Behavior and Training Team Takes Over!

Categories: Pet Care & Training

In the first week of February, we tried out something a little different on Lollypop Farm’s social media – our Behavior and Training team took over Instagram for a whole week! Every day, the team pictured below shared training tips and tricks with our followers, addressed questions about pet behavior, and shared a behind-the-scenes peek at what they do on an average day at Lollypop Farm. If you missed their takeover, not to worry! Here’s a recap of the week-in-the-life with the Behavior Team.

Meet the team!

The team:

  • Rebecca Lohnes, MS, CDBC, ACCBC (Behavior and Training Manager, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, and Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant)
  • Brittany Smith, CPDT-KA (Behavior and Training Instructor)
  • Alex Ferrente, CPDT-KA (Behavior and Training Instructor)
  • Greg Fiete, KPA CTP (Behavior and Training Instructor)
  • Jessica Sowa (Behavior and Training Instructor)
  • Kari LaBounty (Behavior and Training Instructor)

Each member of the team has already been or is currently working towards nationally-recognized, knowledge and experience-based certifications in animal training.

Training Classes

We offer both private and group classes, both at Lollypop Farm and off-site locations.

Did you know that Lollypop Farm offers a variety of dog training classes for all ages of dogs, skill levels, and training needs? This cutie was photographed after a particularly fun Group Manners class held at the PetSaver Healthy Pets Superstore in Webster. We are currently enrolling for the following training classes: Puppy Head Start, Basic Manners, and Intermediate Manners!

In addition to group classes, we also offer in-home behavior help for cats as well as dogs! In fact, we have the only certified cat behavior consultant in the Rochester area on the team. We see feline clients for issues like litterbox avoidance, aggression to humans, and cat-cat introduction issues.

We even offer private behavioral consultations for cats!

We love working with cats and we’re here to help you strengthen your bond with the tiny tiger in your home. Pictured above, you’ll see a recent cat client, a gorgeous Abyssinian, whose family reached out for help with urine marking and human-directed aggression. They now have a personalized behavior plan and are working hard to help their kitty feel (and behave) better!

Behavior Modification

Most people aren’t aware of the fact that our Behavior Team has a shy cat room where we work with cats who need long-term socialization prior to becoming available for adoption!

The shy cat room is a recent addition to the shelter – it’s a quiet space where we can work with cats who are afraid or nervous and need a little extra time and attention.

In December, we got this new space in our shelter up and running. Well, not completely new – we actually transformed a former bathroom into what is now our shy cat colony! A majority of animals who go through our behavior modification program are actually fearful cats. Some of them don’t adapt as well as others in a kitty condo, and benefit from having a little more space. We can house up to 4 cats at a time in this new colony until they’re ready to be placed up for adoption. Ross is one such kitty who benefited from this extra time, space, and attention from our team. He found a happy home in January!

Diesel’s adopters were so thankful that he went through behavioral modification at Lollypop
Farm!

Another example of a behavior modification success story is Diesel! After spending a few weeks in our behavior modification program for remedial socialization, he was finally adopted in January. “Upon leaving the meet and greet area, he seemed unsure of where he was going. Once he entered his new home, his whole demeanor changed! He sniffed around a bit, and within minutes, his tail was up and wagging! He is right at home, and it feels like he’s always been a part of the family! Thank you so much for all you and your team have done to work with Diesel. He is just perfect!” – Diesel’s adopter

Ask A Behavior Specialist

One particularly fun part of the takeover was when we opened up a question and answer session with the public! Using Instagram stories, we invited community members to ask questions related to pet behavior, and the team responded with advice, demonstrations, educational resources, and more. Some of the interesting questions we can across can be found below:

Question: Any tips about cats not using the litter box?
Answer: You bet! Click here to watch a video we recently created all about litter box avoidance! Let us know if these tips work for you!

Question: Do cats need exercise?
Answer: You bet they do! One fun way to exercise your cat is to play with them with a wand toy. This type of play keeps cats moving, and they love it! Click here to learn more about ways to give your cat exercise.

Question: My dog goes psycho around other dogs. She growls and lunges at them. Any suggestions?
Answer: That’s a great question, and one of the most common behaviors that we deal with in private lessons. All dogs are individuals, sometimes they can be unhappy being around other dogs for one reason or another.

 Feeding Enrichment

Feeding enrichment is a fun way to keep your pet physically and mentally stimulated!

Does your cat or dog have a little extra energy? Do they enjoy dinner time? Try some different feeding enrichment strategies in lieu of their food bowl to engage their brains more than usual! Not only is it fun for them, but it can be super tiring! You can buy commercially made puzzle feeders, make your own, freeze their food, and more. Click here to see more food DIY food enrichment ideas!

 A Week in the Life

Thanks for following along during our Behavior Team Takeover!

We’ve enjoyed giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we do for pets here at Lollypop Farm and in our community. From training classes, to behavior modification for shelter pets, to providing behavior advice to community members, we help hundreds of pets be their best selves every year!

Interested in learning more about what we do, or the classes we offer? Find more information about the Behavior Team at www.lollypop.org/behavior!

Want to catch takeovers like this in the future? Click here to follow Lollypop Farm on Instagram!

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