Socialization

March 26, 2011

We are very pleased to announce that two fearful dogs, Champ and Duke, have found their forever homes!  Each of them have faced challenges while at the shelter, but they have also made a lot of progress. We believe that they will blossom even more in their new homes!  In honor of these adoptions, we’d like to emphasize the importance of socialization throughout a dog’s lifespan.

Left: Duke enjoying the snow!

The most important period for socialization is early puppyhood, from 4 to 12 weeks of age.  If they are exposed to a variety of people in a positive way, they are more likely to grow up being accepting of others.  If, on the other hand, they have negative interactions or only meet a few people, they are more likely to have fearful or aggressive behaviors around humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Champ is comfortable enough to cuddle with Jessie!

When a fearful dog enters our shelter, we initially have him interact with staff members only.  This way we can establish a trusting relationship and observe their typical behavioral responses to scary situations.  Then we begin to slowly (and we mean slowly) counter-condition them to that particular situation. This involves exposing them one step at a time to the frightening stimulus, and rewarding any confident behavior along the way. We always use postivie reinforcement because it is scientifically proven to be the most effective training method. If the dog acts scared, it means we have gone past their comfort threshold, so we simply remove them from the situation.  For example, when Champ confidently greets a new person, we verbally praise him and give him treats.  When he is showing signs of discomfort (tail-tucking, hiding, bulging his eyes etc.) we bring him back to a safe spot and try again when he is feeling comfortable.

Proper socialization is an exercise that should continue throughout a dog’s lifetime.  If a dog has had bad or limited experiences in the past, it’s never too late to start exposing them to different types of people.  Just remember to take it slow, watch body language to know his or her limits, and keep it fun and rewarding!

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Home at Last

February 17, 2010

Do you recognize this tail?  It’s the last we saw of it…

Daisy, our sweet girl who was at the shelter for over a year, finally found a home! She had some specific needs that meant she needed a special family willing to work with her.  And they found her!  The BHS staff, volunteers, and community members are all elated.  We wish her and her new family the very best as they start their journey together!


Congratulations, Bella!

December 13, 2009

Congratulations to Bella!  She’s finally found a home that’s suited just for her!  She spent over 6 months at the shelter.

We wish you all the best in your new home, girl!


Congratulations, Buster!

November 4, 2009

DSC05902Buster, the dog most recently featured on the Dog Blog, has been adopted!  He was at BHS for 5 months.

His new dad saw his video here and came right down to the shelter to meet him.  They really hit it off and Buster went home later that same day.

Congratulations and our best wishes to Buster and his new dad!

(If you  missed out on this goofy guy’s video here on the blog, you can still see it here!)


Ziba’s Fairy Tail: Part 2

August 28, 2009

Remember Ziba, the spunky, silly mixed-breed girl that was here earlier this year?

She had a video featured here on the blog, “Ziba’s Unfinished Fairy Tail.” (If you haven’t seen it, click here to watch!)

We’re happy to say that Ziba got her happily ever after!  Check out her new video to see what she’s been up to!


Congratulations, Ziba!

May 3, 2009

congratszibaRecently, many long-term residents of BHS have found homes:

Jed, Charlie, Corky, Tucker, and now…..Ziba!

Congratulations to Ziba, who was adopted this past week!

Our best wishes and wags for Z, from the people and animals at BHS!

Ziba was at the shelter for over 6 months.

There is another fellow who has been here for just as long, waiting for his family.  Look for this mystery man’s feature video coming this week!


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