Men's Articles

Must All Pets Be Trained?

The need to train dogs is obvious. Dogs are part of family circles, or have specific jobs like guiding the visually-challenged, guard or police work. Untrained pet dogs cannot be easily integrated into the family without chaos, and working dogs won't be able to work.

An unschooled canine is hard to interact with in ways that are rewarding for both dog and owner. But what about other animals? Is training necessary; or possible? This depends on what you expect from the pet, and what is right for that species. Small fish, which live happily in tanks without noticing you, may be left to their own society.

Bigger fish, however, like koi an carp, can learn to feed from your hand and respond to your presence. This gives the owner greater pleasure and encourages bonding. Cats do require some training, and time to develop trust in you, so that you can groom, transport and interact meaningfully with them, with the fewest possible episodes of "trying to catch that darn cat".

They must be toilet-trained for hygiene reasons, and encouraged to remain in or near your home at all times for your own safety. Rabbits and chinchillas can and should be toilet-trained, and will enjoy interacting with you once trust forms. Smaller rodents like hamsters and mice do not need specific training, unless you would prefer them to sit quietly in your hand when you pick them up.


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