Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More of Dexter at the Paws to Read Program

Dexter was working at the Children's Libray again this weekend. In this session, Dexter was facing the girl and the book initially then turned around. Our student began scratching him as she continued to read and then he could hardly keep his eyes open!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Continuation of a Theme

To continue with the same theme of socialization, it occurred to me today after speaking with a person who may have to give up their dog that there is more to this story. I don't truly believe that people get a dog thinking that they will have to give them up after a period of time due to housing or any other issue that comes along without warning. But maybe we should think about that at the beginning. The gentleman I spoke to today has a 4 yr old dog. She has lived with children and loves them - yeah..she is up to date on her shots, licensed and spayed - double yeah!!!! But she is protective of her yard and territory, doesn't like people messing with her food and isn't thrilled with strangers. They have managed her well and have adjusted to her quirks. Sometimes we even encourage those quirks because it's easier for us to adjust than to work with the dog on some of their tougher behaviors. Now they are under the impression that if they take the dog to a shelter it will be put down if it fails even one test. I work with enough shelters to know that one thing alone isn't a death sentence but a combination of behaviors that we have allowed to continue certainly could be. With the current economy many shelters are over run with dogs that have been surrendered. They don't have the space, time, money or personnel to work with a lot of troubled dogs. Rescues are also filling up and foster families are hard to come by. So maybe we should take on a dog with the thought that it is temporary and we spend the time with them getting them ready to be the best that they can be? Help them to become a good doggie citizen, no matter what the breed or mix so that heaven forbid something comes up that we have to find another home for our beloved pet they have a much better chance? Prepare them for the world. Socialize them with all kinds of people and critters in a controlled setting, encourage good behaviors with positive feedback. Love them, cherish them, even spoil them, but let's help them to be the dog that not only we love but that can be loved by many!
ok..just my ramblings for a Monday evening

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where it all begins......

There's a lot of talk about genetics influencing behavior and yes behavior has something to do with genetics but if a behavior is not reinforced by the environment to occur or occur again and again then behavior is really less dependent on genetics. An example is this pup shown here... - Ted. He was brought into the shelter with a foxtail stuck in his mouth that swelled up quite a bit. He was an only pup at least from what we can tell. He's with Our Pack, literally, working on being a social little guy. During the first 12 weeks it's so very important to heavily socialize your pup with dogs, people, kids, etc. Of course don't stop after that, continue with socialziing. I have seen genetics be the blame for undersocialized dogs. While it's true that some dogs may be too damaged to be helped, in most cases we see our dogs turn around nicely with good socialization and training. And yes, sometimes even with good socialization and training dogs may still have some issues. I would however like to see prevention of dogs coming into shelters because of behavior problems. If folks work with their dogs early on in life we may see less dogs being surrendered to shelters and that would be a good thing!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dr. Dexter at Work Again

We took in this pup to see if Dr. Dexter Canine Counselor can help this little guy learn good doggie manners. He somehow missed the early lessons on how to bite softly while playing. Dex had to let him know a few times that his manners were not what we're looking for in this camp. Our guy changed his body language a little bit since then and seems to be doing a good job of obeying Dexter's instructions on how to play nicely and keep friends once made! Let us know what you think!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Smile and have a happy and safe 4th of July from Our Pack!