Second Chance: Puppies Grow Up To Be Dogs

It is puppy season and that means cuteness overload: wagging tails, puppy breathe, wiggling, smiling, kissing bundles of fur.

Puppies just make people’s hearts smile.

Puppies are hard to resist.

Puppies are in great demand at the shelter.

But an untrained, under-socialized adult dog lacking basic manners is not.

Keeping in mind that the Second Chance Pet Column has a strong focus on prevention and education, I would like to remind readers that adopting a puppy holds great responsibility for the outcome of that pet’s life. Just like humans, our formative years greatly impact our adult years.

Finn

Let me illustrate this point with a fictitious scenario of two sibling puppies adopted from Second Chance to two different families. One sibling was taken to training classes and provided critical socialization; the other was just allowed to “be a puppy” and not provided regular socialization or training.

What do you think the outcome will be? Unfortunately it is not uncommon that, while the trained puppy lives harmoniously with his family for life, the carefree puppy gets sent back to the shelter when his cuteness factor no longer overrides his bad manners.

Remember last week’s Pet Column that emphasized we can no longer pretend that our pets don’t have emotions and suffer from traumatic experiences? Well a “failed adoption” as they say in the animal welfare industry can have a long lasting impact upon a dog.

I am not emphasizing these points to discourage anyone from adopting a puppy – but only to ask you to consider the impact on that puppy if you truly don’t have the time and energy for ensuring its success in the human-dependent world.

If you didn’t quite know what you were getting yourself into when you whisked that adorable puppy into your home and family – it is not too late. If your pup has begun to demonstrate undesirable behaviors, take action now. Intervene immediately with positive corrections, rather than waiting until you can’t handle your growing puppy’s antics anymore.

Just like any issue in your life – seeking help is the first step.   good start is to call Second Chance and learn about their “Puppy Manners” classes or their “Good Dog Behavior” classes (for adult dogs). Or call  dog whisperer Ted Hoff. (See info below.) Whatever you do, carve out a regular time in your day for quick and effective training and socialization. It is a worthwhile investment for your family and your pup.

My name is Finn. I am a very handsome Australian Cattle dog mix. Unfortunately I did not receive the training and socialization needed as a pup to be successful in my first home but, since arriving here at Second Chance, I am making huge strides. I am doing well with other dogs and responding great to training. I am crate-trained and house-trained. I love long walks and runs and believe that there is not enough peanut butter in this world.

Peaches

Or, if you are seeking a young feline who didn’t receive the proper amount of love and care, your heart will go out to Peaches. This little 6 month girl has had a rough go of it and is still young and sweet enough to enjoy a full life of love and affection. She is scared around other cats and dogs, but super loving with people. Peaches believes there are not enough snuggles in the world…

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

Michelle & Wallowby

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Kelly Goodin

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