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Train Pets... Where to Sneeze or Vomit. Answered

Pets, like kids, learn where to pee n poo.  Basic courtousy and hygiene. To what degree this is training, or instinct, I dont know.  

Once in a blue moon, a pet vomts, coughs up hairballs, just about anywhere in the house,  or sneezes in one's face. Since these things are much less frequent, training to do em in the litter box, or into a hanky is less likely to take. Kids eventually learn where to go when nauseous, why not so with dogs, cats, etc.

Any idea of how to acheive this higher level of consideration?



4 years ago

I Just thought I would fill in a little more detail to my other answer.

Almost all denning animals (animals that form dens to raise their young) follow the same basic patterns in raising their young. As a general rule these animals have litters, multiple offspring, and the young are born helpless with an inability to care for themselves. It is necessary for the mother to nurture and feed them for a specific time before they can gain any degree of independence. One of the really important things for denning animals is that they not foul the den. If all the little babies were pooping and peeing all over the place the den would become uninhabitable before they were grown sufficiently to leave. So these animals have a solution for this. None of the babies will eliminate waste until they are stimulated to do so. Now this might sound a little nasty to people who are very fortunate to not have to deal with babies this way, but when an offspring needs to pee or poo they make a signal to their mom who then licks their butts and this stimulates them and she then consumes all the stuff that comes out. Problem solved. The den stays clean. Mom is programed to do this as part of caring for the offspring. The offspring are programed to control their elimination functions to prevent the den from filing up with stuff other than them. As they get bigger and can move around on their own they leave the den for periods of time and begin to eliminate outside. Again the den stays clean and the moms breath gets better. This behavior is part of a denning animal. As such it is easy for us to get them to adapt to what we want in terms of their elimination functions. Our house is the den, you don't foul the den, so you go to where its OK. Housebreaking animals is done more by them than it is by us. We just take advantage of a natural behavior.

By the way, nesting birds are the same way, they don't foul the nest. Mom carries everything off at first and eventually the chicks get big enough to just stick their butts over the side.

The actions you are talking about are not related to fouling the den and so don't fall into that special provision. Sneezing will not make the den uninhabitable. And barfing, well often what one barfs up becomes the snack food for another. So that, in their view, is not a bad thing either. They are just sharing. I could suggest a movie for you that you might like, its called "How to train your dragon".

And another by the way, its much more difficult to housebreak primates who often live above the ground and so don't have a problem with fouling the nest. A monkey is more likely to pump out a fresh turd and throw it as anything else. And they can be very accurate with it. Probably why it takes so long to toilet train kids. They are wasting all that great ammunition.

Personally I really can't see how people who have dogs with new puppies can let their dogs lick them, especially on the face and mouth. Just think about what she has been eating. Yuck, no thanks.


4 years ago

thx fo the amusing replies.

no, i dont expect the jobto be just appealing to instinct.

but, crittrs can associate positive and negativ feedback to actions. pavlov, skinner, operant and classical conditioning...

i traind my cat to associate a bell with tuna. then i lost the bell. now she comes for the word "ding". at first, i had to sing out the word, just like a bell. now she knows the word.

so... while it seems posibl to train thru such associations, im unsure how in the case of puke n snot.


4 years ago

Most of the above you mention is not training but an reaction on a very low level.

If you need to sneeze you might have the time to find a hanky or due to goodmanners you simply cover yourself with a hand.

If an animal sneezes it is a basic reaction of something irritating, I highly doubt you could train it to do it any other way.

Same for hairballs or the more or less frequent throwing up of grass with cats and dogs.

When it starts you have to be quick, grab them and put them in a "safe place" to do their business.

I tired all sorts of tricks with my cats and they learned a lot in terms of behaving good but the natural ways of things simply happen wherever and whenever necessary.

You can train a cat to use the toilet and flush when done but you won't be able to teach it to use the litterbox to get rid of hairballs or other things annoying the stomach, and well sneezing....


4 years ago

It would be like trying to teach a horse not to fart in the barn. They don't care. its not an action that they find offensive. You ever watch cows? They have an interesting ability to lick their nostrils. All this juice is coming out of their nose and the old tongue just glides up in there with no effort. Its for their comfort not yours, why should they worry about what you think. It gets worse. I watched a calf that was nursing stick its out to look behind mom just as she let go a river of poo that coated her calf's head. Neither one of them was much bothered by it. The calf just wiped some off on the udder and went back to its business. They don't care.

My daughter's cat Bond does give a warning when he is going to barf. He howls because he doesn't feel good. If your fast enough you can get him to a hard floor rather than carpet but he doesn't really care. Barfing makes him feel better. So he does it wherever the the need to gets triggered. Probably the only reason we have some success in getting them to use a littler box is because its already programmed into them. You might have noticed they pretty much fart whenever the need arises. They don't care if your there or not. Its for their comfort.