|Blue is so handsome when he sits|
But one of the best things about these programs is that the dogs still in the shelter also get to reap the benefits.
The Washington Humane Society has an incredible program where they have volunteers take shelter dogs through all their classes so the dogs can learn basic manners, tricks, and confidence-building skills, and get a break from being in the shelter.
|Meet Mercy at http://bit.ly/oTw0Th|
Mercy is the kind of dog who can benefit in such important ways from positive training, although all dogs benefit in their own ways.
She's gone through a few classes, so she's gotten the chance to work with several volunteers as well as the wonderful staff at WHS.
Each time she works with someone new, learning new skills or practicing ones she knows and getting rewarded for them, she comes a bit more out of her shell.
Who knows what she went through before, but now she's learning that humans are good things, to be trusted, and that she has the power to make them emit hot dogs and jerky snacks.
Just by lifting her paw!
I spent much of class just sitting and holding her as she sat in my lap. I was stroking her to calm her down when a new dog entered class and she backed up and sat on me--who was I to object?
The dogs at WHS have it pretty good overall--each one gets 5 walks per day by staff and volunteers, so life could be a lot worse! Still, the mental stimulation, exercise, socialization, and opportunity for affection and fun that they receive during class helps these dogs so much.
So wonderful to see a shelter that is so dedicated to rehabilitating its residents through positive training!