This gadget is so cute and looks like so much fun for dogs! The dog can be trained (or you can do it) to put the ball in the top and it shoots out of the front and the dog can play fetch. Grandted it's not as much fun as playing yourself but it could keep a dog busy and happy while you are not home! Check it out. There is a video of this boy playing and he has the cutest little excited dance! Here's the link: http://goifetch.com/press/press-kit/
Some rescues will share information with you but it is the information they wish to share and not always the information you really want to know. A rescue will generally share the number of dogs they have rescued and the number of dogs that have been adopted. Some will even share how many were strays, owner surrenders or transferred from another shelter. Some will also share how many dogs they transferred out to another shelter, how many were returned to their owners. Few want to share the number of dogs that died or the number of dogs that were euthanized.
But is that all you want to know? Do you wish there were more statistics being shared or do believe it is all just a numbers game?
Should the adoption numbers include what type of dogs were adopted out?
With the number of dogs that were rescued, do you want to know
The problem with playing the numbers game is it makes rescues competitive. No one wants to be the one with the lowest number of adoptions or the with highest number of
deaths. And how can that affect the dogs? When you play that numbers game, the dogs can be affected.
If there are things you are wondering about rescue and the numbers, ask. Any reputable rescue will be happy to show you their statistics and even their financial information. As a volunteer, donor, potential adopter or community member, you have the right to know. Just ask.
And the numbers game? Let's leave that to the lottery!
What does a food aggressive dog look like?
-May give you a warning look when you approach him while he has food
-May lower his head over the food
-May give you a warning growl when you approach his food
-His body may noticeably stiffen
Food Aggression is actually called Canine Possession Aggression (CPA) and can be a real challenge! It could be that the dog has had a time in his life that his food was taken away from him and he feels that he needs to guard it in order to eat.
There are different methods of dealing with the problem. I feel that a combination of different approaches works best.
There is the approach of showing your dog that you are the boss. I think that will work ONLY if your dog is being food aggressive JUST TO SHOW YOU that he can be. That is different than guarding food because he feels he has to protect it. Generally that is not the case. The dog is not just trying to prove that he can get away with it.
You will need to teach the dog that you are GIVING him food and not there to TAKE it and try to starve him. If the food aggressiveness is severe, you should not feed in the presence of other dogs or other people. Your dog may take the others as a threat and harm someone. Practice this alone with your dog.
Instead of putting his food in the dog dish, feed him from your hand. If you are fearful, do NOT try this. The dog needs to feel your sense of sharing and not a sense of fear. It will only confuse him if you are afraid. Share several pieces of dog food with him. Then put the food bowl on a countertop where the dog cannot reach it. Fill the bowl and set it down in the dogs normal eating place. While the dog is eating, gently toss a TREAT (something that smells great and will be tempting) near his eating spot. Do not invade his territory, but do try to toss the treat close him.
Do not try to remove his food bowl until he has finished eating and has left the area. Remove the food bowl when he is not present. Do not leave the food bowl on the floor as another dog or a human may get near it, and that may alert the guarding in the dog again.
This will take some time and you should not rush him. This was a learned behavior for him and it will take some patience to show him that he does not need to protect his food.
Do you have a dog that does its daily exercise of leg lifts by peeing all over your house?
First, let's get rid of the myth that only male dogs do this. Females are not above lifting their legs and pointing to a nearby chair leg when peeing. It is not just a male things.
Your dog may be marking its territory and markng means just that. They are choosing a spot , peeing and then proudly announcing, with the urine, "I've been here! This is my spot!" If another dog potties there, or if the dog feels the scent isn't strong enough, he will go back to the same spot to pee again, just to make sure the message is clear.
Although any dog may mark, the marking behavior happens most often with dogs who are males and not neutered. A dog who has not done this in the past may feel he now has a reason to mark such as a new person or pet in the home, visitors, or a sibling dog in your home may be challenging him.
