How to Make Your Pet Happy, With Animal Behavior Expert Zazie Todd

Ever wondered why your cat bites you right after three pets? Or how to get the dog to relax and stop barking? This week, we uncover the secrets of our four-legged friends with the help of animal behavior expert Zazie Todd. In this episode, you will learn about the psychology behind why our animals behave the way they do, and Zazie’s humane tricks to get your pet to behave the way they do.

Zazie is the creator of the CompanionAnimalPsychology.com blog and the author of the new book Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy .

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Highlights from this week’s series

Basic rules for dog training:

I think one of the most important things people can do when training dogs is to use food as positive reinforcement for behaviors you enjoy or while training your dog. There are several reasons for this. First, if people use disgusting methods such as leash jerking, yelling at the dog, or shock collars, research shows that these methods can cause fear, anxiety, aggression, and worsen the relationship with the owner. Unfortunately, many people still use these methods sometimes. Another thing is that food is a really great way to motivate your dog. Your dog loves to work for food. There are studies that show that dogs enjoy working for reward. And scientists have called it the eureka effect of solving the puzzle and getting the satisfaction of solving the puzzle and getting the reward.

How to adapt our pets to leave home for work after quarantine:

It can really help give them some privacy. Ideally, you would have been doing this for the last few weeks and months, but I think most people have not. But you have to start giving them a little time on their own, even if that means going outside and sitting in the car or walking the dog without the dog so that they can still be at home for a short time and they get used to it. … And one more thing is to have as much routine as possible. So, if you know you will return to work, if you can change your routine closer to that before actually returning to work, in terms of the time you walk your dog that day and the time you feed it on that day. … and the time of day that you feed your cat … then it will help them because pets really love the routine. It helps them feel more comfortable, makes things predictable and less stressful.

For more of Zazie’s great tips, we recommend listening to the entire episode!

Any feedback or ideas for future episodes? Do you want to participate in the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send a voicemail to upgrade@lifehacker.com.

Episode transcript

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