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?