Training Your Pet

Certified trainer and behaviorist Laura Garber CPDT-KA, CC, FFCP believes strongly in strengthening the bond between humans and companion animals.
As a fear-free certified professional trainer, Laura has designed a training program to help alleviate the stress and anxiety which so often accompanies a pet’s trip to the Veterinary Hospital. By training your pet to do just a few foundation behaviors, you can literally teach your pet to experience calm responses to the hospital setting. Laura will be holding training sessions at our Rittenhouse location by Appointment.

Foundation Training
It is never too soon to build the skills that will help your pet accept a visit to the vet’s office with ease. Even routine annual exams can be scary.  Further, as pets age, their need for medical care is likely to become more frequent, so now is the best time to plan for a future of check-ups and Veterinary Procedures.

For the Dog Patient
• A “down” behavior for relaxing calmly in the waiting and exam rooms
• A “place” behavior for movement onto the scale and the table
• A “rest”/”steady” behavior for waiting quietly during veterinary handling
• Desensitization and counter-conditioning to equipment, medicating, and handling.

For the Cat Patient
• To calmly accept being in a carrier, and move freely into and out of it
• A “place” behavior for movement onto the scale and exam table
• To allow picking up, handling, and restraint of different body parts
• Desensitization and counter-conditioning to equipment, medicating, and handling.

Puppy Package
The time to start working with puppies is right away! The first four months of their lives are what is called the sensitivity period – this is the time when they are little sponges, learning from everything! So we need to take this opportunity to train good habits – rather than bad ones.

In the 2 session puppy package, we will discuss the essential puppy topics – socialization, aloneness tolerance, resource guarding prevention, bite inhibition and chew training, and restraint and handling training. Then we will train some foundation cues that will help not only with veterinary handling but also shape companion behaviors appropriate for your canine BFF.

DS/CC for Handling Issues
Over time, pets can start to anticipate discomfort with such handling as nail trims, ear medications, injections and blood draws; so these medical procedures can cause them anxiety and distress. Doing gradual thorough training and behavior modification can help them learn a new response to these handling challenges.
The process of desensitization and counter-conditioning (DS/CC) is a powerful tool that helps treat a dogs fear or discomfort with certain handling. Desensitizing entails presenting the handling at very low levels, so as not to trigger the usual anxious response. This is called “below threshold.” Counter-conditioning entails changing the dog’s emotional response to that handling from fear or anxiety to anticipation and pleasure instead.

Call 215-732-7321 for more information, pricing or to schedule your pet’s training session.