Tag Archives: shelters

Teaching Bella To Get Along With Other Dogs – BARCS ID# A21561474

getalong117 days ago, Cynthia and I went to pick up Candie, now renamed Bella, from BARCS, and the progress she’s made so far is amazing.  At the beginning, Bella wanted nothing to do with Alex and we did not force her either, but rather took them both for walks, and runs around the neighborhood.  Bella’s body language was that of a dog in shock of being outside.  More details in another post.  Anyway, as time went by, Bella stopped staring and wanting to go for Alex.

getalong2But look at Bella now.  She is sunbathing on our deck with Alex and Dexter.  Does this take time?  Yes, it does.  And a ton of patience.  Today, Monday, was a nice day so we went out and stayed hanging out on the deck for a while.  What is the point of doing this?  I want Bella to get used to just relaxing around other dogs and I also wanted to observe her body language towards Alex and Dexter, and the squirrels around our backyard that always get her attention.

getalong3This is one of my regulars, Dexter, a boxer mix.  Dexter loves to sunbathe indoors or outdoors.  He is a bigger sun worshipper than my daughter, Alex.  Bella was not very good at dealing with other dogs once we were inside the house, but…

getalong4this is Bella now.  Bella was already on that spot.  Dexter came over and decided that that was the right spot for him and proceeded to fall asleep without a care in the world.  I was looking at their body language to see if there was any signs of aggression to come, but nothing.  I know this may sound ridiculous to some people, but I wanted to cry.  Why?  This is progress for Bella, being able to get along with other dogs indoors, and I was over the moon.

getalong5As you can see, Bella is about to fall asleep too.  Is there anything in particular we did to get her to this point?  No, it was a combination of many things such as:

  • Exercise – a mix of walks and runs twice a day
  • Feeding – once she is finished eating, she is to wait patiently until all the other dogs finish their meal and then all of them go to bed to relax and take a nap
  • Sleeping – she sleeps in her crate after we give her some loving
  • At home – she is not allowed to roam around the house on her own.  She is either with Cynthia or I so we can monitor her body language and interaction with other dogs
  • Outside – we are working on getting her to walk properly, and she is doing better.  Her body language during our walks went from afraid to more relaxed as time went by, although squirrels still drive her nuts
  • Structure – she gets all the love she can handle, but she must earn it.  She has to sit before she gets anything, she has to wait before going out the door, and so much more

getalong6Bella is even getting more comfortable with Alex sniffing her and being close to her.  For those pet parents and foster parents that just got a new dog to add to their pack, my advice would be to do the following: have patience, appreciate the progress your dogs are making regardless of how small they may seem, do not leave them unattended, provide structure for them, exercise them, and work on teaching them basic training and good manners.  Understand this though, your dog will not change overnight.  You will see progress and change in your dog as time goes by, so arm yourself with a lot of patience and do not feel discourage when there are setbacks, and there will be set backs.  Our foster furry kid, Bella, is an amazing girl and little by little we are starting to see a more relaxed and balanced doggie.  Enjoy your holiday with your furry children.

In Home Dog Boarding vs. Dog Kennels

boarding1Soon, it’ll be two weeks since Alex started wearing a brace for her ACL injury and so far she is doing fine.  She is putting pressure on both legs, although still favoring her right leg, and she is resting a lot.  This is her favorite spot when the sun is out, by the sliding doors.

boarding2In order to get her to look at me I had to bribe her with a treat, and it worked.  While looking at her, I remembered the last time, years ago, when I had to travel out of the US and leave her in a kennel facility, and how I told myself and Alex that that was the last time I’d do that.  Please, do not misunderstand me, there are kennel facilities that are run by experienced, competent, dog loving individuals that do their very best to take care of the dogs they are entrusted with, but a kennel environment for many dogs can put a great amount of stress on them.  Years ago, I was the manager of a PetsHotel and I can honestly say that the staff that worked alongside me truly loved dogs and did a great job caring for them, but I also realized that the majority of the dogs were stressed out so with that in mind I decided to quit that job and I started offering In Home Dog Boarding.

boarding3Years went by and I still love what I am able to offer to pet parents and their dogs and that is a stress free environment, similar to the one they have at home.  I’ve had dogs that had a variety of issues such as: separation anxiety, fear of being crated, incessant chewing, etc., and they all have done well staying with us.  At the end of their stay I talk to the pet parents for a couple of minutes to let them know how their furry kid did and to mention anything unusual that I noticed about their doggie.

boarding4 Dexter, the handsome boxer mix in the above picture, is one of my regulars and although he may look a little intimidating he is really a sweetheart.  For the most part, I don’t crate dogs unless necessary, but, and this is something I do want to stress to all pet parents, a crate should be used as a tool for training your dog and never as punishment nor the answer to solve all your dog’s problems or issues.

boarding5Recently, I read a post in dogsmakeeverythingbetter.com/‎ about a shelter for dogs run differently than the ones here in the US.  This shelter outside of Tehran allows dogs to live freely with each other and they are even able to eat next to each other.  She posted some amazing pictures and it really made me think about what she said about dogs being social animals.  I am a firm believer that we all can learn from one another, and perhaps this shelter in such a far away place can teach us all a thing or two.

boarding6Because the dogs that stay with me literally hang out with me, I always ask pet parents to text me an hour prior to picking up their furry kid in order to have their doggie ready and to make sure that all the other dogs will not disturb us when they get to my place.

Whatever your choice for your dog may be, when it comes to boarding, my advice would be to ask a lot of questions, ask to see where your dog will be staying, do a search and see what comments are posted about this facility or pet sitter, and weigh all your options before making your decision.  Always remember that you are your dog’s advocate and that if you are not comfortable with a particular place or person, follow your gut and keep looking.