Thank dog that all of my fuzzy family is trained! Many of you know I am moving. And I’m sure all of you know just how much fun it is to move. Well the other day the front door didn’t get shut all the way and every last animal I own was in my front yard – all three cats and the dog. Right there was one of those times you smile. Instead of going into a panic, you thank yourself for putting the time into training. Within one minute everyone was back inside getting treats and petting. My friends who were there know me as the behavior nerd who likes to train all sorts of animals and didn’t think twice about it. When I mentioned it to other people, the part about my dog coming when called wasn’t all that impressive, but the fact all my cats are trained seemed to “wow” people.
Training my cats was just as easy as training my dog. The best recall I find to teach cats is target. They are also trained a general recall the same way I taught my dog through shaping. I honestly don’t know how cat training is all that impressive. Cats are just as happy to learn behaviors for pay as dogs.
One of my cats is a tuna whore and the other two love turkey. I still keep treats interesting or limited so they hold their value. And the rule of “keep training sessions short” is critical to remember when cat training. I started off just shaking the kitty treat jar and then giving them all a few treats. They understood that sound in about a week. The can opener just about trained itself through classical conditioning. And training Target with clicker training was a cinch.
Eventually I need to get everyone trained to a silent whistle (shoe maker’s kids huh?).