Because your pet is so tuned into your energy and emotions, you can use your touch and your energy to settle the emotions of even a young or challenging pet. Pets tend to mirror our moods, which can help us help them to feel more comfortable, more confident, and settle some of the more difficult behaviours we see in young or challenging pets.
How can you use touch and energy to settle and engage your challenging pet? Our Waterloo vet team has some tips:
- Work as a team! Have one person keep your pet on a leash or harness or have them slowly feeding treats to help keep your pet still so you can pet and talk to them, instead of chasing them around the room. Use your pet’s food as a treat, especially if you are watching their waistline!
- Use positive touch. If there are areas your pet doesn’t like being touched, then avoid those areas for now. Focus on what your pet likes and what seems to make them relaxed or content. Talk to a positive reinforcement trainer about a plan to work with your pet and help them enjoy your touch all over!
- Play energy level games at home. Work on getting your pet used to getting revved up and calmed down with touch and emotion in a quiet room in your house.
- Take it on the road. Once you and your pet are great at getting excited and calm together quickly in the house, and your pet is actively looking to you to judge how to act, it’s time to add some distractions. Try the backyard, then during an early morning walk when it’s still quiet and calm on your street, and so on, leading up to challenging environments like dog parks.
- Keep your sessions short and positive. Learning new things is tiring, and you want your pet to look forward to his time with you. Keep sessions short and positive so your pet looks forward to them and you have their full attention!
- You can’t fool the furry ones. Don’t try to play the game if you are not in the mood to be silly – your pet will know! Respect his understanding of you, and only play when you are in the mood and able to give your pet 100%.