Yes! Yes! and Yes!
My Facebook page, and really my career, revolves around my behavioral modification training programs. I am fortunate that after almost 20 years of training, I have the ability to offer many different programs that can benefit many different dogs and people from many different walks of life. I had some questions brought to me this weekend that really stuck with me the past couple of days...
"Could you give me some advice on something going on with my foster dog?... So do you think she would benefit from some training?"
We spend so much time raising money to help dogs with medical conditions such as a broken leg, mange, physical therapy, etc... Why is society only beginning to see the value of training dogs in the system?
Did you know that more dogs die of behavioral issues from lack of socialization and training in the US than any other reason?
This is why I do what I do. I started to notice, at 20, that the rescues I was volunteering for were giving me the "hard to deal with" dogs. I was always happy to step up to the challenge! Of course, I did not have any children back then and life seemed to be all rainbows and unicorns. Hehe These days I do as much as I can do to help these dogs. You will rarely see me with a foster dog with a "fluffy" attitude. We could desperately use more fosters that have the know how to foster these dogs with issues. Now, I'm not talking about putting dangerous dogs out on the street with the general public, but those dogs that have missed some vital steps to becoming that perfect dog.
Take for example, a dog that was raised on a chain. Sometimes these dogs have a hard time meeting new people, for reasons I could explain in a whole different blog entry. The simple explanation of a training plan for this dog is to teach them impulse control and how to (or not to) meet new people. When they have mastered the behavior that scares them, they are quite possibly ready to be the perfect dog for the perfect person that can follow directions and implement proper management.
How can you help as a foster? Discussing hiring a trainer that specializes in behavior modification is a great step. Some trainers are amazing, but when you have these cases you need a trainer that has advanced to the behavior modification level of expertise. Unfortunately, these can be in short demand, or cost money that people may not see as necessary. Investing in behavioral modification training can benefit your rescue in many ways! The simplest...If you put out the money to have a foster learn to help one dog in need, after he has been adopted, they could quite possibly help the next dog with the same issue. Not to mention, they can help other fosters with their dogs that may have similar issues.
Just remember that positive training is a must! Shutting off those yucky behaviors just to get a dog adopted does not teach them how to live in the real world in the future!
So, at your next rescue board meeting, when you are discussing raising funds for the dogs that need medical attention, try mentioning raising funds for the dogs that need a little extra help from an expert so they can become happy members of society!