Pet Therapy from a rescues point of view

Hello! My name is Socks and I had a rough start. My original mom and dad decided that I wasn’t what they wanted anymore so they tried to find a new home for me to stay. When that didn’t work, they brought me to a place where there were other dogs that didn’t have homes either. It was a bit overwhelming! I was used to a bed, cuddle time and attention. This place was different. Some dogs wanted to play, some did not.

I was then introduced to an awesome, crazy dog lady.  They called her Rebekah. She took me places and always had good treats for when I was a good boy! She taught me something called “manners” and helped me overcome my excitement. She then found a place for me to live! I live with two other dogs! I LOVE to play with them, sometimes they don’t want to play and yell at me, but I know they love me!  This isn’t my permanent home though. I am still searching for my forever home!

Rebekah took me to a fun place yesterday! She took me to a fun building with people inside that were very excited to meet me! They all sat in a circle and I said hi to all of them! I would sit and they would give me a treat! Some would want to shake my paw! I would get a treat for that too!! They would call my name and want to give me back rubs and belly scratches!

It was the best day ever! Before I left, some wanted to take a picture with me! I felt like a star! I am a Sharpei/Bulldog mix. I am 1.5 years old and LOVE people and LOVE to play! I love running around in my fenced in back yard and have a lot of energy because I am still a puppy!

If you are interested in meeting me, my group is called Two Left Paws! I love to meet new people and want to find my forever home!

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The Runaway

In a private training session earlier this week, I had an opportunity preset itself that we didn’t expect to happen. We were practicing greeting guests at the door. The original intention of the pup was to bark at the guests and focus on the guests. What we wanted to achieve as a goal was for him to to alert when someone was at the door and then relax.
When I first got there all heard was “Bark! Bark! Bark!” So, we worked on a redirection technique by walking him away from the front door and bringing him back once his barking had stopped. We did this a couple times, while discussing other techniques that could be used. One of our last attempts to have success at the front door ended up being a runaway attempt! I stood at the doorway and rang the doorbell to stimulate a regular activity. Ding! Dong! “Bark! Bark! Bark!” I waited for the owner to redirect the dog and open the door like we have practiced. The door opens and out run the pup! Normally at this point he would stay and bark at me, but he decided to make a break for it!

I see him run out and think to myself, “why is he not on a leash as we discussed?” then, I see him continuing to run and not come back!! Boy was he fast!! I then said, “Um…he is not stopping!” The owner then runs out and proceeds to run after him yelling his name. I did a couple high pitched “Pip! Pip!” to see if I could get his attention. NOTHING! WE NEED BACKUP! I told the aunt to grab the car and meet us down the road. I proceeded to catch up and try to cut a corner to get to the pup faster. He made it to the end of the road and decided to take a right! At this point he wasn’t stopping other than to mark certain areas. Nothing was going to stop him. We hadn’t worked on this yet…

A we got closer, he would look back, see us coming and then run ahead.  Then a car approached! Yikes! I decided to walk in the middle of the road to get the cars attention to stop and then he saw the dog. As the car stopped, the pup just very CASUALLY AND SLOWLY walked past him as if he wasn’t there! We were pretty close to him at that point so I gave the owner this instruction: “When you get close to him, WALK PAST HIM AND ACT AS IF YOU DON’T CARE.” She proceeded to walk past him and the pup looked over and then proceeded to walk toward her! This was enough for her to grab him!! PHEW!! We thanked the driver of the car, attached the pup to a leash and started to walk back to the house. Our conversation consisted of positive points that happened and preventative actions taken to help this not happen again.

She will remember to have a leash attached to him from now on! It is situations like this one that remind owners that their dog is not a robot and will choose to make their own choices at times. This is why consistent training is important! As a professional trainer, I talk about prevention all the time and working with your pup everyday. Recalls are very important and helping your pet make the right choices is even better!

For more information regarding training, please visit our website at http://www.ruffacademywi.com

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