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Adoption

8 Steps to a Behaviorally Healthy Dog

You can start the process of socializing and training at any stage of a dog's life! Making positive associations for your dog is faster and easier for youngsters than adults, but it's always worth trying to teach new ways of thinking that will improve your dog's quality of life and overall happiness.

Dog Breed Stereotypes: Inaccurate and Damaging

Poor agreement was found between visual breed assignments and DNA results in 14 of the 20 dogs (70 percent). Moreover, there was low inter-rater reliability, meaning that the dog experts did not show a high level of agreement regarding breed assignments to the 20 dogs. More than half of the evaluators agreed on the predominant breed in only seven of the 20 dogs (35 percent). These results provide evidence that physical appearance is not a reliable method for breed identification.

Adopting Two Dogs at Once: Twice as Nice?

As you may know, because for months I've talked about almost nothing else, I've been on a puppy-fostering jag since November. My shelter has a hard time with keeping large litters of puppies clean, warm, dry, and healthy, particularly in the winter; I guess that's true for many if not most shelters. So I've been taking on one litter after another, starting with my first-ever foster-fail pup Woody, who was one of nine puppies; then a litter of six Chihuahua/terrier-mixes, all boys; another litter of nine cattle dog/pit-mixes, all adorably freckled; and I'm at the tail end (no pun intended) of a litter of seven German Shepherd/hound/who-knows-what-mixes. Playing with and caring for the pups has been fun, challenging, messy, expensive, and interesting! But here is the latest thing I've been fascinated with: the people who come to adopt a puppy – and end up walking out, or at least trying to walk out, with two.

Foster a Dog for More Holiday Cheer

Give the gift of love by sheltering a foster dog or volunteering at your local animal shelter this season. Whole Dog Journal editor Nancy Kerns recounts why, even in the most trying of times, there's no greater feeling than opening your home to a life in need.

A Kelpie For The Millers

My husband and I agreed that we'd like another Australian Kelpie. Both of our two prior Kelpie girls were exceptional dogs, and we're hoping for a repeat experience. Kelpies are rare enough that we know that haunting our local shelters for one is pretty futile. Given our sheltering background, the subject of purchasing from a breeder never came up.

How to Prevent a Bad Adoption

For the first time in several decades, my husband and I are actively seeking a dog to adopt. With our family pack at a long-time low of three dogs, all seniors, it's time to add a younger set of paws, but now that neither of us works at a shelter, it's not as easy to trip over a dog who speaks to our hearts. We now find ourselves having to actively look for one – a unique position for us, but one in which most normal, non-shelter/rescue humans are quite likely to find themselves. Having experienced in recent years an exponential increase in clients who adopted inappropriate dogs with significant problem behaviors – dogs who should never have been released by the shelter or rescue group – I know all too well how rocky the path to adoption can be these days. So, we're taking the advice we'd give to anyone else in our situation in order to prevent a regrettable adoption.

Tips on Adding a Dog to Your Household

We currently have three dogs. We lost our Scottie a few months ago to cancer, and our Australian Shepherd last year to old age and failing health. This is the fewest number of dogs we've had in our family for as far back as I care to remember, and while I grieve Missy and Dubhy's absence every day, a part of me feels some guilty relief that the canine chaos and caretaking load has lightened somewhat. Still, while I know it won't be for a while yet, another part of me contemplates the next potential pup-addition to the Miller pack . . . which leads me to contemplate the complexities and challenges of bringing home a new dog.

Awesome Adoptions – Consider a Shelter Dog!

now a successful K9 Nose Work dog, Handel.üHandel recently got his first (and we suspect, not his last) title in K9 Nose Work.üCanine Good Citizen Enzo.üHelen of Troy, a rescued pit bull, is deaf, but that hasn't hindered her training for good manners, agility, or as a therapy dog – nor has it lessened her enjoyment of being read to, in service as a reading dog for elementary school children at a library in Rensselaerville, New York.

Tips on Adopting a Senior Dog

When my husband asked me to come to the shelter where he worked to meet the 8-year-old Australian Shepherd he had fallen in love with and wanted to adopt, of course I said yes. When Paul first met Missy, she threw herself on her back at his feet, and he was hooked. When I saw her striking red merle coat, her stunning odd eyes" (one brown

Bonding With Your Adopted Dog

As a trainer, I am hyperaware of the dynamics between dogs and their owners. I have watched countless human-canine teams in group classes blossom together in beautiful demonstrations of communication and cooperation. Unfortunately, I have also seen people struggle. Teaching a dog a new skill can be difficult for any owner, especially if the person has never practiced it before. A good coach can help solve the sticking points in training . . . but more troublesome is when an owner's bond with a dog seems very weak, or non-existent.

Finding The Best Animal Shelters

Adopting a homeless dog should be a joyful process, and the beginning of a rewarding relationship. I highly recommend it. But there are pitfalls. (You knew there were going to be pitfalls, didn’t you?) Not every animal rescuer, rescue group, or shelter that is well-intentioned can back up good intentions with self-discipline, genuine animal expertise, and the organizational and people skills necessary to do a good job of placements and follow-up.

Latest Blog

What Happened to Odin’s Eye?

After months of weighing all options, I have finally agreed to have Odin's compromised eye removed. He is healing quiet nicely from the surgery, and seems to be enjoying not having to take medicine 12 times a day.