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20 September 2007


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Lee Charles Kelley

I don't know much about cats, but I'd imagine they'd kind of prefer not to move anywhere unless it's their idea. However, the same isn't necessarily true for dogs.
Yeah, I used to think it was. It's what I'd been taught when I studied dog training. And boy did I find out it was true when my dog Fred (a Dalmatian who passed away in June at the age 15) started having panic attacks after we moved to a new apartment when he was 14 mos. old. But then, in order to cure his panic attacks, I re-trained him, including all his basic commands, using a technique which is not based on the alpha theory or operant conditioning, but on stimulating and using the dog's prey drive in training. Basically, you just play with the dog, turn everything into a game, roll around on the floor or on the grass with him, get him to chase you around the yard or the park, and play lots of tug-of-war and fetch.
The upshot is that even though we moved 5 times in the 5 years before he died, including a week in a hotel and 3 months with a crazy woman (a good friend of mine, but she DID go nuts when we lived with her), he adjusted perfectly to each move with no effort on my part to make it easier for him.
He was like, "Oh, this is where we live now? Okay, cool."
Apparently all that play and rolling around on the ground with him made him more flexible and emotionally adaptable to whatever came along. (Since I train dogs for a living, I've also seen this work with other dogs besides my own.)
Just thought you might like to know that moving isn't necessarily the problem we've all been taught it is.



I think frequency and attitude has a lot to do with it. My mother used to take me and two cats camping. They just lived in the tent with us and seemed to have no trouble understand it was their temporary home. The would also hop out of the car and pee at rest stops, then jump back in. Bystanders were amzed but for these cats this was just a normal part of life.

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