating problem for owners. Identifying the cause of your dog's behavior is key to correcting it.
Dogs bark for a number of reasons, leaving many owners to wonder how best to solve the problem. Here are the most common causes for barking in dogs and some tips to minimize it.
Training your dog will start the first moment you have them. Take time to create a vocabulary list everyone will use when giving your dog directions. This will help prevent confusion and help your dog learn his commands more quickly. Not sure which commands to use? Check out How to Talk to Your Dog at http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-training/talk-to-your-dog/
Dogs dig for a variety of reasons including boredom, as a reaction to underground noises and scents, to bury objects, to conserve heat in the winter and disperse heat in the summer, to create a bed or to provide a passage or escape. Digging in soil and playing with roots is entertaining, and the digging becomes self-reinforcing. Digging is a natural behavior and is best controlled rather than eliminated.
SUBMISSIVE AND EXCITEMENT URINATION
Submissive urination is defined by sudden urination when a dog feels threatened. Submissive urination may occur when someone is greeting the dog (with direct eye contact, forward posture and leaning over the dog) or punishing him, either verbally or physically. Excitement urination occurs most frequently during greetings and play. Submissive and excitement urination are separate from typical house training issues and dogs who display these behaviors simply cannot contain themselves. However, with some patience and understanding your dog can learn to stop.
THUNDERSTORM AND NOISE PHOBIA
Many dogs are frightened by the sights and sounds of thunderstorms: the rain, wind, thunder, lightning and even pressure changes can all produce anxiety. The degree of that anxiety depends on the individual dog: some simply pace and whine, others hide, still others injure themselves trying to escape confinement. This degree of reaction will determine which interventions are most appropriate for the dog.
TIPS FOR CATS AND KITTENS
BRINGING HOME A NEW CAT
Take these steps to make sure your cat feels comfortable in his new home.
PREVENT AND SOLVE LITTER BOX PROBLEMS
Inappropriate elimination in cats is a very common and frustrating problem, and can be caused by many different factors. Most cats require little training to use their litter box, because cats have a natual desire to dig and bury their waste. But once a cat has developed undesirable toilet habits the problem can be very difficult to resolve. Follow these suggestions to prevent and solve litter box problems.
AGGRESSION IN CATS
Cats aren't close-contact animals by nature, and some cats tolerate less touching than others before becoming uncomforable. Understanding your cat's body language can help to avoid aggression caused by overstimulation.
ADDING A 2ND CAT TO YOUR HOME
Thinking of adopting a second cat? Here are some tips that can increase your chances for establishing a peaceful multi-cat home.
You know it, because you’ve seen it: that look in your cat’s eyes right before he dive-bombs your ankles, cuffs your sleeve or bites your arm. He might appear to be enjoying a petting session, then suddenly grab your hand in his mouth; other times, he may charge you on the way to the bathroom. You may wonder, especially if biting or scratching is involved, if it’s in play or if your cat actually means to harm you. While each case is individual, the following methods may help restore calm to your human-feline relations:
Cats scratch for a variety of reasons: to maintain the health of their nails (discarding the dead outer sheath and exposing the new growth underneath), to stretch out the muscles in their shoulders and back, to mark their territory around other cats, and to serve as an emotional outlet (scratching after being startled, frustrated, or relieved at the owner returning home). Cats need to scratch just as puppies need to chew, so the owner’s goal is not to eliminate the behavior but to manage it in the safest and least destructive way possible.