Agility By Carlson Blog

Date added: 05/30/2010 10% off on large purchases

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Date added: 05/24/2010 How to Select a Rescue Dog:

Now is an excellent time to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue organization. As Pennsylvania takes on puppy mills enforcing stricter laws, many commercial breeding kennels are closing, sending dogs and puppies to shelters and rescue organizations. It’s a great time to get a new four-legged friend and help out the overcrowded shelters.

How do you select a rescue dog that’s right for you? Three main areas to focus on are your lifestyle, temperament, and healthcare of the dog.

What kind of dog will fit your lifestyle? Do you want a dog that can run and play ball with the kids? Do you want a dog that will hang on the front porch and watch sunsets with you? Do you want a dog that you can have sit on the couch with you and watch TV? Do you want a dog that can run 5 miles a day with you? Do you want to provide a loving home to a dog that has been abused? Do you want a dog that can travel with you on the job? Do you want to save a dog from euthanasia?

The answer to your question, “What dog will match my lifestyle?” will help you narrow your selection and pick a dog that is appropriate for your needs, home, and activity level. When a dog is appropriately placed the owners are happy with the dog and then the dog will be happy. Also, when the new owners are pleased with their rescue dog they are most likely to rescue a dog again.

Shelters provide a wonderful temporary home for dogs, but are not a natural or normal environment for a dog so their true temperament or personality may not fully be apparent immediately. Shelter settings are usually filled with dogs barking, new people walking around, and a routine that is unfamiliar to a dog, causing them to be overwhelmed. Dogs when over stimulated often shut down or are in a bit of shock. However, the dog’s body language and behavior on your shelter visits will give you an indication of his temperament.

Take your time and watch dog behavior both in the kennel run and then outside in a yard. Kneel in front of the kennel run, turning sideways, so that you are not threatening to the dog, wait to see who approaches you and how they approach you. Do they come up to the kennel gate waging their tail, head slightly lowered, this one may have a very even temperament. Do they rush the kennel gate growling and snarling, trying to bust through, may be a sign of aggression, rambunctious, or high anxiety. Do they sit in the back of the pen, head down, and tail slightly waging, shy and nervous most likely? (But wait, this is the one everyone feels sorry for and wants to take home. The problem here is this dog is most likely fearful and timid and will need lots of work to build confidence.) Do they display “kennel behavior” barking at anyone or another dog that passes their pen, spinning non-stop, jumping up continuously or lying low curled up in a corner. It is normally hard for these dogs to adjust to house living, it is not impossible, but these dogs often need extra time in bonding with people, extra time in house breaking, and extra patience learning to live in a new environment outside kennel routine.

Temperament of the dog is very important in matching the right dog to a new home, but temperament of the owner is also important to match to the dog. Temperament of the person, better known as personality in people, will effect the bonding between owner and dog. People can have strong or dominant personalities, people can be timid or submissive, excitable or wired, calm or confident. A very strong or dominant person should avoid a nervous or submissive dog because they may just cause the dog to have a more neurotic disposition. A strong dominant person would probably match well with an excitable and confident dog. A very sweet gentle person will be taken advantage of by a dominant or assertive dog. The gentle person could help build confidence in the nervous shy dog.

Your dog’s health and well-being are another area to review when contemplating which kind of dog to adopt. Read the shelter report of the dog, are there any known health problems. If it is a puppy, how young was the pup taken from its mother and litter. Pups taken away from their mother and litter too early do not always learn appropriate doggy behavior, which may lead to some social or developmental puppy problems later.

Consider the coat of the dog. Is someone in your household allergic to dogs, look for the non-shedding coat. A dog with long hair may require professional grooming, which means more money for regular maintenance. Most people that think that they will learn to groom their own dog, don’t because it is hardwork.

The same with training, all dogs need training, but not every owner has experience to train their own dog. Whether you select a pup or older rescue dog, all ages will need training to fit into your family. To be in your home and part of your family, dogs need to learn to be house trained and learn house manners like not jumping, mouthing, barking or biting. These are good people to dog manners that need to be taught because they don’t just happen. Dogs will all need to learn to come, stay, and walk on a leash so they can go places with you for a walk, to the park, veterinarian, kennel, or groomers.

Overall, now is a great time to look for a rescue dog because so many are in need of a home. Just remember three main areas to focus on are your lifestyle, temperament of the dog, and healthcare of the dog. Keep these ideas in your mind and you should be able to select a dog that you can enjoy for many years to come.

Date added: 04/16/2010 Blog Entry 1

Good evening, this is the beginning of the new Blog entry on my site. Today we’ve been very busy with lots of agility orders. Feel free to read, join, or view our website. Any questions or ideas, suggestions, etc. etc. give us a holler.