Tag Archives: rescue

The Downward Spiral of The Family Pet Dog


Written by Niki Tudge Copyright 2011

If putting a human, by nature a social being, in jail or solitary confinement is intended as punishment, then surely, isolating, chaining or tethering a dog will have the same effect on the canine soul. Dogs are domesticated, the most domesticated animal there is. Bred by humans to be companions and work partners, we have selected and bred dogs with highly social genes. Because of this selective breeding, dogs now have personality traits that need our attention, our time and our kind benevolent leadership. If our attention and participation in their lives is missing then dogs become lonely and bored. This loneliness leads to frustration and stress that in turn leads to behavioral problems. Excessive barking, pacing, self-mutilation and other destructive behaviors are all symptoms displayed by a dog that is not having its mental and physical needs met.

Dogs are not only social beings they are also very inquisitive and enjoy exploring. They need to interact with their environment and with other dogs. From these interactions, dogs benefit from the mental stimulation of new challenges, sights and sounds. If they are restricted from companions or there life is reduced to a tedious limited environment then they can suffer mental stress. For a dog, loneliness is abandonment. Many dogs find themselves reduced to a life isolated from their human pack because they lack basic behavior and social skills that are needed to live peacefully in the human environment.

Below is an example of the downward spiral we see in a dog’s behavior when it does not receive the training, exercise and social interaction required:

The dog enters the home as a puppy or a young dog. The owners are excited, the dog is a bundle of fun but no management or training plan is put in place. There is no housetraining plan and at the same time the dog is being handled by each of the family members differently and the wrong behaviors are being rewarded. Puppies are inadvertently encouraged to jump, pull and nip. As the puppy grows those small potty accidents become more annoying and the puppy is punished for the bad behavior rather than being shown and guided to the right behavior.

Puppy romps on a leash turn into walking nightmares. As the puppy grows in size and strength it is no longer fun to run behind a small ball of fur. The leash pulling becomes annoying and dangerous to the owner and the dog. The leash walks become less frequent as nobody enjoys walking the dog and the dogs’ energy levels build. This results in an overly energetic dog with high levels of frustration and no appropriate physical outlet.

A lack of daily physical exercise results in destructive and irritating behaviors.  The dog is more frequently left alone and for longer periods of time. Attention seeking behaviors prevail and the dog’s behavior spirals downhill and out of control leaving the owners with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.  The dog has become an inconvenience and a chore and the owner-dog relationship breaks down. The dog will be punished and this is justified by the owner to help alleviate their own feelings of inadequacy. The owners convince themselves that they have done everything possible; their dog is dumb, stupid or both.

To save the family home the dog is now reduced to living in the yard with minimal contact from its owners. The dog now engages in behaviors such as digging holes, chewing at outside furniture or attempting to escape its life of solitude.  In some cases the dog’s behavior becomes such an aversive for the owners that they physically restrain the dog in a kennel run or on a tether. This is a very sad outcome for the owners and a devastating and cruel outcome for the family pet.

The solutions are simple. From the onset, right off the bat, invest some time and money and enroll your dog into a well run and organized puppy class. You will save hours of future frustration, eliminate damage to your home, your furniture and your yard. You, as a responsible pet owner, will teach your dog how to successfully share your home – surely that was your goal when you made the decision to being a dog into your family. A well run puppy class will teach you how to house-train your puppy, prevent problematic nipping and biting, socialize your puppy so it’s safe around other dogs and people and if you take the time you will learn the obedience basics, sit/down/stay and walk nicely.

Before you spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on your pet dog and all its accompanying equipment, toys and outfits think about how you plan to train your dog.  More pet dogs are euthanized due to behavior than illness. Don’t let your pet dog become another sad statistic in our animal shelters.

Talk to your local DogSmith, request a FREE consultation or search for a Force Free Dog Trainer.


A DogSmith Product Reccomendation – OUT Stain & Odor Remover

Its official, I am actually about to endorse a pet stain & odor remover product. Having worked around animals for many years in the dog boarding, training and daycare business I have done my fair share of cleaning up animal mess. In our business we always use Trifectant to disinfect areas that accommodate client’s dogs as it is a broad spectrum disinfectant used for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, equipment, utensils and instruments in Veterinary practices, kennels, stables, catteries, etc. However this last week has given us some challenges in odor control. We have been caring for a rescue dog in the New Spirit 4 Aussie rescue program. He has a fractured pelvis and came to us with very bad diarrhea.  The poor guy has not been able to stand or walk around so I will leave it to your imagination the problem we were dealing with.  The only thing I will say is that it has given a new meaning to the expression ‘finger painting.’

