Successful Cat Introductions

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Bringing a new cat into a home with other cats? Let’s face it: cats are territorial, so you will want to be sure to introduce your cats slowly to minimize fearful or aggressive interactions. In the beginning, you will want to confine the new cat to a separate room to encourage them to get used to one another’s scent. Eventually, you will be able to progress to a controlled face-to-face meeting, allowing visual contact through a barrier, such as a pet gate, baby gate, or screen door. But how do you progress to visual contact while avoiding a stare down or confrontation? Try training!

Concept Training: Shape Discrimination

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Can animals recognize shapes? As Ken Ramirez demonstrates frequently, they can! But why teach shape discrimination? Training an animal to discriminate between different shapes is not only mentally stimulating, but the behavior can be a useful tool for many situations—particularly when there are multiple animals in a training space. By assigning each animal a unique shape, or what Ken calls a “name target,” the animal comes to understand which location to train at, reducing competition and creating a more orderly environment.

Training at a Distance

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When training at a distance, there are many different objects that can be used to help your dog to stay in place, such as a mat or raised platform. These training aids give your dog a definitive place to be. However, sometimes you may find the need to train your dog from a distance without the use of a platform or mat to anchor him. This was the case for Ken Ramirez when working with his dog Marlin on The Ranch.

Cat-Alyze Your Trick Training

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Trick training is usually associated with dogs, but that’s no longer the case. Cats are now joining the fun! With positive reinforcement and patience, cats can learn many of the behaviors that dogs learn. Due to their smaller size and fantastic jumping abilities, cats can learn even more! (How many dogs are small and agile enough to jump on your shoulders?)