Many dog shelters have an incredible amount of dogs siphon through their facilities each month. A well-meaning army of volunteers try their best to help the dogs that come through the rescue route. They do great heart work but many do not do great head work. I see the other side of rescue in my daily work, the side where the rescue dog bites a neighbor’s dog or the new rescue dog bites their own owner or a child in the home! Why does this happen? How can we prevent it?
Let me answer the two questions above here and now. 1. It happens because most folks (even professional dog trainers – as I’ve said ad nauseam on this blog – do NOT know the dog language because they are consumed with trick training and obedience. Keep in the forefront of your mind, Dear Reader, that what most dog owners consider solid obedience has little to nothing to do with canine social skills, language, and teamwork. 2. I’m going to answer the second question and describe precisely how we can prevent most rescue dog problems and help revolutionize the rescue dog industry with three easy solutions in the next paragraph!
3 EXCELLENT MUST-HAVE SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD REVOLUTIONIZE DOG RESCUE FOR THE BETTER
- In order to have a non-profit animal shelter or dog rescue the facility must have multiple TREADMILLS. As new dogs come in they are put on a regular and rigorous exercise routine before being taken for a walk and socialized. The impact would be incredible. I know because I work with dangerous dogs every day and there’s an enormous difference working with them before versus working with them AFTER their Treadmill time.
- In order to have a non-profit animal shelter or dog rescue the facility or lead workers there would have to have/own incredibly Social “EXAMPLE DOGS.” It would be ideal if each facility had continual access to two or three (small, medium, and large) wonderful, lead dogs that were highly skilled in dog language and communication to aid other dogs and to drastically help the rescue volunteers and the would be adopters. I’m talking about dogs that are trustworthy and calm – excellent communicators. It is so bizarre to me that more rescues and training companies don’t see and identify these dogs as a must have in order to help any and every problematic dog that comes through their doors. Sociability is always the key when working with highly social animals. Anything less is bordering on stupidity and/or abuse. At our Dog Language Center we use my excellent example dogs to help other dogs every, single day with great success. All dogs learn from other dogs.
- In order to have a non-profit animal shelter or dog rescue the facility would be required by law to Tell the TRUTH about the animal’s history (yes, tragically there’s loads of lying in the dog rescue industry…perhaps they never heard the old adage ‘Honesty is the best policy’?) And if we were to make just one more great suggestion, maybe a 3.5 option to revolutionizing the rescue dog industry then I’d suggest every adoption comes with a copy of my first book, Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You! for the future owner in order to dispel the many harmful and often idiotic behavioral myths that reave and ravage the mind of most unwitting dog owners and the masses of inept dog professionals that abound in today’s world.
These 3.5 steps IF applied in dog shelters would do much towards paving the way of one of my grandest goals…to take the yearly American dog bite rate down from about 5 MILLION people each year to just 4 Million! (And those are only the bites that are reported!) If that rate could fall by a million that would mean dogs are doing much better and people are doing much better. That’s a giant win-win! But I’m not holding my breath.
If you truly care feel free to spread these ideas with your local rescues and shelters!