Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Adopt Shelter Dogs and Teach Dog Calming Behaviors

According to the ASPCA every year nearly 8-12 million animals are end up at animal shelters a cross the United States. And of these animals nearly 60% of dogs and 70% of cats never get taken home and are euthanized.
Hundreds of thousands of dogs are surrendered to shelters simply because they were never properly trained by their owners and as a result handed off to shelters because of uncontrollable unwanted behaviors.
A few dogs of out of the many millions are fortunate and blessed with a second chance to have loving homes with devoted, responsible owners willing to train them properly and teach good behaviors.
Calm dogs are dogs that are well trained, and trained dogs are happy dogs. Dogs need structure, as the world is a very stressful place to them, and dogs are much happier when they have clear rules to follow.
A new home means new rules for dogs to learn and obey. To make your dog's transition into your home less strenuous, it's a good idea to spend the first 4 or 5 days home with your dog. This extra time spent initially with your dog will afford you the opportunity to set the ground rules early before your dog begins displaying unwanted problem behaviors.
It's important to set aside time for everyone in your household to meet to discuss and agree on exactly which rules your new dog will need to obey. The key for successfully teaching and training dogs is to remain consistent. Inconsistency will only confuse your dog and result in unwanted behaviors. Determine the rules so everyone is on the same page. Decide if your dog is allowed on the furniture, and if there are rooms he is not allowed to enter. Establish where your dog will eat and sleep, and who will be responsible for taking your dog on daily walks.
Initially keep your dog in tote with you on a leash throughout the day, everywhere you go inside your house. If your new dog acts on an old bad behavior from his previous home you'll be able to correct him on the spot, another key to training dogs to behave acceptably.
Adopting a dog from the shelter and taking the time to train the dog to behave properly is an amazing loving gesture that will with all hope create a dog calming epidemic empty shelters by finding homes for all the homeless animals.
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