How to Discourage Your Pet’s Annoying Behaviors

Your pet peeves about your pet can be corrected with positive reinforcement

Scratching at furniture, spraying your belongings with urine, flicking pieces of kitty litter onto the floor, barking at anything that moves, and climbing into windows and knocking over plants are a few of the annoying habits that pets in a household can have. These behaviors can be corrected over time. If you want to replace bad habits with good ones, you’ll need to be patient but firm with your pet. By positively reinforcing the desired behavior and showing disapproval for the negative behavior, you teach your pet what to expect while living with you.

The following things can stop annoying behaviors from continuing.

Keep your dog from jumping all over you.

When you push your pet off of you or speak to them by yelling “No,” you’re engaging them in a way that encourages more unwanted behavior. WebMD suggests turning your back on the animal instead or standing up straight with your eyes forward and telling the dog that you disapprove of their actions. Doing so is enough to get them to stop jumping all over you and your good clothes.

Put an end to unwanted scratching.

Cats are notoriously bad about scratching furniture and doorframes. It’s a way for them to grind down nails and also to mark their territory. Rather than get angry at your pet for engaging in a natural activity, give them something safe to scratch instead or try to cut your pet's nails. A kitty scratching post is perfect because it has the type of surface they prefer to sink their claws in, and it’s not hurting any of your furnishings.

Excessive Barking.

Dogs bark for different reasons. Sometimes, they’re alerting you to someone at the door, and other times, they’re making noise as a way to get your attention. The best way to combat excessive barking is to discover the reason for it. Then, do what you can to discourage it by taking them for a walk, playing a game of fetch outdoors or petting them until they feel comforted. Yelling at them does no good as it makes them think that you’re barking, too, which you’re not.

Begging for food.

If your companion animals have the bad habit of begging for food, it’s best not to encourage it. Ignore the behavior and eventually, the dog or cat grows tired of trying to get your attention. Making it a rule in your household not to feed ‘people food’ to animals is one way to keep your furry friends in check when it comes to your mealtime.

Making messes on the floor.

Housetraining dogs and litterbox training cats is the most effective way to prevent accidents from occurring regularly. If your pets are slipping up and soiling the floor, it could be indicative of a bigger problem such as one concerning their health. The best thing you can do is to have the animal checked out by a veterinarian to make sure that he or she isn’t having problems because they are ill.

Like anyone you live with, certain behaviors that they exhibit can grate your nerves. Your pets are not exempt from this fact. They can, however, be taught to act differently so that you’re not forced to deal with the things that they do to annoy you.