Dr. Al Townshend
Our pets often become one of our best friends, and it makes sense. They shower us with their love, affection and devotion. After a hard day’s work, when coming home, who is at the door ready to great us with a gracious welcome as if we have been away for an eternity? Yep, it is our beloved pets that are there every day.
A pet’s behavior is critical in establishing and, maintaining the bond between a pet and their Guardian family. Bad behavior is the most common reason pets are returned or turned over to rescue groups.
Understanding the factors that influence pet behavior and making every effort to support good behavior and discourage bad behavior is essential in a long and close, healthy, and positive relationship that we all want with our pets.
A pet’s behavior is the result of genetics and the environment.
Many believe that any puppy or kitten can be molded into the ideal companion. There are some experts that believe 60 to 70 percent of dog behavior is linked to breed variations. Breed characteristics are not just about size, conformation, and color. Some breeds such as hunting and herding breeds are more active. Breeds like the Pekinese and Basset Hound are naturally much less active. The Border Collie is considered one of the most intelligent breeds and easy to train while the beagle can be easily distracted and require more patience to train.
When considering a specific breed, it is critical to understand the behavioral traits of the breed, so the pet and Guardia have the best potential to form a close and lasting bond. An elderly potential Guardian might find it challenging to provide an Australian Shephard with the activity level that keeps them happy and avoids negative behavioral issues that often come from boredom.
Cat behavior is also influenced by genetics. Oriental breeds such as Siamese, Abyssinian, and Burmese are generally more active. Non-oriental breeds like Persians, American Shorthairs, Ragdolls, and Himalayans tend to be less active, gentle, and love all humans.
The environment in which a pet is placed also plays a critical role in developing good behavior. The home environment, the lifestyle of the Guardian family, and the lifestyle the Guardians choose for their pets all play a significant role.
- The home should provide healthy, safe, and low-stress surroundings.
- The lifestyle humans choose for themselves can play a critical role in a pet’s behavior. Smoking can be stressful to a pet.
- How The Guardian family interacts with each other can impact behavior. Pets are extremely sensitive to the emotional state of their Guardians. Loud voices, arguing stress between Guardians can be stressful for the pet ad initiate bad behavior.
- How Guardian family members interact with non-family members can impact pet behavior.
Other Animals in the Environment
- Mice and insects in the home wild animals outside can affect pet behavior.
Meeting the Pet’s Needs
- Training is a key factor in helping pets understand their Guardians. The need to know what is good behavior and what is bad behavior. Sit, stay, come, and No are all commands that help a pet better understand positive behavior and when their behavior is not acceptable.
- Food can influence behavior. An imbalance in the diet and poor nutrition can affect the pet’s health, resulting in behavior issues.
- Exercise is necessary for the health of us all. Some pets require more than others. Lack of exercise can lead to boredom, depression, frustration, and negative behavior.
- Mental stimulation allows a pet to exert pent-up energy. Dogs and cats in the wild evolved with constant mental challenges in order to survive. Our domestic dogs and cats have retained their need for mental stimulation to ward off the bad behavior that comes with boredom.
Encouraging Positive Behavior
Shaping a pet’s behavior can take time and patience. Spending time with the pet and helping them understand what is considered good behavior and bad behavior is essential.
- Optimum balanced nutrition is essential.
- Regular exercise stimulates and challenges a pet.
- Training is essential for a pet to understand both good and bad behavior.
- Challenge is vital for a pet’s mental stimulation and positive behavior. Pet Planet offers puzzle toys and other items that can challenge a pet.
- Socialization with other animals and humans.
- Positive reinforcement of good behavior, like a low-calorie treat.
- All the love and affection possible, and the ability to forgive.
- Keep life fun and rewarding for the pet.
A pet’s positive behavior is critical for assuring a close and rewarding bond between pets and their Guardian family. Doing all we can to encourage good behavior ensures a long and loving relationship with our pets.
Be sure and check out all of a pet’s needs at your favorite Pet Planet store or online.