From Fear to Friendship: Gio’s Journey to Trust Through Training

| May 3, 2024

At the heart of every pet parent’s journey lies a desire for their furry, feathered, or scaly companions to lead happy, healthy lives. For Gio, a 6-year-old brown tabby adopted alongside his friend Kiki in 2020, this journey took an unexpected turn as his guardian navigated the challenges of gaining his trust and ensuring his well-being. 

Since his adoption, Gio’s guardian noticed his reluctance towards human interaction, making vet visits a particularly stressful ordeal for both him and her. Determined to ease his anxiety and create a positive experience, Gio’s guardian sought assistance from Toronto Humane Society’s Public Training Services. 

Certified Animal Trainer Jessica Tartaglia, CPDT-KA, became an invaluable resource in Gio’s journey towards cooperative care. Through a Cat Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification Consultation, Jessica provided personalized guidance on administering fear-free medication and acclimating Gio to his carrier, all aimed at making vet visits less daunting. 

Guided by Jessica’s expertise, Gio’s guardian embarked on a training regimen, starting with the introduction of liquid treats via syringe—a crucial step in creating positive associations with medication administration. Additionally, they worked on gentle handling techniques, gradually building Gio’s tolerance for necessary procedures. 

The results were transformative. Gio’s guardian’s commitment to training bore fruit when she successfully administered the medication and transported him to the vet, all while minimizing stress for both Gio and herself! She shared in an update, “When Gio tasted the Gabapentin, he took off and wouldn’t let me near him. After about an hour of playing peek-a-boo, he sought refuge inside a soft-aided carrier. Once contained, I was able to administer the Gabapentin and then, a little later, carefully moved him from the soft-sided carrier to the hard-sided carrier suitable for transporting him to the vet. Fortunately, I was still able to take him to the vet forhisrabies shot and nail trim. I am so relieved! I have learned from this morning’s challenges and will be sure to put my hand on his neck each morning.” 

This success story underscores the power of positive reinforcement and the profound impact of training in fostering trust and reducing stress in pets. Through dedication and learning, Gio’s guardian not only improved his well-being but also empowered herself to navigate future challenges with confidence. 

This tale of triumph serves as a testament to the invaluable support and resources offered by Toronto Humane Society’s Public Training Services. Our personalized services cater to the unique needs of all cats and dogs, promoting harmony and well-being in households across the GTA. With Toronto Humane Society by your side, you too can embark on a path of understanding, empowerment, and unbreakable bonds with your furry friends.  

Ready to start your own journey towards a happier and healthier relationship with your pet? Book a training class or consultation with Toronto Humane Society today and unlock the potential for positive change.