Ready to start teaching your pet the basics? Whether you have a cat or a dog, these 5 training tips can help you out. 1. Have patience and a positive attitude Our pets’ brains don’t work the way ours do, so be sure to have plenty of patience for your pup or kitten. Animals make mistakes just like humans, and some behaviors might take longer to learn than others. Keep in mind that young pets or older pets who may not have had training before may not immediately understand the meaning of “no.” Stay positive and encourage your pet, and soon they’ll master their new tricks! 2. Avoid distractions Before you start your training sessions, try to avoid any distractions. TV, music, talking, or outside sounds can pull your pet’s attention away from you. Find a quiet place where you and your pet can focus and let people in your household know that you and your pet are training so you aren’t interrupted. 3. Use reward-based training and avoid punishment Grab some tasty treats (you can ask your vet for healthy recommendations) and get ready to start training. Rewarding your pet with treats or praise can help reinforce a loving relationship between both of you. Try to keep your voice calm while coaching your furry friends. A threatening voice can cause your pet to develop fear-based responses. This negativity can be stressful for your pet and may lead to problems later on. If your pet misbehaves, try withholding treats or praise instead of using fear-based punishment. 4. Keep training sessions short Cats and dogs can’t focus for as long as we can. You can adjust to their attention spans by keeping your training sessions short and focused. Aim to keep sessions about 15 minutes long and concentrated on just one task or behavior, and end on a successful attempt. Once your pet picks up on a new behavior, it’s time to tackle the next! 5. Be consistent Consistent training sessions will make the process easier for you and your pets. Take care to use the same signals, cues, or words for behaviors that you want to enforce. Try to avoid using multiple words for the same action, as this can confuse your furry companions. But feel free to change the rewards that you give your pet! Your pup or kitten will love trying new treats when they learn a new trick. Remember to have fun! Training pets isn’t always easy, but with persistence, planning, and lots of love, your pet will be fully trained in no time.