|| When training a dog,
it is very important to establish a relationship based upon
respect. With the help of Best Paw Forward, dogs can learn to
respect humans, but not to fear them. We can help dogs to learn
what kind of behavior is expected of them by being their leader
or Alpha "dog."
Why educate a dog? >>
The Call of The Wild
There are many reasons why it's so important for a dog to have
an education. Dogs, like people, are not born knowing what to
do. Think of some of the things you might do if no one had
taught you any manners... perhaps eating with your hands,
pushing people out of your way, or interrupting conversations
might come to mind. A dog will also develop behaviors on his own
if not taught otherwise. One of the things a dog might do would
be play-biting and jumping as their way of greeting. Some dogs
might challenge anyone who tries to discipline them. Others may
be very fearful... a behavior that often results in biting.
When dogs are in the wild, they form a pack. Within this pack,
they develop their own "pecking order" which is similar to a
totem pole. If there are 6 dogs in the pack, they will each have
their own position. One will be the 'top dog' or Alpha dog, and
the rest will each have their own positions 2-6 on the totem
pole. All of the dogs in the pack know exactly where everyone
stands. This pecking order is based upon respect, and each
position is obtained through a show of dominance or submission.
When training a dog, it is very important to establish a
relationship based upon respect. With the help of Best Paw
Forward, dogs can learn to respect humans, but not to fear them.
We can help dogs to learn what kind of behavior is expected of
them by being their leader or Alpha "dog."
Relationships with Humans
Another reason it is so important to educate dogs is to enrich
the dog / human relationship. Very often, people get a dog
expecting "man's best friend." Instead, they end up with "man's
worst nightmare!" Instead of relaxing strolls through the park,
they find themselves being dragged down the sidewalk! Owners
very often find themselves constantly yelling at their dog,
keeping them outside or separated when visitors come over, and
bribing them with treats to try to get good behavior. This can
be very frustrating, and it also creates a circle of failure.
The constant yelling, isolation, and confusion can often cause a
dog to behave even more poorly. Through proper education of both
the owner and the dog, a much more enjoyable, less frustrating
relationship can quickly be developed. With the help of Best Paw
Forward, we can help owners and their dogs to have the
relationships they originally intended.
Behavior problems are one of the biggest problem areas for dog
owners. Very often, owners think their dog is "untrainable."
They may think that you can't train an older dog, or that their
dog is just stupid. Our two main objectives at Best Paw Forward
a.) To prevent behavior problems from developing.
b.) To teach dogs who already have problems to change their
Another of the most important reasons to educate dogs is to
prevent accidents. For example, dogs who jump can be very
dangerous. They can knock over children, elderly people, and
people carrying hot dishes. Biting is a problem that can be
dangerous to say the least. By teaching dogs to behave
appropriately, the number of accidents and injuries caused by
them can be greatly reduced, and even eliminated!
It is obvious that a lack of dog education can be very dangerous
to humans, but what about injuries to the dogs themselves? Well,
the dog who jumps might get burned by the hot dishes. Dogs who
do not come when called often end up running into the street and
being hit by cars. Chewing problems can often have fateful
endings when intestinal injuries are incurred from ingesting
things such as metal, wood, and splintered bones.
Through education, Best Paw Forward can help owners and dogs to
prevent accidents and mishaps from occurring. By using
professional methods, and providing factual information, we can
help owners and dogs to be involved in considerably less
Did You Know?
- Anti-freeze tastes like candy to dogs
- All dogs are extremely allergic to chocolate
- A dogs body temperature is considerably higher than that of
My dog is already older ... Can
he/she still be trained? >>
The answer is a resounding "yes"! Many people mistakenly think their dog's habits can never change. (The myth that you 'can't teach an old dog new tricks'!) In reality, older dogs are often easier to teach! They may have a few habits to change, but they usually enjoy the training and all the attention they get. In turn, it makes the dog interested in the lessons and therefore a quick learner. You may find that your dog is smarter than you think, and has been pulling the wool over your eyes! When adult dogs experience more serious behavior problems, it is often the result of incorrect socialization or even boredom!
