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General Advice for Pet Behavior


General Advice On Behavioral Problems

Most pet behavioral problems can be solved.  It is a matter of training (or retraining).  You may want to read the section entitled “Pet Training” in this web site. 

To summarize, the most effective training involves:

1.  Positive reinforcement  (Hitting or physically punishing an animal will only create confusion and additional bad behaviors.)

2.  Immediate reinforcement  (Good behavior must be rewarded immediately.)

3.  Realizing that verbal reprimands (saying “no”) work only while the animal is doing what you do not want him to do.

4.  Providing alternatives to the bad behavior and encouraging the use of these alternatives

5.  Keeping your pet out of situations that you know will tempt him to  behave badly, while he is learning a new good behavior.

6.  Being sure your pet is getting plenty of exercise

7.  Being consistent with your messages to him about what you want him to do

8.  Using different tones of voice to convey different messages  (This will help convey your message to your pet.)


If you are unsure about how to modify your pet’s behavior, the wisest thing to do is to ask for help.  There are many resources available to help you solve your pet’s behavioral problems.  These include: 

1.  This web site will cover some of the more common behavioral problems.

2.  There are several web sites that offer information on pet behavior and training.  One of the best sources of information on behavioral problems is the

Denver Dumb Friends League.  They have a web site

  (http://www.ddfl.org/behavior.htm) that has excellent material on many pet behavioral problems.  You can also call (1-877-738-0217) or e-mail them (behavior@ddfl.org) to discuss your problem with a pet behavioral expert.  In addition, the Humane Society of the United States web site (http://www.hsus.org) also offers tips on behavioral problems and training.

3.  Talk to your veterinarian.

4.  Call your local humane society or shelter.  (You may call or e-mail us at Little Buddies.)

5.  There are several excellent books on pet training and behavioral problems.

(See our section on recommended web sites and reading.)

Don’t give up on your pet.  Although correcting a behavioral problem may involve a little sleuthing to figure out why the problem started and may require some creative thinking to solve the problem, most problems can be solved.  You are not the first one to face these challenges.  Use the wisdom of others to help you.  Your pet is depending on you.  He wants to please you, he just needs you to show him how to do that.



Copyright © [2003]  [Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society].