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Shiny Happy Pets Issue

All in the family Additions to the family — whether two- or four-legged! — can also be a source of stress, which in some cases can lead to aggression. Pet parents often report a “sudden” increase in aggression from a dog, when in fact it may have been triggered by a change. If the situation has changed, then the training must change with it! pet + PET: “Keep new housemates separated at first so they have a chance to get used to the smells and sound of each other. When you’re ready to have them in the same room, keep them engaged and focused on you, rather than each other,” Dr. Yin advises. pet + ADULT: “By consistently associating the new person with good things for your furry friend, it’s possible to build a very strong relationship almost instantly. In this case, the new person will do the training, but be sure to train the trainer! Your new housemate must know how and when to reward the pet, and what signals and body language to use while training or playing with her. pet + BABY: Before bringing home baby, use positive reinforcement like treats, scratches and belly rubs as pets calmly sniff out new bedding, diapers and powder. You can also train your dog to enjoy at least some of the handling a baby or toddler might use, as well as the sound of baby crying. Gently touch and handle him the way a baby or toddler might, while simultaneously giving treats. Make sure you always handle below the level that causes the dog to act negatively. As pet parents, we can anticipate changes, but it’s important to remember that pets may need a little help adjusting from time to time. But whether you’re moving, switching schedules or adding to the family, no scenario is insurmountable. Pay attention to stress signals and be sure to address even subtle signs immediately, before they can escalate and become real hurdles to a pet’s emotional health. If you’re ever in doubt about how best to help your pet cope with change, getting help from an animal behaviorist or certified trainer can keep the whole family happy under one roof. % it’s time to call for help when… Since a show of aggression is what can (and often does) go wrong in these instances, Dr. Yin recommends both pre-emptive AND ongoing training. YOU need just as much training as your pet, so you can help them through any difficult changes that will arise among all of your family members. Prescription: create boundaries and positive associations the shiny happy pets issue 59


Shiny Happy Pets Issue
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