Here at Best Paw Forward, approximately 20% of the dogs we train are over 5 years old. An additional 40% are over 2 years old. Our oldest graduate was 13 years old!
If you still think your dog is too old for training... think again. The average lifespan of a dog is about 15 years. If your dog is already 6 years old, there are approximately 9 more years you can expect to live with this pet. Why not spend those years enjoying him as much as possible?
What kind of dog Is the easiest to train? >>
This is one of the most commonly asked questions, with one of the simplest answers. The easiest dog to train is the one with the owners who practice the most! Just as practice is necessary to excel in a sport, play an instrument, or any other skill, practice makes a perfect pet too! The more consistency there is, and the more frequently commands and behavior modification exercises are practiced, the better your training results will be.
When we work with your dog during lessons, you will be watching and participating the whole time. Your trainer will teach your dog what kind of behavior is expected and teach you how to enforce it on a daily basis. Your dog will learn that 'listening' is a way of life... not only with the trainer!
Euthanasia rates ... what can we do? >>
1. Statistics: The Number of Dogs Actually Euthanized
The actual numbers of dogs euthanized yearly are staggering. According to information provided by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Assoc.), and statistics for the Oregon Humane Society, in that shelter alone, in 1991, there were 1,171 dogs euthanized! There were also 1,492 dogs adopted to homes. While it is wonderful that so many dogs did get adopted, we cannot ignore the fact that an almost equal number were euthanized! It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, 5.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters yearly. And that number only includes the shelters! If you were to add in the approximate number of dogs that are also euthanized in private veterinarian offices, the total rises to approximately 9 million dogs euthanized yearly in the US!
2. The Reasons Dogs End Up Becoming Euthanized
a.) Behavior problems: Most humans will agree
that when an animal is suffering and can't be helped by
medical means, euthanasia can sometimes be the most
humane decision. While there is a percentage of dogs who
are euthanized due to cancer, old age deterioration, and
other unpreventable illnesses, there are also many whose
injuries or illnesses could have been prevented. For
example, dogs who get hit by cars are often unable to be
saved. Why was that dog in the street? Perhaps he wasn't
responding when he was called to "come." There are also
many dogs who are found as strays and brought into
shelters. If they don't become adopted, they are also
euthanized. Why was that dog a stray? Perhaps he ran
away from home.
Often, dogs are brought to shelters by their owners.
Perhaps they have bitten a child, or ruined one too many
pieces of furniture. Many of these dogs could have been
saved had they received proper training. And many of
them still can, by receiving that training before it's
b.) Irresponsible breeding: Oftentimes, there are
people who have a dog, and a love of dogs and would also
like to make some money. They decide to breed their dog
because they would like their children to experience
raising a litter, or because they have heard the old
wives' tale that bitches need to have a litter before
being spayed. These people are not necessarily educated,
prepared, or equipped to care for a dam and her whelping
puppies, but some owners go ahead and breed their dogs
anyway. These people are referred to as "backyard
breeders." According to Dr. Dennis F. Cloud, DVM, he
reported in the Animal Welfare Forum that approximately
1/4 of all backyard bred dogs wind up in shelters.
Another 1/4 are given to friends, and 1/2 are sold
through the newspaper.
Next, let's discuss the puppy mills. These are places
which have many dogs who they continuously breed over
and over again. These dogs have a very poor quality of
life, are often handled inhumanely, and are forced to
have litter after litter of puppies. Often, these puppy
mills remove the puppies from their mothers at too young
of an age, resulting in health and behavioral problems.
They are also bred without regard for temperament,
genetics, and health. Most often, the puppies are then
forwarded to pet stores for their sale. Needless to say,
dogs with severe behavioral and/or medical problems
often end up euthanized when owners are unable to care
for them under these circumstances.
The AKC (American Kennel Club) does provide some
regulation of breeding, but just as with all laws, there
are always some who don't abide by them.
c.) Overpopulation of unwanted dogs: One of the
biggest contributors to the euthanasia problem is
overpopulation. There are many unwanted dogs and simply
not enough homes for them all. Often, these unwanted
dogs are the result of over breeding by puppy mills, but
the biggest representatives of this problem are the
families themselves. Owners who do not get their dogs
spayed or neutered often find themselves with an
unwanted litter of puppies. It can be very difficult to
find homes for them all, especially if the pups are of a
mixed breed. These are the pups who end up being passed
from home to home, brought into shelters by their
owners, or are found as strays--which also brings them
into the shelters.
