21+ People Share How They Accidentally Conditioned Their Pets To Learn Unusual Skills Or Habits
You must have noticed or experinced yourself that it takes a lot of patinece to train an animal to behave in a certain way. If you have a cat, dog or any other animal in your house, you have to observe them carefully to understand what thing to they accept and reject. The constant process of trying and keeping patience to make them do a task is not easy at all. But if you continue to train them, they will finally adapt to changes that you wnat them to accept.
e’re all unknowingly training our pets all day long,” Samantha Bell, cat expert for Best Friends Animal Society, told Hiptoro. “Every time we interact with them, we’re training them. The reason for this unintentional training is ‘operant conditioning’ – behavior leads to a reward which leads to a repeat of the behavior.”
“And I’m a cat behavior expert. It happens to the best of us,” she said.
A redditor u/shoonpo submitted a question to r/AskReddit: “What have you accidentally conditioned your pet to do?” He wanted to get to know more about the phenominan. As of this article, the post has nearly 64,000 upvotes and 13,000 comments, many of which are fun stories like Samantha’s!
I talk to myself constantly so my cat thinks it’s normal to walk around making chatty noises all the time. If he’s awake, he’s talking. I think it’s adorable but it drives my husband nuts, which has resulted in my husband yelling at him a lot (don’t worry, the cat doesn’t get upset). Now the cat thinks that’s just how my husband talks, so whenever he sees him he yells at him really loudly in order to imitate him. My husband will walk in the room and my cat will stop whatever he’s doing and just meow SO LOUDLY right in his face. It’s absolutely hilarious, dude got exactly what he deserved.
According to Bell, any reward-motivated animal is the easiest to train, including dogs, cats, chickens, and even fish. “Their species doesn’t matter as much as you’d think when it comes to training! The more they want treats or pets or attention or a certain toy, the easier they are to train. My two cats that are obsessed with treats are so easy to train that I can teach them a new behavior in a couple of 5-minute sessions. But my cat that is ‘meh’ about treats takes more time, work, and patience. Helpful training tip: I reserve treats for training time only. When they hear the treat bag crinkle, they know that they’re in training mode and are ready to learn. This gives more value to the reward which also helps with training.”
I would playfully grab (not hard, really light) my dog’s snout whenever we’re playing. He somehow figured out it’s my favorite thing to do when ever he comes over to me. So now, everytime he senses that I’m upset or sees that I’m crying, he would come up to me and gently put his snout in my hand.
However, he also mentioned that some pets are just not that motivated and are difficult to train. “If you have a pet that does not seem to get excited about anything: attention, treats, food, pets, toys, you should have them checked out by your vet to make sure they’re feeling ok.”