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A note on dog training and Shelter overpopulation

I think an Issue often overlooked in the pet overpopulation crisis is the proper training of your animals. Untrained dogs are given to shelters because they 'misbehave' and they stay there because they have a lack of training. Training your dog and any animal you may have is extremely important.
A few months ago I went with my friend to a dog park. I brought my terrier and he brought his Shepard mix (adopted about 8 months ago from the Oregon humane society)He brought along his friend who brought one of who two dogs. He was a Shepard lab mix, both breeds of good intelligence and train-ability. My family has always known how to treat animals with respect and responsibility. I'd never seen a mis aged dog (4 or 5) Act so uncontrollably. Firstly both these dogs do not wear collars, he pulls on the leash and whines in excitement. Told her maybe she should let him calm down before we went in but she assured me he was fine. When we were in the dog park he tried to bolt several times, did not come when called and I was the one who ended up having to chaise him down and forcibly drag him back to the gate.

Her other dog, a Wolf hybrid with the same lack of training has abnormal fear and aggression towards other dogs due to lack of socialization. because of this the dog doesn't get walked, it hardly even gets let out because both bolt off at the first chance they get. And she says dog training is 'inhumane' and 'cruel' and 'puts fear into an animal'.

Not long after that she had to give up her dogs because she was moving. Both were adopted via craigslist. More recently she learned that the people who took her dogs could not deal with their lack of training, their bad behavior and they excitable nature. They ended up at a shelter.

I share this story because I want to get the word out that dog training is so necessary. I volunteer at OHS and I see it all the time. People get puppies and a year later those puppies are back, 60 pounds heavier and with no training. "We just can't handle our dog anymore" People say. And Honestly these dogs are hard to handle. But its no ones fault but the owner. These perfectly able intelligent and gorgeous dogs often stay in the shelter for weeks and months while the occasional volunteer take some time out of a busy schedule to try and teach them "no." "Down" "Off" "Sit". An untrained excitable big adult dog will not be adopted. It takes time to work with them and get them to a point where someone would even want them. Its a horrible cycle that feeds our shelters and causes thousands of deaths.

And what do you think that family who had the 'dog they just couldn't handle'? Odds are they get another one, a nicer puppy. And it begins again. I know someone else who just recently got rid of her young dog. he was sweet intelligent and sooo cute. He barked and he chewed things, both problems easily fixed by training. But instead the dog in in a new home and that someone is looking for a new 'little fluffy' puppy.

Please. Encourage dog training. Not only for your own comfort but for your dogs. A dog needs exorcise and dog needs socialization and a dog needs a loving responsible home. Training enables your dog to live a long happy and loving life full of adventures, hikes, trips and playing. I hope I'm preaching to the choir here but I just think its an issue often overlooked int he overpopulation of our shelters. Encourage everyone to spay, neuter and train their pets.