Brownie’s Story

Brownie is doing fantastic in his new home! He was fearful at first, but he has adapted nicely.

He is still afraid of big dogs and bicycles, but who could blame the little guy? House training and obedience training was tough at first, but he learned quickly, and once he learned, it stuck with him.
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Ah, Those Exuberant Dogs!

You know the dog – he’s the one who will leap excitedly at people, jumping to their waist, their chest, their face, as high as he can get.  With springs for legs, he’s jumping, jumping, jumping!  Sometimes licking, sometimes drooling, sometimes knocking people down.

Sometimes even mouthing them, making contact with their teeth and leaving marks or bruises.  We call this behavior “jumpy/mouthy” and it can be a real problem – frustrating staff, scaring off adopters, even inflicting injury.  Yet, these dogs often have a devoted following amongst the shelter staff, because of their seemingly boundless energy, good spirits, and apparent friendliness.  At the Center for Shelter Dogs, we offer resources for working with jumpy/mouthy dogs which we hope will provide shelter staff tools to manage and reduce this annoying behavior and find the right home for these big personalities.  We chose to develop these resources early on because we knew ourselves how hard it could be to work with and rehome these dogs and we often heard from other shelter personnel the same thing.
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Importance of Enrichment and Socialization

Recently, we evaluated 3 pit bull type dogs who had recently been released from custody. The evaluations were really interesting, considering the dogs’ background, and the evaluation provided the students with a lifelong lesson about the importance of socialization of puppies.

Two dogs, Tom and Cherry were six month old puppies when they arrived at the shelter. The other dog, Rasberry, was 1.5 years old.   A dog’s primary socialization period, the period in life where it is very important to expose them (gently and positively) to anything and everything they will be exposed to later in life (other dogs, cats, people, noises, different environments), occurs between 3 and 13 weeks. Research has demonstrated that puppies who are raised from birth to 14 weeks of age in impoverished kennel environments may suffer from irreparable damage to their behavioral health.
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Working with ASPCA on Sandy Relief

I was beyond excited when I received the invitation to assist the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty behavior team at their emergency boarding facility in Brooklyn, New York for animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Pam Reid, VP of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty behavior team remembered me from when I helped out in Joplin, MO and she asked me to come on board again.

Just getting the invitation was exciting enough for me.  I never actually expected to go because it was year-end for CSD and I just got back from being out of the office for a couple of weeks working on the Jumpy Mouthy study so timing wasn’t exactly good for me to be gone for another week.  Not to mention on a personal note – it was right in the middle of the Holiday rush!
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