Educational Articles

Behavior

  • Clicker training is used as a means of clearly and immediately reinforcing a behavior in virtually any species of animal.

  • Mini-pigs that interact with and receive positive feedback from humans during the first two months of life are social and enjoy being with people. They typically have a daily routine that involves eating, drinking, eliminating, socializing, sleeping, and digging. Pigs are very intelligent and need environmental enrichment, or they can become bored and destructive. Pet pigs that are not provided with appropriate environmental enrichment or are not socialized early in life may develop stereotypical behaviors including pacing, staring, excessive drinking, hitting walls, drooling, rubbing on things excessively, and repeated licking or chewing on objects, especially metal and rope. Ideally, pigs should be allowed to root outside in untreated lawn. If they are not allowed access to an area for rooting, they may dig up floors, carpeting, or walls in your home, and chew up house plants. Pet pigs can suddenly become aggressive in response to changes within a household including a change in caretaker schedule, introduction of new pets and people, and discomfort from illness.

  • Owners will recognize that horses and ponies all have different 'personalities', with varying temperaments, willingness to please and responses to environment and handling. With the exception of some of the miniature breeds, they are bigger and stronger than their handlers.

  • Bites wounds are one of the most common reasons dogs are seen for emergency appointments with their veterinarians. The dog's teeth and jaws are very powerful and the wounds they inflict can crush or tear muscles and skin, penetrate through the chest wall and cause lung collapse, or cause serious or fatal damage to intestinal organs. All bite wounds are considered to be contaminated and/or infected. Left untreated, the bacteria in an infected bite wound will cause a localized abscess or more generalized cellulitis that spreads through the surrounding area. All bite wounds should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment will depend on the extent of the injuries, your dog's general health, and the location of the wounds.

  • A bird may bite out of fear or aggression. They may be protecting their territory or asserting their dominance. Screaming or loud vocalization is a natural way for wild parrots and other birds to communicate with each other in their flock environments. They will also scream if they are alarmed.

  • Transitioning to a new home is a big step for even the most playful and outgoing kitten. Prior to bringing your kitten home, make sure you have all the items your kitten will need. Slowly introduce your kitten to your home, family members, and other cats or dogs in the home. Begin training your kitten as soon as your she is comfortable with all the members of your household.

  • Is there any truth to the old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?" Even though young pups may be more actively curious, dogs never stop learning. In fact, adult dogs are often easier to train than their younger canine friends specifically because they are not as active. Older dogs are not as easily distracted as pups and can focus for longer periods of time. This ability to concentrate helps them learn new routines more easily.

  • Dogs are indeed smart and we see examples of this through both scientific research and everyday real life situations. They can learn by watching, cooperating with another dog or person, or just by being in their environment over time.

  • Dog communication uses most of the senses, including smells, sounds and visual cues. Pheromones, glandular secretions, barks, whines, yips, growls, body postures, etc., all serve as effective means of communication between dogs. Unlike in people, canine body postures and olfactory (scent) cues are significant components of dog language and vocal communications are less significant. People are listeners; dogs are watchers.

  • Cats can have a special relationship with each other even if they are not related. A bonded pair consists of two cats that thrive when kept together. Shelters recognize the benefits of housing bonded pairs together and encourage the adoption of the two cats simultaneously. There are pros and cons of dual adoption. Potential cat owners should review the considerations and make an educated decision regarding their adoption options. Even though caring for two cats means a commitment of more time and money, it may also mean more joy.