Keeping his area clean and odor free has been a challenge and I have tried several products. We are still using Trifectant for its disinfecting properties but OUT Stain & Odor Remover has been fantastic.  Of course having used it and found it highly effective I then went to read the label and realized it has many functions in addition to the basic use.  It is a great product and the smell is fabulous.

Out Stain & Odor Remover is a natural pro-bacteria and enzyme solution that permanently removes stains and odors.  It also removes pheromones that cause pets to revisit and soil spots so it is great for cleaning up after puppy accidents. It also renders allergens harmless on contact and is great for a selection of stains ranging from blood, vomit, coffee, grass and more. You can even add it to your carpet shampooer.  I will be trying this use very soon. You can read more about this product at www.outpetcare.com

It is available at Walmart.

Woman returned rescue dog ‘because it clashed with curtains’

A woman returned a rescue dog to a kennels, saying that it clashed with her curtains.

9:30AM GMT 28 Jan 2011

The woman, who has not been named, picked up the Jack Russell called Harvey from the Jasmil Kennels and Cattery in Lower Halstow, near Sittingbourne, in Kent – but brought the pooch back 48 hours later.

Barry Shuttleworth, who runs the kennels, said was ‘horrified’ when the woman, in her late 40s, gave such a trivial reason for returning the three-year-old ginger and white dog.

Mr Shuttleworth, 42, said: “In one instance we had a woman come to see us a number of times, who loved a little Jack Russell we had called Harvey. It was perfect for her and she took it home.

“But she brought it back two days later saying it clashed with her curtains and thats why she didn’t want it.”

Mr Shuttleworth’s, wife Corrina, 38, said there had been a spate of dogs returned for ‘ridiculous reasons’.

She said: “In Harvey’s case the woman was in the kennels looking for a dog when Harvey was brought in as a stray.

“She fell in love with him straight away and visited him for seven days before being allowed to take him home.

“The same day she took him home she called us up and said there was a problem with Harvey as his colouring clashed with her lounge curtains.

“We told her to put him in another room, but two days later she brought him back and said she had spent a lot of money on her curtains and that she didn’t want Harvey any more.”

Speaking about other ‘ridiculous reasons’ why dogs were returned she said that one man returned a labrador because ‘it wouldn’t bark’, and another because it was ‘no cuddly enough’.

Mr Shuttleworth added: “Some people just don’t think about why they want a dog, and they need to so that so many dogs don’t end up unwanted.

“I would urge people to consider the implications of rehoming a dog before deciding on any action.”

In the last 18 months the kennels has gone from seeing 30 dogs a month brought in to between 80 and 90.

Mr Shuttleworth said: “We do struggle with the amount of dogs that are brought in, but we just have to try and find as many of them new homes as we can.”


“National Train Your Dog Month!” January 2011

News Release

Contact:          Rick Ingram

DogSmith Franchise Services


1-888-Dog-Smith (364-7648)

The APDT’s annual campaign to promote the benefits of positive training and socialization continues in January 2011 with contests to engage the dog-owning public and dog trainers.

Washington County FL, January 4, 2011 – The APDT has designated the month of January as National Train Your Dog Month to bring awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training a dog can be simple and fun.  The APDT selected January as the perfect month because so many dogs and puppies are adopted and brought home during the winter holidays.

Hundreds of thousands of dogs are turned into animal shelters each year because their owners did not know how to deal with behavior problems and could not find a reliable resource to help them.  Aligned with this philosophy, the mission of The DogSmith National Dog Training and Pet Care Company is to help new pet dog owners start the New Year with their newest family member in the best way possible.

Niki Tudge, The DogSmith founder, says, “We support the APDT in the hope that dog owners, shelters, and other pet professionals will visit the event website (www.trainyourdogmonth.com), so they can learn more about how easy and fun training can be.”

The DogSmith offers new pet dog owners and shelters their ‘Canine Rescue Resources Program’ (CRRP).  The CRRP program includes monthly puppy socialization programs, dog training podcasts and telephone consultations, all at no cost.

Tudge says “The DogSmith Canine Rescue Resource Program is a two tiered approach which provides support, education and assistance to animal rescue groups and offers educational seminars and discounted training services to animal adopters in addition to our free services.  We believe by doing this we help increase the adoptability of dogs and cats from a shelter environment, help reduce the number of animals that are returned back to the rescue organization and help prevent animals being surrendered in the first place.”

The APDT believe that a better understanding of dog behavior can lead to happier, healthier and harmonious households for humans and canines.

About The DogSmith

The DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. is a Florida based company whose mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship, and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden. To learn more about the DogSmith or become a DogSmith Dog Trainer, visit www.DogSmith.com or call 1-888-364-7648.

About The APDT

The APDT has promoted education for dog trainers.  With more than 5,000 members who are willing and able to assist dog owners, the APDT is the largest professional organization for dog trainers in the world. www.APDT.com

West Palm Beach Unemployment Drops by One!

