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How to Train Your Pets?

by San He Wu 31 Oct 2022

Training your pets is an essential part of having them around. Training is the way to go if you want your dog to listen to you and not run away or if you want your cat to stop scratching the furniture. There are many types of training methods that can help with these situations - from clicker training for dogs and cats, which involves using verbal commands such as "sit" or "down" along with sound cues like "click." 


Theory Behind Training

The concept of learning theory is not novel. In reality, if you recall the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov and his dogs, you have previously encountered learning theory, whether or not you were aware of it. If you are unfamiliar with Pavlov and his dogs, you should conduct some research. It is only vital that you understand how Classical Conditioning (changes an emotional reaction) and Operant Conditioning (changes behavior) pertain to you and your capacity to educate your pet in learning theory. The concept of 'learning' refers to altering an animal's behavioral potential through experience. The term 'training' refers to the strategies employed to ensure that learning occurs predictably in response to human intervention.


Classical conditioning

Also known as Pavlovian learning, is a form of learning in which one event anticipates another occurrence that elicits an instinctual or emotional reaction. This occurs when a clicker is conditioned; the noise initially has no meaning for the animal. When frequently associated with food, the clicker elicits the same emotional response as the food presentation. The term for this is conditioned stimulation.


Operant conditioning

Also known as associative learning, is learning in response to one's activities. The animal learns to correlate a specific behavior with a particular consequence. According to the learning idea, rewarded behaviors (reinforced with food, attention, or play) are more likely to be repeated. In contrast, those that are disregarded (a type of punishment) are less likely to be repeated in comparable situations. Typically, four quadrants are used to define the operant condition: Negative Reinforcement, Positive Punishment, Negative Punishment, and Positive Reinforcement


    When is The Best Time to Start?

    The best time to start training your pet is as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the easier it is to train and get that dog or cat accustomed to doing those commands. Training begins when you bring a puppy home, which is typically around 8 weeks of age. At this age, they can learn basic puppy training cues such as sit, stay, and come.


    Tips and Best Practices for Training

    Provide Clear Directions

    Many non-native English speakers who want to teach their pets English instructions such as "sit" and "stay" have difficulty pronouncing the words. This can confuse your animal companion, who does not understand what you are saying. When training your pet, it is necessary to give clear and concise directions and to perfect your pronunciation if you want them to remember the commands well.


    Use Rewards

    A reward or incentive-based training system is one of the most acceptable ways to train a pet. This involves providing them with positive rewards when they perform the desired behavior. For instance, if you teach your dog to sit, reward it each time it obeys your command. They will rapidly learn that sitting earns them a tasty treat and will be more inclined to repeat the behavior.


    Be Consistent

    Consistency is an absolute must while training a pet. This involves utilizing identical commands and rewarding them each time they comply. Inconsistency will lead to confusion and a slower learning rate. Therefore, if you want them to sit, you must always say "sit" and never use a different term or language.


    Begin Early

    It is optimal to begin training your pet as soon as possible. This is because young children are more likely to retain information. Therefore, if you have a new puppy, begin training them immediately. It may take some time and patience, but it will be worthwhile in the end. If we correctly train them, our pets will want to please us since they are affectionate.


    Be Patient

    Patience is one of the most important things to remember when training your pet. It is vital to allow them time to acclimatize because they will not learn everything immediately. Be patient and consistent, and you'll notice results. Although the request has been approved, the results will not be instantaneous, but at least you are making progress.


    Dos and Don'ts When Training Your Pet

    What to do

    Concentrate on your puppy. Understanding his instincts and natural habits is essential to integrating him into your world.

    Be truthful with him. Never use orders you teach him to trick him into performing what you want or to tease him.

    Do start each command with the conclusion in mind. Reward your dog lavishly, but only when he successfully accomplished your assigned duty.

    Maintain consistency. Always use the same language and tone when describing desired behaviors.


    What to not do

    Never permit anyone to pamper him more than you would. You are his master and the de facto alpha dog in your pack. Therefore he must turn to you for direction.

    Never end a training session on a negative note. Remain optimistic and acknowledge his development.

    It would help if you did not penalize him while you are upset. The training should be enjoyable and beneficial for both of you.

    Do not lose your cool while training. He must recognize that you are in charge.


    Dog Training VS. Cat Training

    Dogs are more challenging to train than cats, but they're still pretty easy. If you're looking for a more independent pet (as opposed to a loyal one), a dog may be your best bet. They don't require as much attention from their owners or caretakers, which makes it easier for them to bond with other animals and people who come into contact with them.

    On the other hand, cats are far more likely to follow their owners' commands without question—and this can be both bad and good, dependent on how much time you want your cat to spend with its owner outside of the house. Cats need companionship at all times! In addition, cats have been known to develop separation anxiety when left alone for too long.



    Training takes time, patience, and a little effort, but the benefits of training are worth it. You will be able to get your pet used to the new environment and learn how they respond best when trained. Training your pets is not only beneficial for yourself but also their health; when you're able to understand what motivates them (or doesn't) and make them feel comfortable around new people or situations, then that's when their behavior becomes more consistent, which leads into better relationships with other animals in your household too!



    1. Harris, H. (2014). HowStuffWorks "Learning Theory."

    2. How to Start Training Your Puppy

    3. How Science is Revolutionizing the World of Dog Training

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