Most people wouldn’t think that training a cat would help them better train their gundogs, but that is exactly what happened to Jessica Haines. Training her pet cat gundog commands and tricks taught her how to be more patient and consistent with her dogs, and as a result, her gundog training improved.
In this week’s PODDOG episode, Jessica shares her story with LWDG Founder Jo Perrott about how her cat helped her become a better dog trainer.
Why train cats tricks
Many people think of dogs when they think of tricks, but cats can be trained to perform tricks as well. While it may take a bit more patience to teach a cat than a dog, the payoff can be well worth it. A trained cat can provide hours of entertainment and companionship. In addition, training can help bond owners and cats and improve communication between them. It can also give cats a much-needed sense of structure and mental stimulation. And as it turns out, training a cat can also help owners train their dogs.
How to train cats’ tricks
Training your cat to perform tricks may seem like a daunting task, but with patience and a little bit of creativity, it can be surprisingly easy. The key to success is to find activities that appeal to your cat’s natural instincts and preferences. For example, many cats enjoy playing with strings or chasing objects that move. You can use these interests to your advantage by shaping your cat’s behaviour with positive reinforcement. Start by rewarding your cat for any small steps in the right direction.
What tricks to teach your cat
Cats are natural hunters, and their instinct to stalk and pounce can often result in unwanted behaviours like scratching furniture or jumping on countertops. However, there are a number of simple tricks that can help redirect your cat’s attention and turn them into a well-mannered companion.
One such trick is to teach them to target a specific object, like a toy or a piece of paper. Every time they touch the object with their paw, give them a treat. With enough repetition, they will learn that touching the object is rewarding and will be less likely to scratch furniture instead.
You can also use treats to teach your cat to come when called. Start by saying their name and then immediately offering a treat. With patience and consistency, your cat will learn to associate their name with something positive which will eventually come when called.
Although cats are often thought of as independent creatures, with a little training they can be responsive and well-behaved members of the family.
The benefits of training cats tricks
While most people think of dogs when they think of tricks and training, your cat can actually be a big help when it comes to training your gundog. Here are a few benefits of training your cat some tricks:
First, it can help to build a bond between you and your cat. As you work together on tricks, you’ll find that you have a lot more in common than you might have thought. This can help to create a strong bond of trust and friendship between the two of you.
Second, it can provide valuable socialisation opportunities for your cat. Training sessions offer a great chance for your cat to interact with you in a positive way.
Lastly, tricks can provide mental stimulation for your cat. Many cats become bored easily, but learning new tricks can help to keep their minds active and engaged. This mental stimulation can help to ward off boredom and keep your cat happy and healthy.
Tips for success when training cats tricks
Whether you’re looking to teach your cat a new trick or simply want to Bond with them, training cats can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind if you want to set your feline friend up for success.
First, it’s important to choose tricks that are natural for cats. For example, cats love to jump and climb, so tricks that involve these behaviours will be easier for them to learn than those that don’t.
Second, make sure to use positive reinforcement when training your cat. This means rewarding them with treats or attention whenever they perform the desired behaviour.
Finally, have patience! Learning new tricks takes time, so don’t get discouraged if your cat doesn’t pick it up right away. With some practice and patience, you’ll be teaching your cat all sorts of fun new tricks in no time.
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