In a perfect world, everybody lives happily ever after – including dogs. Sadly, the millions of dogs that end up in animal shelters are testimony to a scarier reality.
“We didn’t know it would grow to be so large.”
“The landlord said I had to give him up.”
“We have to move.”
“With the new baby, we don’t have time.”
We are a casual, throw-away society and the evidence is written on the cards attached to the kennel runs of the dogs that are housed in animal shelters across the country. Most of these dogs end up in shelters because their owners are clueless when it comes to understanding dog behavior.
What if we could fix this starting with you?
If you are a first-time dog owner, here’s a great, one-step-action-plan guaranteed to help you understand the basics of dog behavior … before you adopt a dog.
One-step Action Plan: volunteer.
Make the decision that before you adopt a dog, you will spend three months volunteering at a shelter in your area. Or, research the smaller, dog rescue organizations near you and volunteer your services with one that touches your heart.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to own a German Shepherd, now’s the time to volunteer for your local German Shepherd rescue organization. Think you might like Boxers? There’s a rescue group for that breed too.
Regardless of which route you go: the larger humane society organization or the smaller, more grass-roots and most likely all volunteer organization, steel your heart. Be strong and commit to not adopting a dog until your three month time period for volunteering is up.
Check to see if the humane society has a dog walking program. And, if so, volunteer to walk dogs. Maybe they offer dog obedience classes and are looking for volunteers to take some of the adoptable dogs through these programs. Obedience classes are generally 6-8 weeks long, so plan accordingly.
The neat thing about dog obedience school is that they’re designed to teach people. Hopefully, by the end of that first class, the dog you’ve been working with will be better behaved. More importantly, you will have a basic understanding of dog behavior and will be much better prepared to give your dog its forever home.