Okay, what now? Well, we need to work on the problem.
First clean any spots that exist right now with an ammonia free cleaner to remove your dog's mark. I use vinegar mixed with water as it erases the smell completely.
That's the easy part. Now the more difficult part. Watch you dog very carefully now. If you can't watch him with an eagle's eye, crate him or confine to an area where marking is not prohibitted. It's hard to watch a dog constantly but be SURE you are if the dog is loose in your home. Sometimes it helps to put the dog on a leash and just keep him beside you. If you catch the dog trying to mark, tell him NO! and take him outside. Give him tons of praise if he lifts his leg outside.
Your dog may also be competing to be the boss, even with you! He will need to learn that the territory is not his and therefore does not need his "mark". You can teach him this by working on basic commands or even tricks where you are the leader. Teaching sit, down, come, stay teaches your dog that you are the leader. Once he realizes that there is no need for him to be the boss, the marking should decrease.
What is transporting? It's moving dogs from one place to another for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a new location helps a dog get adopted. Sometimes the dog is in danger of being euthanized. And there are many other reasons as well.
The trend seems to be transporting dogs from other states, even other countries, into the northern states. Iowa rescues have been involved as well. I commend those who are truly helping those animals, without regard to size, age or breed, and getting them to safety.
However, there have been reports the some northern rescues are trying to meet the "demand" for certain dogs, particularly puppies. That was rather shocking to me. As a rescue I did not know we paid attention to "supply and demand". I have always seen that as a retail thing. Rescues are nonprofit organizations.
Yet it is said that rescues will drive (or fly) to the southern states and pick the most "highly adoptable" dogs and transport them back to their northern rescues. What happens to the other dogs? What happens to the dogs in the northern states?
It is reported that the Northern states have done very well with getting their dogs spayed or neutered. As a result there are not nearly as many puppies being born in the northern states. The southern states, however, are not as proactive with spaying and neutering. Thus, there are many puppies still being born and the shelters are still very crowded.
These puppies do need a place to go and I understand that. However, the number of puppies will continue to be in need if nothing is done about the spaying and neutering in the southern states. If rescues from the northern states are profitting from these highly adoptable dogs, then they should use some of that money to help fund spay and neuter programs down south so the need will not be so great. If it can be done in the north, it can be done in the south too. It is rescue's responsiblity to encourage and educate people about spaying and neutering.
Therein lies the problem....if they puppy "supply" dries up, where will puppies come from? Where will rescues get highly adoptable dogs or will they be forced to take in the dogs that are in dire need? The older dogs, the fearful dogs, the sick dogs?
I've always believed that a rescue exists to serve the DOGS, not the people and therefore, not the supply and demand.
I would love to hear your comments on this subject.....
January 1st....So many thoughts of the things I want to do in 2015 and wondering how many I will have the time and/or money to follow through with.
One of the things foremost in my mind with regards to rescue is to keep learning! And one of the areas that most interests me is learning how to help fearful or shy dogs. After working with these dogs day in and day out, I have a strong desire to learn more so I can help them more. I want to learn all that is out there about these dogs but find there really isn't a lot as far as guidance. But I will learn all I can. I know there is nothing like that moment when a dogs empty eyes light up and you know that there is now more than hope for that dog. You know that dog is going to make it. And the first time the dog lets you touch or hold it....you will remember it always. You will never be the same after experiencing that. That was especially true in working with Olivia. After 1 1/2 years, she let me pick her up and love her! She looked right into my eyes. I felt so loved and so trusted. She shared herself with me in a way that I hoped for but was not sure would ever happen.
And of course, I think of the dogs we lost this past year. They stay in my heart and I believe their lives were meaningful and their deaths as well. Many times we can learn from the hardest things in life. The death of a dog is never easy and if it is the result of a decision you are forced to make, it is incredibly difficult. My eyes still fill with tears when I think of the dogs who didn't make it.
