How To Train My Dragon. Lesson 2 Pet & Praise

I have never owned a cat before and this is my first kitten.  My goal to teach Dragon to be ready to embrace the outdoors and come on adventures with us when he’s bigger and to be socialable.

Due to the nature of Russian Blues, they are known to be friendly, playful and loving so hopefully this takes away most of the hard work.

I’ve been pretty much been consistent three basic behavioral actions. All of which occur in conjunction with one another.

1. Handling and Desensitizing.

I have had a lot of experience with crazy cats. I always thought they were these bi polar, bat poop crazy animals. Where one moment they adore you and the next they scratch you. I don’t want Dragon to be one of those.

One if the major things in focusing on us constantly and consistently petting him and rubbing him. Making sure I access all the areas. Apparently most cats don’t like the belly being rubbed, so guess what? I’m rubbing the crap out of his belly!

I am ensuring that I try all different kind of petting techniques. Stroking, scratching, rubbing and patting. From the tip of this hair to between his toes, to the points of his ears.

When I access the areas that are known to be sensitive spots for cats I make sure simultaneously rubbing his favourite areas. For instance the glandular areas around a cats head are known to be green light areas. (Under chin, behind whiskers and ears, cheeks.)

Apparently the reason cats butt you with their chin, or cheek is because they are spreading their scent on you. These are key areas to touch.
I often flip him over on his back and rub his belly. I’m constantly aware of his responses and make sure he’s enjoying the movements.

When he’s eating I pet him all over and “bug” him as much as possible. I’ve met cats that are friendly all the time until you try play with them when they are eating!

I also roughhouse him a little too. In stages starting from gentle to gradually more playful.

Always read Dragon’s responses and make sure he’s enjoying it before I move onto the next level. For example, I’ll roll him into a ball and slide him across the floor. Or when he’s going crazy over some string I’ll flip him on the bed in all different positions.

2. Praise and Tone.

While I play with Dragon, I’m always telling him he’s a “good boy,” using a happy upbeat tone and cadence. I repeat his name constantly, and so far he’s begun to even respond with a meow whenever I say “Dragon.”

Whenever I am petting him I am praising him. I call this the Pet and Praise, the most important part of teaching a pet.

I’ve read that cats don’t respond well to negative reinforcement. The best thing to do is to ignore them.

3. Discipline 

However, when Dragon is doing something undesirable, soon as I see it (ideally before he commits the act) I give a short hiss. “Tst!” This is when he’s clawing or chewing at cords or my plants. Then we go right back into playing and praise!

The claw thing is tricky, because I know it’s import at for Dragon to play and use his claws. It’s things like when he’s latching onto my skin or when he’s playing too rough that I hiss at him.

This is something I’m ensuring I’m consistent with.  I really watch how far his claws come out and try to his when they hit a certain point. I have met cats that I thought were declawed because they had such amazing control and knew how to gauge the acceptable amount of claw.

To sum up, I’m really just playing with him a lot. Petting him a lot. Praising him a lot. Rough housing him a little and hissing at him occasionally. The biggest thing is being consistent with my actions, reading, reacting to his responses and giving Dragon as much love as possible !

9 thoughts on “How To Train My Dragon. Lesson 2 Pet & Praise

  1. Dragon is adorable. My girlfriends father just bought some property up in the Bruce Peninsula here in Ontario and his neighbour has this giant cat that she walk on a leash. This thing is 100% outdoors, it likes to run and loves to walk her owner all over the local beach. You can train your Dragon to be an outdoors cat! Also do they make cat versions of those dog hiking packs? The ones where they store their own food and gear in?

    • That’s so great to hear! Yeah that’s our goal get him comfortable being in a harness and on a leash and just being chill when around people. There’s definitely some cool pet packs for animals! I’m still looking into it but I’ll keep you posted. He’s really smart and adaptable so far and no problems wearing his harness so I think we’re heading the right direction.

      • That’s great to hear. I dunno if there is even such a thing as a kitten animal pack, but if not… Maybe it’s a new business opportunity? After all if you’re taking Dragon into the wild, Dragon should be self-reliant.

      • Dont let him trick you. Cats are good at that.. They get all cute and adorable and then next thing you know you’re not only hauling his gear up a mountain but him as well. Stay vigilant!

      • Okay I’m on it ! He is so cute though….. Don’t let him sucker me in! Haha yes I’m definitely a fan of pets packing their own food and water !

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