While there is always a percentage of irresponsible or neglectful people, I believe that most people want the best for their pets. As a culture, we love our pets like family. We spoil them, spends hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on them each year. We bring them into our homes with every intention of keeping them until they die of natural peaceful causes. So, how do so many pets end up in the shelter? And, why do we feel justified in being so hateful towards their owners?
Getting a young active dog to stop pulling on walks can be challenging. Some dogs "get it" right away. I have never had one of those dogs though. I tend to like active breeds so I have had some major "pullers". The most important thing that causes this is also the simplest.
I am a volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society. They have wonderful training programs for their volunteer staff. One of the programs that benefitted me the most in my business has been the shy dog trainings. I love the shy dogs. There is a sense of real accomplishment when you can help a dog progress from hiding into the back of their kennel to being happy to see you and allowing you to leash and walk them. At the Rescue, this process can take days, weeks, or months. The progress depends on the dog. The dogs are never pushed or forced into progressing faster than their comfort zone allows. It is for this reason, that I am writing this post. I see an alarming number of dog walkers that are inexperienced with shy dogs that use treats to lure a scared dog into a forced dog walk. They think that if they chase a dog under a bed and can capture it without the dog biting them that they are being successful. This causes more harm than benefit. I urge you to reconsider having strangers come to your house to walk your shy dogs that you have not properly vetted. Not all dog-walkers (or family members) are a good fit for a shy dog. Here is what I learned from working with rescue animals: