The first week of my six-week training adventure is almost over. I’m over the moon with the class and what I’m learning. I’m an experienced dog handler but there is so much more to the science around dog training. Plus, what a great advantage we have being on the beautiful campus of St. Hubert’s Animal Sanctuary. We’ve had the pleasure of working with some very cool and interesting dogs here.
Pictured to left is Shamrock, a hound mix who is a happy-go-lucky dude. Next to him is JR, a black retriever mix. I’m happy to say that JR was adopted today. I’d like to think some of the activities we did with him this week helped to get him adopted. Although we’ve been studying behavior and not really teaching any commands, I think the socialization and attention does help. That is one of the major reasons shelters need volunteers. Often the staff is focused on the day-to-day efforts of running a shelter. You don’t always get to play with dogs and cats and other companion animals when you are worried about cleanliness of the kennels, fiduciary responsibility or building projects! If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, donate!
Nami is a beautiful young terrier who came from a fighting ring somewhere down in the south. New Jersey and many of the other northern states often get imports of dogs from the south. Nami spent a lot of time with the SPCA group who works out of St. Hubert’s getting rehabilitated. She’s still a little shy around people but she seems to love interacting with other dogs and playing! Today was day two that she met us and seemed a lot more comfortable around the class then she was yesterday. Plus we were inside in the training ring rather than outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine like today. Lot’s of environmental stimulus can affect the way a dog behaves. Clearly Nami was more at home in the play area outside then in the training ring surrounded by strangers!
This black and white beauty is Lita. She is a little clown and never failed to make me laugh at her antics! The handsome seal-colored man is Adonis. You wouldn’t be able to tell but he’s a senior dog. What you can tell about him is that he loved playing tug with that toy!!!
This is just a few of the dogs we’ve been working with at St. Hubert’s. There are great companions like these guys in shelters all over the country and the world. If you have a place in your home for another companion animal, please consider going to a shelter or rescue!