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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

Saving Rescue Dogs: Success Through Training

As a certified professional dog trainer, I have worked with countless clients who have adopted dogs from shelters and rescues, only to find that the dogs have behavior issues that they are not equipped to handle. I've seen families struggle with dogs who bark excessively, destroy furniture, or show aggression towards people or other dogs. In some cases, these issues were so extensive that the families were forced to make the difficult decision to return the dog to the shelter.

This is a heartbreaking situation for everyone involved. The family is left feeling like they've failed the dog, and the dog is left confused and scared in a shelter environment. But the truth is, many of these issues could have been prevented or addressed with proper training and behavior modification.

It's important for shelters and rescues to understand that while their primary goal is to find homes for dogs in need, they also have a responsibility to set those dogs up for success in their new homes. This means providing them with the necessary training and behavior modification to address any issues they may have.

By doing so, shelters and rescues can help ensure that dogs are placed in homes that are equipped to handle their needs, reducing the likelihood of returns and surrender. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved: the dogs get the training they need to succeed, the families get a well-behaved and happy dog, and the shelters and rescues can feel confident that they are making a positive impact on the lives of animals in their care.

One effective way for shelters and rescues to provide training for their dogs is by investing in training for their staff. By partnering with professional dog trainers or behaviorists, or training staff and volunteers to do it themselves, shelters can provide the necessary resources for their dogs to receive proper training and behavior modification. Many grants and fundraising opportunities are also available to help cover the costs.By investing in training for their staff and utilizing the expertise of professional trainers, shelters and rescues can set dogs up for success in their new homes.

In conclusion, providing training and behavior modification for dogs in shelters and rescues is crucial for their success in their new homes. As a dog trainer, I urge shelters and rescues to make this a priority and work towards implementing it as a standard practice. By doing so, we can help more dogs find loving homes and reduce the number of dogs in shelters.

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