Preventing Dogs From Becoming A Statistic
There are many things we as humans, can do to prevent dogs from
becoming euthanized. Following, is a list of things you can do
to take action against this horrible problem.
Adopt a dog: There are many dogs available for
adoption that are perfectly wonderful animals. You can
even get a pure breed! Shelters and rescue leagues have
many dogs available, and they usually include vaccines,
free spay/neuter, and they ask only for a donation to
their good cause.
If you're buying a dog: Make sure you get your dog
from a reputable breeder - not from someone's home or a
pet shop. Insist on seeing both the sire and the dam of
the puppy - if they are unavailable for you to meet,
Speak with everyone involved: If you're thinking of
getting a dog, be sure to discuss it with everyone
involved. Your spouse, children, & landlord must all be
willing to deal with the pros and cons of having a dog.
Make sure everyone realizes the responsibilities that
are going to be involved.
Get your dog spayed or neutered: This is one of the
most important things you can do. And let's get right to
- Neutering a male dog will not make him less
Make sure your dog's vaccines are up to date: Many
dogs become ill due to lack of vaccines. Diseases such
as distemper, rabies, and parvovirus often result in
death. Contact your veterinarian to make sure your dog
is safe, and make sure your dog is on a heartworm
prevention program, and flea/tick prevention program.
Check your dog regularly for fleas, ticks, and internal
- Spaying/neutering do not cause your pet to become
- It is not necessary for a female to have a litter of
- The best time to spay/neuter your dog is at 6 months
- In addition, spaying / neutering can often help avoid
behavior problems & health problems.
Have your dog properly trained: Do not wait for
problems to "go away." They will not go away on their
own - if anything, behavior problems worsen as time goes
by. Make sure your dog knows at least the basic
obedience commands of heel (walk at my side), sit, down,
stay, & come. Basic manners should also be covered - no
jumping, no biting, etc. Make sure you use a reputable,
educated, humane trainer for your dog's education.
Keep a close eye on your dog: Make sure your dog
doesn't get out into the street. Having a fenced-in yard
is optimal, but it is also important that you teach your
dog not to bolt out the door when it is opened. Also,
make sure you keep any potentially dangerous things such
as chemicals, electrical cords, and sharp, splintering
objects, out of dogs' reach!
Training Impact On Euthanasia Rates
By educating both dogs and people, dog training can have a
direct impact on euthanasia rates. By teaching people about
responsible pet ownership, how to care for and properly train &
socialize their dogs, there can be a definitive difference seen.
Less dog bites will occur. Less accidents - to both humans and
dogs. Also, by educating the dogs themselves, many other
problems can be prevented. Socialization is very important - all
dogs should be able to deal well with adults, children, other
animals, and household appliances. Basic obedience and manners
are an absolute necessity. A dog should be able to greet people
(especially children) without jumping. He should respect his
owner enough to listen when called, not to bite, and not to
destroy his home. By educating people and dogs about the use of
a crate, a direct impact will be seen on the euthanasia rates.
The use of a crate is not cruel - in fact, the crate is looked
at by a dog as his "room" or his den. The first night or two,
dogs may cry in the crate, but if they are not given in to, they
will soon become accustomed to it and both the dogs and their
owners will be much happier in the long run. Many owners do not
know this. Our goal at Best Paw Forward is to educate both dogs
and owners in a full scale attack on the euthanasia rates of
dogs! To further you and your dog's education, call today to
make an appointment with us for an evaluation of your dog.
My dog has shown
aggression, bit somebody or attacked an other dog
... Does he/she need to be euthanized? >>
Here at Best Paw Forward, we are not your average dog training company. We are what's called "dog behavior experts". This is because of our years of hands-on experience. There has not been a dog yet that we could not help, or completely rehabilitate.
Most of our results will depend upon the pet owners' participation ... without that the consistency factor will not be there - which is the bottom line necessity to keep your dog stable both, psychologically and physically.