Posted in dogs, pet health, pets, shelter animals

They’re counting on you

If you wanted to count from one to one million, it’s said that it would take you about 23 days. Multipy those days by 85 – the approximate number of millions of dogs that are abandoned yearly in the U.S. – and you’d be counting for over five years.
The task of caring for these pooches is formidable, but thousands of animal shelters all over the country attempt to do that, every day. With the limited funds that they’re allotted, and the countless hours donated by kindhearted volunteers who help them, they accomplish what they can. Facing such daunting statistics, it’s easy to see how anyone might be overwhelmed.
But why do people want to give up a pet in the first place? It can be as simple as a change in living situation: moving to an apartment where dogs are not allowed, or preparing for a newborn in the household. But most often, the reasons for giving up a dog are behavior related – aggressiveness, destructiveness, excessive barking, and marking behavior are top pet peeves.
Solving behavior problems can be complicated. A dog owner may have trouble isolating what events can trigger a pet’s poor behavior. Events can be aggravated by the number of people in the household, especially if children (who are pretty free-spirited about behavior themselves) are involved in caring for the dog.
It helps if a trainer skilled in canine behavior can be hired. But if that’s not possible, a pet owner may be able to ask a friend to remotely observe interactions with a pet to see what behavior is most harmful: does the dog jump on people who enter the home? Do cars passing by upset the pet? Do small children overwhelm the dog’s comfort zone?
• First, keeping a behavior journal is helpful.
• Second, discussing the unwanted behavior with the veterinarian is critical. (A health checkup might reveal an illness contributing to Fido’s poor behavior.)
• Dog owners may need re-training of their own behavior as they interact with their pet. Look for canine training programs available in the area that address the types of behavior most concerned with.
• To avoid unwanted behaviors, it’s best to begin training a dog from when it’s a puppy. All types of dog care books can be found in pet stores or any local library for convenient reference.
Even mature dogs can be trained to behave well. As an animal shelter volunteer can tell you, correcting poor behavior is possible, and well worth the effort if it helps find a new home for a dog. Most dogs want to please, and will reward you with nuzzles and abundant tail wags.
Overall? Training a pet in good behavior is much easier than giving it up.

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Owned by three cats over age 13

2 thoughts on “They’re counting on you

  1. Hello! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look ahead to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  2. I love the way in which you have related this particular subject. Very helpful.
    I look forward to viewing the other comments.

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