Training giraffes and goldfish about as easy as it sounds

By Ted Blankenship | May 30, 2023

e written effusively about how to train cats and dogs.

Now, I’m going to tell you how to train pets that aren’t a cat or dog. That could include giraffes, anteaters and big cats such as lions and tigers. 

I admit that some of these animals have drawbacks. Giraffes, for example, are the tallest of living four-legged animals. They would definitely not fit in your average doghouse. Anteaters present some problems, too. Gathering ants for feeding them would be an issue in colder climates. Then there is the problem of mistakenly gathering fire ants in warmer areas.

I don’t think I need tell you the problems with the big cats. They have a tendency to eat their owners when they disagree with a command. The roaring might disturb some neighbors, too.

So, we are left with the common goldfish as the pet to train.

There are some limitations to the commands we used in our treatise on dog training. We can tell our pet fish to sit, of course, but your average fish does not have the proper body contour for sitting. Besides, there are few places to sit in the average fish bowl. We can order our fish to “come” but he or she won’t be able to come very far in a fish bowl.

Some fish owners have had success with the command, “swim.” This seems to come naturally to most fish. 

I did some reading and found that fish can actually be trained. They don’t respond much to being petted like a dog because they are a bit skittish and will swim away from you. And, if you are one of those adventurous people who has barracudas in your bowl, you might lose a finger or two.

Mostly, training involves food. You sprinkle food in the bowl and gradually feed it to your fish from your hand. If you are persistent, your fish may learn to bite your finger. Eventually, you can teach your fish to swim through a small wire hoop you have cleverly constructed from a length of wire.

You could add some excitement by setting the hoop on fire, but you would have to drain the water from the bowl which would kill the fish and make it difficult for him or her to swim.

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