Of course, I'd love to solve all the "dog problems" in our world in the year 2015 but there is so much to do....
I really want to work on encouraging people to bring their dogs to rescues when they can no longer keep them. It would reduce the number of abandoned dogs who are left on highway and country roads and that run the danger of being hit by car, shot, starving, illness, killed by another animal.
I would also like to get more people to have compassion for the breeder released dogs and work toward helping these dogs with a new life rather than focusing on the people involved. I believe these dogs have every right to life, a great life!
I would also like to put a strong focus on increasing our adoptions this year so we will get more dogs into their new homes AND so we are able to help more dogs who still need us. We will be focusing on our training program and further grooming options.
Lots of thoughts, lots of "I would like to's" but I can't do it alone. Will you help? Yes, I know you would and thank you so much!
Fearful and Shy Dogs – Picking A Dog Up and Putting the Dog Down
Easy, right? Not always so with fearful and shy dogs. Picking a fearful or shy dog up can be traumatic to the dog. You are literally lifting that dog out of his comfort zone. Make sure that dog is comfortable with your touch before you try to pick the dog up. If your dog is still not comfortable with touch, try slow gentle massages around the shoulder areas and back of the neck. When your dog is comfortable with your touch, we can move forward.
Ready? I have strong opinions on picking dogs up and putting them back down.
First, picking a dog up….
Try to make it as pleasant an experience for the dog as possible. Make sure you are in a patient, calm state of mind and you really have time to do this properly. Do NOT pick the dog up by the legs or scruff of the neck. I recommend putting one hand/arm over the back of the dog and gently under the stomach/chest area. Wrap you other hand around the area just above the dogs front legs. Be careful not to go up too far and make the dog feel like you are choking him.
Okay, you’ve got the dog picked up. What should you do now? Let the dog guide you.
If dog is very nervous, hold him in your lap for just a few moments. Just hold. No petting at this point.
If the dog is relatively calm, continue and set the dog, gently in your lap, still holding him with arm over his back and under tummy. Guide with your other hand. Let him just sit there. Don’t move your hands. Make sure your lap is stable and the dog is not feeling like he might fall. When the dog seems calm, pet him slowly and gently. Feel free to reward the dog with a treat. Don’t hold him for more than a few moments the first time. Increase the time as you go and the dog lets you know he’s okay with all this.
Now putting him down…
This too should be a pleasant experience for the dog. The dog should not feel like there is any danger in being put down on the floor. Make sure the spot you are putting the dog in is secure and stable. Do not set him down on a high table, or on something that is shaky.
Before putting the dog down, be sure the dog is in the calmest moment possible. Don’t let the dog jump down. The dog could jump and hurt himself and then connect that to you putting him down. It can cause further fear.
Set the dog down on the floor. Hold on to him for a moment and do a slow, soft rub on the shoulder area. Slowly remove your hands. At first the dog may run from you as soon as you release it. But as you do this over and over, you will find that your dog will move away more slowly.
Give the dog a treat to show him that what he has done is awesome!
Continue picking your dog up and putting him down until he is really comfortable with it. Increase the lengths of time you hold him as he maintains a quiet, calm state of mind.
You and your dog are doing wonderful!
As I sit here on Thanksgiving eve, I can't help but think of the things I am thankful for. When asked what we are thankful for, we respond with similar answers of family, friends, health, love, life, faith. And we are thankful for those things. They mean so much to us.
But this past year and the year prior have brought so many more blessings to my life! Now when someone asks what I am thankful for, they better have a long time to sit and listen because there is so much!
Second Chance Dog Rescue was just a dream at one time. Now that dream has become a life for me and my husband, a life with meaning and purpose, a life full of love.
So what am I thankful for?
...The dogs that share their capacity to love truly and completely without conditions....The dogs that show me what independence and strength really are... The dogs who once were needy become strong....the dogs who were afraid become brave....the dogs that were without love find the love of a family. Every single dog that has come in our door now lives in my heart forever. I am SO thankful for the dogs.
