Training animals can be a challenge.
For most of my life, we’ve had cats. And for the most part, they’ve behaved. It helps to understand how they think, something that comes naturally to me, for whatever reason. If I’m at someone’s house and they have a cat, in no time said cat will be ensconced on my lap. Cats are pretty simple, when it comes down to it. They are all about positive reinforcement. This is why smacking them, yelling at them, or squirting them with a spray bottle doesn’t work. Oh, you may think it did. But it didn’t. They simply learned not to do whatever you didn’t want them to do when you’re around. This is why, when you come home and walk in the room, Buffy is up on the kitchen table.
Dogs are different. They respond to negative reinforcement. But if you over do it, or use it inappropriately, it’ll mess them up. You don’t want them to fear you. Negative reinforcement should be similar to the feedback a pack member would give them – grab their neck and tug (not all that hard), Grab them and put them on the ground. It only works when they are doing something wrong while you are there, and not every behavior merits this. It won’t work, for instance, if they piddle on the floor.
With both cats and dogs, the best way to prevent them from doing something you don’t want is to make it unpleasant when that happens. Enter the SSCAT can.
SSCAT is a can of compressed air, with a motion sensor on top. What happens is that it detects motion and sends out a blast of air with a loud hiss.
When I first looked into how to stop the new cat (My daughers cat – Toothless) to not walk on the kitchen counters and dining room table, there were suggestions of orange peels (Supposedly cats hate citrus). Didn’t work.
Tacky pads – cats hate sticky stuff on their paws. Unless you cover the whole surface, this doesn’t work.
SSCAT works. They jump up, get a blast of air, and jump down. They associate that place as a bad place, and don’t go there again.
But what about dogs?
When we got piddlebot 1.0 (Jethro). Jethro hit about 40 lbs and could counter surf. He’d simply cruise the counters, nose up, and if he smelled something tasty, He’d simply lift up and snarf it.
SSCAT cured him of that.
And good thing, too. He stands about 7′, if he goes paws up on your shoulders. He can easily reach the back of the counters. Nothing is safe. Before we used the SSCAT cans, dude ate a whole stick of butter.
Ever see what that does to a big dog’s bowels? Not pretty. Not Cool. Not cool at all.
Now, he doesn’t bother.
Enter Piddlebot 2.0. (Jasper)
Piddlebot 2 doesn’t have full control of his bladder yet. He tends to piddle in the one room we don’t spend much time in – the dining room. I had a friend suggested puppy pads. No bueno, I said. You don’t want a puppy to get used to dooking on a hard surface. They want them to go on grass. You want to encourage that.
So what we did is stick a few SSCAT cans where he’s gone. Now, you hear the hiss and he boogies out the door to do is business.
They aren’t cheap, and if forget it’s on you’ll use up the air and have to buy spares.
That said, makes training easy. Get some.