Every January, we ask ourselves how we can do better in the New Year. While often daunting, and not always kept, New Year’s resolutions can encourage us to embrace good habits, and break the bad ones. For pet owners, the New Year can also be a time to take an honest look at some of our pet’s bad habits!
A trainer once told me that his favorite challenges for new clients was “Name something your pet does that you know is naughty, but you let him get away with because it’s cute.” His favorite example was the owner of a West Highland Terrier who growled at her whenever she got into bed with her husband. She thought it was funny. The behavior escalated until the night the dog bared his teeth and lunged at her face. The end result was $10,000 worth of reconstructive surgery. If you don’t think your pet has any bad habits, examining those naughty, but “funny” or “cute” behaviors is a great place to start.
Unwanted behaviors nearly always escalate. Anxious barking can become destruction. Poor leash etiquette can cause injury to humans. Nipping can turn into biting. Now is the time to take an honest look at your pet’s behavior, and don’t despair if you don’t like what you see. A Certified Professional Dog Trainer can help you get your dog’s behavior on track - and most of them are great with cat behavior as well!