Dogs and cats represent the vast majority of the pets in the United States. While they can behave very differently at times, there’s actually a lot of similarities when it comes to training these animals to behave appropriately within a human family.
There are just a handful of issues that make up nearly all of the problems that people have with their pet dogs and cats. This means that these problems are very predictable, and fortunately, they’re also very preventable. And that’s probably the biggest similarity of all. When it comes to behavior problems, whether the pet is a cat or a dog, the easiest, most effective and most efficient approach is prevention. The key is to do as much training as possible, as early as possible.
We know what the problems are going to be, we know how to prevent them, and if we prevent the problems, they never form into bad habits. Once a problem has become a habit, it's significantly harder to fix. The treatment is going to use nearly identical methods, it’s just going to take much longer than prevention would have.
So, what are the problems? Mostly they are behaviors which are natural and necessary for these animals to do, and it’s up to us to teach them when, how, and where we would like them to perform these behaviors.
Toilet training is the most common issue, especially litterbox training for cats. Destructive chewing and scratching is also common, as are issues of aggression, reactivity, or unwillingness to be handled or restrained.
Learn how to prevent all of these problems, and more, using easy and effective methods that are pleasant for you and your pet.
Veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and dog trainer, Dr. Ian Dunbar received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched the development of social hierarchies and aggression in domestic dogs.
He has authored numerous books and DVDs about puppy/dog behavior and training, including AFTER You Get Your Puppy, How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks and the SIRIUS® Puppy Training video.
In 1982, Dr. Dunbar designed and taught the world's very first off-leash puppy socialization and training classes -- SIRIUS® Puppy Training. Subsequently, he created and developed the San Francisco SPCA's Animal Behavior Department, the American Kennel Club's Gazette "Behavior" column, which he wrote for seven years, and the K9 GAMES®, which were first held in San Francisco in 1993 and continue as annual events in Japan and France. He hosted the popular UK television series Dogs With Dunbar for five seasons and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including the Today Show (US) and Dash Village (Japan).