How to Encourage Good Behaviour from your Pet

Loving your four-legged companion is easy. Getting them to learn the rules? Not so much. Here’s what you need to know to have the most pawesome pet ever!

How to Encourage Good Behaviour from your PetPhoto: Thinkstock

  • 1. Set the rules and don’t break them. Remember, your pet has to fit in with the family routine, not vice versa, so make it clear who’s boss.
  • 2. If your pet behaves inappropriately in certain situations (e.g. children’s parties), then limit their exposure to those situations whenever possible.
  • 3. Stick to set meal times (for your pet) and discourage begging at the family table or jumping up on benchtops where meals are prepared.
  • 4. Encourage good behaviour with praise, attention and rewards. 
  • 5. Never punish your pet physically or with undue force: this may only lead to aggression or further bad behaviour.
  • 6. Expose a new pet to other family members (including other pets) as soon as possible, in the environment you want them to live in.
  • 7. Seek help for major behavioural problems before they seriously disrupt family life. Retraining is possible with most behavioural problems; ask your vet for advice, or research pet behaviour on the Internet.

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