...The people that have done the right thing by bringing their dog to us, rather than dumping it somewhere....the shelters who have called to say "we need a hand"....the breeders who have given us the opportunity to rehome their retired dogs...those who watch out for stray dogs and call us to come to help. It takes a world to change the course of a dog in need. I'm thankful that people care.
...Everyone who has helped the dogs of Second Chance in any way! So many people have given their time and money to give these dogs a second chance at a new life. Donors who have shared the last of what they have to give...people who drop off a bag of dog food or a warm blanket...Those donations of things we need and dollars keep our doors open. All the people that have adopted a dog and shared their lives and homes...I am thankful.
... And for those who share the dream! People who have that vision of a world where dogs are not abused, neglected or homeless...those are the people who volunteer their time to help the dogs of Second Chance. They take time away from their personal lives and bring their love and compassion to share with the dogs. They give themselves to these dogs and show them so much love. They work without payment of money and are paid in licked kisses, paws on your lap, and barks of joy! We have many devoted, wonderful volunteers that have helped so much and I am thankful for each and every one of you.
...Our Board of Directors and members. Without you we would lack the motivation behind the vision...the power to go on would cease...the goal would become vague. You each keep the vision clear and foremost in our minds. You share your experiences, your knowledge, your talents and your love at Second Chance. I am so thankful to have you all contributing in making Second Chance Dog Rescue the very best it can be.
....And my amazing husband Rick who has put his heart and soul into the rescue...who consoles me when a dog crosses Rainbow Bridge... rejoices with me when a dog gets to go home...who celebrates with me when a frightened dog finally trusts me to hold it... and for loving these dogs with the same passion I do! I am thankful to be on this journey with my husband.
To all of you, on Thanksgiving Day, I will be speaking of the things you have done, your trials and your accomplishments, your love and your kindness. Because that is what I am thankful for...
For all of you!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Fearful and Shy Dogs – Getting to Touch
Keep those treats nearby. They will come in handy.
During this process do not try to trick your dog into letting you touch him. That will only cause the dog to distrust you. You will be proving to the dog that humans are up to something and can’t be trusted. It is not worth it in the long run.
If it’s possible (and sometimes it is not) see if you can get the dog to touch you first. Sometimes that opens the door for them to let you in for touching. How?
-When giving the dog a treat, hold the treat in the palm of your hand allowing the dog to sniff and possible even lick your hand as he gets the treat.
-With the next treat add a little peanut butter on the treat. Let the dog have it from the palm of your hand. Do this until the dog takes the treat happily and is enjoying the peanut butter treat.
-Now put some peanut butter in the palm of your hand. Set the treat on top of that. Offer it to the dog. Hold very still and do NOT try to reach out to the dog. Let the dog move as they wish. When the dog will take the treat and then lick your hand to get the peanut butter, you can move to the next step.
-Do the same as above but gently slowly move your fingers as the dog gets the treat and peanut butter. When dog is comfortable move to next step.
-Continue with the peanut butter and treat. This time reach out. Do not touch yet. Just reach out until the dog is comfortable.
-Again with the peanut butter and treat. Now reach out and try to touch the dog UNDER the chin and slowly rub back and forth. Use slow gentle movement. If the dog pulls away, do not move your hand. Hold still and let the dog know you are not trying to trick him. When the dog is comfortable with this touch move forward to the next step.
-You are not only touching but you are establishing a base to build your relationship with the dog on. You are teaching the dog that you can be trusted. This is huge process using baby steps to get there.
-Continue with treats and touching. Next try touching chest area. When dog is comfortable move touch to the ear area, then back of neck, then back. Move over the dogs body. Save the top of the head and top of neck for last as these are spots that might lead the dog to think you are trying to grab him.
Now that we have established a good slow touch, we can move forward. Stay tuned! You are doing it and your dog is feeling more relaxed!