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  • YOU can train shelter dogs

    Posted by Janine Allen at Wednesday, June 1st, 2011.

    Would you have a little bit of time to help just one shelter dog find a home? Take your training skills to a shelter and volunteer to help a dog become more adoptable. Shelter dogs learn the same way that you have learned to train your pet dogs: rewards for desired behavior, no rewards for undesired behavior.

    Most shelter volunteers groom or exercise dogs without realizing the desperate need for training. No amount of exercise is going to keep an excitable dog from jumping on his kennel door, he must learn how to be calm when visitors approach. Fearful dogs, not learning to cope with the stress of kennel life, only fall deeper into their syndrome without some form of desensitization. If not trained, a continuously barking dog may never find a home. A dog may only have a few moments to catch the attention of a visitor, so training for eye contact and interaction can be crucial for his long term survival.

    A large, boisterous, shelter dog can be a bit intimidating but, get this: you can perform all training OUTSIDE of the kennels without ever touching the dogs! With a clicker and small treats you can train shelters dogs through the kennel bars without getting jumped on, yanked, dirty, smelly, or scratched. By simply clicking and rewarding for desired behavior, and ignoring undesired behavior you will be providing a much-needed service for our deserving homeless dogs.

    So what’s keeping you from helping just one dog this summer?

    WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE? You can, as long as you include the following, complete statement and a link back to the original article:


    Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog's professional dog trainer. Janine's passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2018 Rescue Me Dog; www.rescuemedog.org

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    8 Responses to “YOU can train shelter dogs”

    1. Renata Says:

      Hi, I Rescued a Boston Terrier from a Rescue Center about 3 months ago. They did not have any info on Him. He is about 1.5 yrs old. They had him fixed and all current shots when I recieved him. He was scared and cowerdous at first but since then He has became a very happy & playful guy. He sleps with me and he enjoys his treats. I take him out every morning about 6am and when I get home I take Him imediatley out which is about 5pm and allow him to play outside until dark. I have been keeping Him in a bathroom with a baby gate for the first 2.5 months but thought He would do well in the home alone. The first week and a half He did great but that last couple of days He went Potty #1 & #2, 2 days in a row. So this morning back to lock down. Is there something I’m not doing or does He still need more time? Also He likes to bite (softly, but annoyingly) constantly on my hands, hair, etc. He has toys and occationly I get He pigs ears. What can I do to help this little guy became a better fur baby?

    2. Jehmima Says:

      Training a dog would really take me a lifetime, I really do not have the patience in dong this skill.

      Jehmima from épilation lumière pulsée 

    3. Renata Says:

      About my liitle guy that I adopted. I have had him 8 months now and he is doing great. No more accidents in the house and he is no longer in the bathroom with babygate all day while im gone. He is happy and healthy. Got got his check up, all good.

    4. TeriinTex Says:

      Renata: Do you pee between the hours of 6am and 5pm? I am betting that you do! Maybe there is not anything wrong with your pet at all. Maybe he just needs to relieve himself between the 11 hours that you are not there. 11 hours is a looooong time not to go pee.

    5. Renata Says:

      I understand that, I am only gone 9 not 11 and He has had an accident a time or two. I also have a friend that stops by occasionaly and lets him out. But for the most part He does not go in the house or releave himself in the house. I can not leave him out all day and I have to work. So what do you suggest?

    6. Diane West Says:

      Hi Renato,
      I am an approved foster and adopter with the National Great Pyrenees Rescue organization. I have fostered many dogs who we not trained. Consistency is the key along with regularity. Even 9 hours is a very long time alone. Dogs are pack animals at heart. The need you as they ae putting you in the category of their pack. Also, consistency is a major part of training. You should ensure someone comes to take him outside for a potty break at approx. the same time everyday. Reward him with a kibble treat when he does his business outside. Spend a few moments giving him attention and play time as well. Puppies have smaller bladders than large dogs and need to relieve themselves more often. If all of the above is not possible, you might consider doggy daycare for the morning and have your helper bring him home mid day.

    7. Roni Says:

      Well I am happy to say that my little guy Sebastian is no longer in bathroom lock down when I leave for work. Has been that way for the last 6 months. I take him out at 6am & 7am and then when I get home at 5pm. He has only had one accident in the house #2 since then. BTY when I mean put him in the bathroom, I put him in with a baby gate so he is not closed in but can see out, but glad I dont have to do that any more. He still likes to bite as he plays but it is in a soft wat. Something I have not seem to be able to break but as long as he is happy & health.

    8. Long Life Cats and Dogs Says:

      What a fantastic site and such great work you are doing. I am really looking forward to following you.

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