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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Be the Change for Animals!

Adopt, rescue, support, new leash on life, help, no-kill, shelter, humane society, breed rescue, pound -- so many words that go along with being the change for animals.  So many words, so many meanings, so many people trying to do what they can to save, and make better, animals' lives.  Without all these people and all these words, I am sad to think what would happen to so many animals in so many bad situations. 

All but one of our dogs have been rescues; we rescued one of our house rabbits (many years ago); we currently have two guinea pigs that we rescued (Easter present gone bad!); and we will rescue again.  We rescue because our pets have found us.  It has been very obvious each and every time that this animal was meant to be in our lives.  We recently lost our German Shepherd and as much as I miss him and as much as I want another dog, I know that our next dog will find us in one way, shape, or form.

We take a little bit different path on our journey to be the change for animals.  We are dog trainers.  Our business, and our lives, is helping people improve their relationships with their dogs.  Our goal always is to help people find ways to communicate with their dogs, to find ways to live in sync with each other, and to enjoy the journey they are on with their dogs.  We hope that every client we work with, every dog that those clients have, and other dogs they come into contact with will somehow have their lives made better because of what we have taught and exemplified.

There are many dogs in rescue situations that simply need a different situation.  Maybe a different handler, maybe different food, maybe different boundaries, maybe a different training method -- something needs to change in their lives that will change their lives forever.  We view our role as trainers to be the agents for that change.  So many dogs end up in rescue during their "teenage" time (approximately 6 months to 24 months) -- cute little puppy with endearing habits has turned into giant gawky dog with annoying, maybe dangerous, habits.  And if they don't end up in rescue, they may end up chained to a dog house or confined to a kennel without human contact or let loose hoping that a nice family takes them in, loves them, and takes care of them.  Train, don't complain!  Set boundaries you and your dog can both live with.  Find a good positive reinforcement trainer you like and find a way to take a class.  If you rescue, or work with rescues, recommend training to the people who call you both to surrender dogs and to adopt dogs.  Most issues are related to behavior and can be worked through!  


As a dog trainer, being the change for animals means spreading the word about the benefits of formally training your dog.  If every dog owner took even an hour and learned something new to work on with their dog, a lot more dogs would stay in homes and not be in rescue situations.  If they would spend more time communicating with their dogs, learning with their dogs, enjoying the journey with their dogs, the results would be astronomical!!!

Being the change for animals starts in each of our homes with our own animals.  Today, spend time with your dog, teach her something new, share a new experience -- expand both of your horizons.  And then tell someone about it -- maybe they will do the same and tell someone -- and so on, and so on.  What a difference it will make to our dogs!


Be the Change for Animals Training Tip -- most dog breeds and mixed breeds were bred to work at some job.  Find a job for your dog!  Getting the newspaper, protecting your yard, digging in the sand pit, walking with you, listening to your children read -- whatever job you want to give your dog.  Train what needs to be trained -- a nice down/stay for dogs that will be read to, a reliable coming when called for the newspaper fetcher, polite greetings for the dog who walks in your neighborhood with you.  Then ask your dog to her job and pay her!  When she does her job, reward her -- do you work for free?  Probably not.  Don't expect your dog to work for free!  The best thing about dogs is that their paychecks are easy to pay out -- food, attention, games, love.  You and your dog will both be happier and your lives together will be even better!!!













17 comments:

road-dog-tales said...

Saw you on the Be the Change Blog Hop! This is fun and exciting. We're gonna learn so much today. We like that thing you said about getting paid to work. We're gonna show that to Mom and Dad and ask for a raise :)
Gotta go see what else there is to do today! See ya later!
The Road Dogs

Peggy Frezon said...

My spaniel/dachshund/? Kelly is a rescue dog too!
Enjoying Be the Change Blog Hop!

Maggie said...

This is such a great take on how to be the change! Training is so crucial... for our pets' happiness, to help shelter dogs find - and keep!! - their forever homes, and so on. Thanks for sharing this post. And, by the way, I am dying to adopt guinea pigs from my shelter!!

Marianne (aka Lucy's Human) said...

Just saying hello from The Be The Change blog hop! It's such a wonderful thing that we're proud to be a part of! Thanks for your participation, too!

Wiggles & Giggles,
Lucy & Her Human
http://lucyshuman.blogspot.com/

Kim from Blog the Change said...

This is such a terrific post! After fostering the dogs returned from adoption clinic for one reason or another, it's so true. They just need something to change, and to change for the better. Our hound, Emmett, needed to change meds as his made him aggressive. Shamus, our Newf, just needed to be loved more often than he was previously. We have countless experiences like these. Every dog has a need at the forefront and it has been so rewarding to discover and satisfy those that we can. Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention in such a beautiful way. -Kim

Two Little Cavaliers said...

Stopping by with Be the Change for Animals. Thank you for all you do to help animals in need. Hope you will be able to visit us too.

Felissa, Davinia, and Indiana
www.twolittlecavaliers.blogspot.com

Dog of the Week @STLSeniorDog said...

Hi we saw you on the Blog Hop today! We were so taken by your paragraph talking about being the change with your own animals, that is so true! So many of us dogs would not end in rescues or as strays if more humans started taking an active part in our lives. Thanks for the Blog and hope you can visit us, woof woof!

Sarah said...

Found you via the BtC Blog Hop; my dogs have given themselves the job of keeping the yard free of squirrels.

The great thing is, the job IS the reward!

Marcoblue, Midnight Rainbow and the Paws said...

Too many people give up on their dogs too early. We were told with one of our dogs by trainers we may have to give him up. That was not an option. The situation was serious not dangerous and we worked with our aggressive dog on our own and today he is doing great. Animals are not disposable. Thank you for sharing in the cause.

The Storybooking Gal said...

Love your message of finding your dog a job. They have so much to offer. Thank you for being part of Be the Change, from one animal advocate to another.

Shauna (Fido & Wino | R.O.A.R. Squad) said...

I definitely agree- training is key!

Pup Fan said...

Stopping by on the Blog Hop - great post! I really enjoyed your perspective on rescues - my gal is one too! Training and patience are so important - I hope people take your words to heart.

Sallie said...

Great message!

Ashley (Pru's mom) said...

What a great post! I think a lot of people underestimate training and making your dog work for what they want. Since the end of this winter when I started taking clicker training with Pru far more seriously, I have seen such a shift in her confidence and general happiness.

Happy Blog the Change day to you!

buchelesk9s -- Ken and Laurie Buchele said...

Click/treat to all of you for your support and for your efforts to Be the Change for Animals!!! Together we can do so much for so many. Blog on!!!

Deborah Flick said...

Great advice on what it means to be the change for animals! Great to see you on Change Blog Hop!

Stacy said...

Found your blog through the blog hop-- Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading and I agree with your idea that training pets makes a world of difference as far as behavior. Happy BTC!