We recognize that uneducated dog owners, an unregulated dog-training industry and lack of mental stimulation and enrichment for the dogs is at the core of this issue. Our goal is to prevent dogs from becoming another shelter-dog static by providing rescue organizations and new pet-parents with education and support.
We also recognize that no one can do this alone, that's why we are proud to be partners in rescue with Famous Fido Rescue.
Every year millions of dogs are relinquished to fates unknown. The lucky ones get homes, but millions do not!
Dogs end up in shelters for many reasons among them, an animal is suffering, is picked up without any identification, sometimes the human passes away and doesn’t designate someone to care for their pet. But most dogs are in shelters because people do NOT understand them! An unregulated pet industry and faulty information from a myriad of sources, about how to resolve behavioral issues, is spreading like a plague and consequently has opened the flood gates for self-proclaimed experts telling people how to dominate their dog or the dog will dominate them. And when the dog exhibits behaviors that could not be resolved [by the experts] the human dumps the animal at a shelter using the excuse that they are allergic to the pet, are moving out of the country, or the new landlord doesn’t allow pets! The bottom line is that people give up on pets they don’t bond with, and they don’t bond to pets that exhibit undesirable behavior!
Behavior, Training and Education is not a spoke on the wheel; it is the axis from which everything is generated! But it is not the behavioral issue that causes the problem, but rather the bad information of how to resolve the problem. This lack of knowledge is creating a lot of the shelter-dogs in the first place!
Start with a fresh puppy or ripe adult dog.
Add unrealistic expectations from the human.
Stir in lots of ignorance and AVERSIVE training methods.
Mix well with typical puppy/dog behavior.
Brew until tempers reach a boiling point.
Ship the dog to the nearest shelter where it has a short shelf-life.
Yes, Shelter-Dogs have a short shelf-life before they go “bad” and it is our responsibility to make the necessary provisions to “preserve” the animal, and do everything in our power to prepare the pet-parent so the dog will blossom in his new home and not become another shelter-dog statistic.
Be a pet-parent (not a dog owner)-Think of your new dog or puppy as a child in your care. He is not a piece of property. He needs love, affection and all the basics such as proper nutrition, health care, and protection from the elements and plenty of mental and physical enrichment through puzzle toys, training and fun activities.
Set up a winning environment-You would not let a toddler out of your sight to explore and get into things that could harm him, so don’t allow your new dog or puppy to explore without constant supervision. Make the environment safe, and most importantly make sure the pup cannot make a mistake such as going “potty” or destroying property in the home.
Potty train your dog-This should be the easiest thing to do, but when humans fail at this, the dog is usually punished for which he does not understand or he’s shipped off to the shelter, quite possibly to be killed. The key to potty training is setting up a schedule of taking the dog out (puppies more frequently) in a timely manner; supervising them indoors so they can’t make a mistake; rewarding them with treats when they potty outdoors, and being consistent. Dogs understand routines and rewards!
Understand your dog’s body language-He cannot speak in your language and most people only know what other experts are making up about how your dog is guilty for making a mess, or feels superior if he walks out the door before you and growls because he’s trying to dominate you. Long before a dog bites, he has been trying to show you signals that he’s afraid or concerned about something. When the human misinterprets and ignores the signals, the dog may escalate his attempt to communicate by biting! This could have been avoided if the human had a better understanding of why the dog was afraid instead of trying to punish the fear out of the dog!
Learn proper handling-This is a new dog in your home and you don’t have much history of what his last home was like. Again, no punitive measures (hitting, grabbing, forcing etc). If you notice the dog is concerned about something you’ll need to change the dog’s emotional response such that the thing that concerns the dog becomes a predictor of something he likes (food, toy etc.) Maybe the dog is afraid of men, for example. When men walk into the room, you should feed the dog something special. Over time, the dog learns that men aren’t so scary because when they appear, so does the favorite treat!!!
Make a positive introduction with your new dog to the other dog in your household-Dogs should meet outdoors on leash before going indoors. Rather than a face to face meeting, they should be walked parallel, beginning at a comfortable distance where the dogs are not reacting, and if all goes well you can decrease the distance so dogs are walking side by side. If you have a yard, take them there, and drop the leashes, so you can quickly remove the dogs, should an altercation arise. If the dogs appear to want to play (dogs are relaxed, and giving play bow signals) take them off leash to run around. Monitor them closely and make sure that the play is interrupted frequently by calling them to you, so no dog has the opportunity to tip over to arousal, which can happen when they are overly stimulated.
Protect your dog-Safety should be a priority. Don’t leave your dog alone in the yard. Don’t tether him outside while you go into a store, and don’t ever leave him in your car! You wouldn’t put your child in jeopardy of being abducted (or frying on hot days). Keep him safe from strange dogs by not having a meet and greet while out for a walk. You don’t know the other dog and they could be sick or unfriendly. Also, leashes can become tangled and dogs could panic. Well socialized dogs should play unleashed in a secure area.
Put identification on your dog-Even if he’s micro-chipped, it is much easier and faster if someone finds your dog to read his dog tag information and return him to you. Without visible tags, you’re relying on someone taking your dog to a shelter, veterinary hospital or doggie daycare, hoping that the facility has a scanner to obtain the information from the micro-chip. And remember if your information has changed (phone contacts, address etc.) please update your records with the micro-chip company.
Before your dog becomes another shelter-dog statistic, we hope you consider whether you have time for a dog before you bring one home, but if you do, then find a dog trainer who uses rewards based positive reinforcement techniques, and then spend the time properly adhering to the training program.
Some things should be common sense such as keeping your dog safe or providing a loving nurturing environment, but other things such as dog behavior issues may need be resolved or prevented with the help of a certified professional who does not use aversive methods to teach you and your dog. Choose wisely and don’t be fooled by marketing ploys. Regardless of the trainer’s credentials or what they’re calling their method: force-free, balanced, positive etc., IF SOMEONE IS HURTING YOUR DOG, IT IS NOT TRAINING; IT IS ABUSE! If you wouldn’t use the method on your child, don’t use it on your dog!
Training can enhance the human/hound experience, which means more time attending dogfriendly places and very little chance of sentencing him to a possible life of confinement in a shelter cage or worse!
© Fran Berry, CPDT-KA, all rights reserved 2014
Topo was rescued from a kill shelter with only 2 days left to live. Plenty of love and care has made him the happy dog he is today. Every dog has the potential for a happy ending, just like Topo's. Every day, thousands of dogs slip through the cracks and are unadopted, dying unnecessary deaths.
Famous Fido Rescue and Adoption Alliance is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID # 36-4675145). Contributions to Famous Fido are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Adoptions are by appointment
Monday - Saturday 12pm to 6pm.
Then call us about the dog or cat
you are interested in and we will make
an appointment for a meet and greet
at a time that is convenient for you.
Advocate for a Famous Fido Rescue dog.
Each dog needs a daily plan for their well being.
If you see a special dog and feel you want to do that little extra to help that special one find a new home.
You can advocate for them by telling friends, family, posting image and stories on your face book and spread the word.
Items can be droped off 10am - 7pm Mon - Sat. Parking in rear of building. Go through the alley in the middle of the Walgreens parking lot. Our parking lot is the first one on your left.
Come through the back door.
You can really make a diffrence in a
dog or cats life. Lets work together so
no dog or cat ever sees a shelter.
Executive Director and Founder
Gloria P. Lissner
Adoption - Development Director
Martha J. Hack