Dog Lover or Dog Handler? You can’t be both, Really?

When I first started this journey; one of the first things that was told to me was, you are either a dog handler or a dog lover. You can’t be both. I have struggled with this saying for over a year now. Not really understanding why? To the point where I have researched it and dissected this subject back and forth, and still came up with the same result and answer in my mind. Why can’t you? You can be a dog handler and have that dog respect you but also show love and leadership to that dog and treat it like a family member.

Dog handlers study animal behavior in order to train, handle and care for dogs. To effectively teach, these trainers must discipline animals by establishing themselves as the dominant one. For example, they use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior and they can use behavior modification techniques to correct or adjust bad behavior. Can this be compared to a mother or father animal showing love or disciplining their young in the wild? I think so!

If you have the opportunity at least once in your life to love a dog and treat it with kindness and respect, that respect, love, and loyalty will be returned to you by that dog regardless of its breed, size or gender. That is why it is so important to the Throw Away Dogs Team to house these dogs in a family atmosphere while they are in our program (not in kennels) and treat these dogs with love and kindness while in training, this makes them “want” to work and “please” us during this process. This process that we use is a much slower paced process but we have found it to be very successful.  It is a win-win situation!  Please note that there is always exceptions to the rule and sometimes you will have that difficult dog with the aggressive personality to deal with. It happens and it is expected, bottom line, they are still animals. This is where a professional handler comes into play, but never to say, this handler does not “love” dogs.

I am sure this will stem a bit of controversy among my fellow followers but I am going to stand my ground and still say it is possible to be a dog lover and a dog handler!  These opinions are my own,  I welcome your feedback!

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Haunted by the Green Taffeta Bow

Today was suppose to be just like any other day.  A day scheduled with visiting shelters and doing evaluations on potential candidates for our program. I have a ritual with myself before I go and visit any shelters to try and “mentally” prepare myself to be able to go in and “do my job”. Look, read body language and help Jason with the evaluations. Today I wasn’t in that safe & secure mental state of mind where this confident woman would walk in and search out that rescue dog . I knew when I walked in the first shelter it was going to be a long day as I felt myself wanting to save them all. I looked around and couldn’t help but keep thinking about what is going on in the minds of these dogs. What were they thinking? Why were they there?
By the time we visited the last shelter, I was mentally spent and didn’t want to go. We walked in and looked around and what I remember as I passed each kennel run saying to myself; this just can’t be possible, how can people do this to animals? There were young, old, friendly and scared dogs all looking at you as you passed their kennel. Some would push themselves as close to the front in hopes you would pet them. This was just ripping my heart out today. I kept saying to myself…..don’t cry, don’t cry.  This is something I have done plenty of times, but today was just one of those days I couldn’t accept it. I knew it was time to go.  As I was walking quickly to get to the end of the hallway, I came across a beautiful brown & white Terrier Mix wearing a big beautiful collar with a green taffeta bow on it. Her name was Phoenix. I leaned down to her level to talk to her, she calmly went down on her side. I spoke a few words to her and pet her through the cage. This would be a memory that will haunt me as she was the last dog I saw before I walked out.  What a beautiful sweet dog. Why was she here?  Later to find out that she was pulled from a horrible situation and Phoenix is safe now in the shelter while she awaits for someone to possibly adopt her and give her a chance of being loved for once in her life.
During the car ride home I didn’t have much to say. Stared out the window and knew it wasn’t a successful day. Disappointed and remembering those famous words that were told to me when I started this journey…….. “you can’t save them all,  but work hard and don’t give up on the ones that you can save”.
What I do know is this……. every place we have visited today, I saw a loving staff, caring volunteers and a very clean and safe environment for these thrown away dogs. This is a hard job. You need to be strong and thick skinned so you can move forward and try and make a difference in these dogs lives, otherwise they won’t be saved. We are all human and have bad days and weak moments. Today was mine. Tomorrow is a new day to move on and move forward.
To read more about Phoenix be sure to click on her name!

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Saving Sandy

“Hi! My name is Sandy. I am a 3 -4 year old German Shepherd. Look how pretty my coat is? I am up for adoption!!!!

One of my favorite things to do is run and play. I would like a big yard with a family to give me a lot of love.  I am not dog aggressive but would love to be the center of attention as I was surrendered because no one had no time for me. I don’t understand why I was moved from my home because I am so loveable. When I am given attention and love I can show it right back to you. That’s a promise…… It doesn’t take much to please me. I could use more basic training as I do get excited when I am shown affection but I promise to work really hard on that.

I will be able to complete your family and show you love if you show me love. Please send an email below if you might be interested in meeting me, I would love to say hi!

Oh…. P.S. I am located in Southern New Jersey so only applicants that would be able to drive and meet me need to apply.

I will be waiting!!!!!! Woof…….

Lots of sloppy kisses,

Sandy

Email: Alexa0421@comcast.net

 

 

*This is a courtesy post from Throw Away Dogs

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Me & My Shadow

You established yourself as Pack Leader in your home and hold the “Alpha title” that has earned you the loyalty and respect that you were working so hard to accomplish. So then why is it that your canine companion is glued to your hip and follows you around everywhere in the house?  The answer is simple, dogs are pack animals, and if you’ve successfully socialized and domesticated  your dog, that’s pretty much what you get. It’s the pack member following the leader’s lead. It is natural instinct for your quick-witted pooch to be hard wired to cling to his pack, even as an adult dog. After all, you are the one who feeds him, shows affection, safety, and offers belly rubs. Camaraderie works the same in every community, both canine or human.  In past research, studies have shown that dogs are capable of loving their owners, which means they enjoying being close to you even if its just a trip into the bathroom or a few steps down the basement to do wash.
Some dogs will show fear or panic when they are not allowed to be with their owners, this is known as separation anxiety. Some signs of separation anxiety are clinginess, barking, yelping, pacing, and panting when your dog is not with you and loses sight of you. What your pet is most likely thinking is that he is about to loose his main friend and that you will not be returning. This is a condition that should be handled properly and recommended you seek help from a professional behaviorist.  This behavior should not to be confused with loyalty and companionship that is mentioned in the previous paragraph.
So allow your dog to follow you anywhere as you are the Master and the Pack Leader. Embrace the attention and enjoy your friend as they only have a limited amount of time to spend with us on this earth.  Be good to them, I promise they will be good back to you!
By~ Carol Skaziak

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Our Mission

Purpose

noun
1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists
2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
3. determination

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