West Palm Beach animal lovers and businesses have banned together to save Louie and give him a home and a job!

Jupiter Fl, August 22, 2010 – Precious Rescue of Palm Beach, with the help of several local businesses, have found a new home and a job for Louie, a 70-pound boxer-mix.  According to Debbie Young of Precious Rescue, “We rescued Louie from another facility where he was scheduled to be put down.  I could not let that happen, so we brought him in to Precious Rescue until we found him a home with a local family.  Louie was & will always be part of our Precious Rescue Family and we are extremely happy that Louie found his fur-ever home and that he is being loved and spoiled as he deserves.”  Precious Rescue is a no-kill non-profit organization committed to finding the right homes for the right dogs and dedicated to rescuing homeless felines and canines of Palm Beach County, Fl.

Since Louie needed a ‘fur-ever’ home with an active family, Precious Rescue activated its network of animal lovers.  Young says, “Louie loves car rides to the beach, park, and anywhere for that matter.  He just loves CRUZIN’ in vehicles!  He loves, playing with toys and other dogs and will even get on the first step in the Pool.”  Louie’s new home is with the Santos family, owners of Santos Automotive, where Louie can now be found meeting and greeting customers every day or just napping in the customer waiting room.  The Santos family spared no expense welcoming Louie to his new home and job with a reception, a welcoming banner, a new leather collar, toys, a leash and more.  When Louie is not on a break he is keeping a close eye on business operations, never far from his new family members.

To prepare Louie for adoption Precious Rescue asked Rachel Williams, Professional Dog Trainer and owner of The DogSmith – Palm Beach County, to work with Louie exercising him and providing basic obedience training.  In addition, Williams took Louie to numerous dog friendly events to help socialize him.  Now that Louie has a new home and job his obedience skills are a big help.  “Not only does he obey many commands, he has also learned to trust and enjoy being around people again,” said Williams.

Thanks to the incredible generosity and cooperation of Precious Rescue of Palm Beach, The DogSmith of Palm Beach County, and of course Louie’s new home and family at Santos Automotive of West Palm Beach, Louie has a new home and an important job to do.  If you would like more information or to donate to Precious Rescue visit www.preciousrescue.com.

About The DogSmith – The DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. is a Florida based company whose mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship, and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden. To learn more about The DogSmith or to become a DogSmith Dog Trainer, visit www.DogSmith.com or call 1-888-364-7648.

Panhandle Businesses Team Up to Prove Dogs Can Fly!

News Release

Contact:    Rick Ingram

DogSmith Franchise Services


1-888-Dog-Smith (364-7648)

Panhandle Businesses Team Up to Prove Dogs Can Fly!

Florida Panhandle businesses, individuals and organizations joined forces to rescue Trina and fly her to Central Florida where she awaits adoption.

Florida, May 22, 2010 – Trina, a delightful 28 lb black and white Aussie Shepherd mix who was recently picked up by Jackson County Animal Control, has a new foster home in Central Florida thanks to a network of volunteers and local businesses.  After an exciting journey by car and air from the Florida Panhandle to Central Florida, Trina is now well on her way to finding her “forever” home.

Jackson County Animal Control rescued Trina as a stray and transferred her to Northwest Florida Animal Control who works with rescue groups helping reunite lost dogs with their owners and re-homing stray dogs.  Because Trina is an Aussie Shepherd, Northwest Florida Animal Control notified New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue, a breed rescue group active throughout the US.  Niki Tudge, the local New Spirit representative, brought little Trina into her home so she could undergo preliminary medical treatment.  As is commonly found with stray dogs in Florida, Trina was diagnosed with heartworm.  The Panhandle Veterinarian Clinic, in Chipley FL, performed Trina’s physical exam and spaying and started her initial heartworm treatment.  Once Trina had recovered from her operation, local DogSmith Dog Trainer, Bethany Jordan assisted with Trina’s care by assessing her suitability for adoption and providing basic obedience training to help prepare Trina for her new life.

Once Trina was ready to travel, Jordan transported her to the Bonifay FL Regional Airport where Trina was picked up by Pilots ‘n Paws pilot Rebekah Swenson and copilot.  Pilots ‘n Paws is a volunteer group of pilots who assist dog rescue organizations by flying dogs to destinations more optimal for fostering or adoption.  Pilots ‘n Paws play a key role transporting dogs in need of foster homes to locations where foster homes are available.

Swenson then flew Trina to Tallahassee where Pilots Elliot Mintzer and Ray Hall took over for the last leg of the journey to St Augustine.  Trina was met planeside in St. Augustine by New Spirit Director Kim Litz who drove Trina to her home where she will complete her heartworm therapy and await adoption.

Thanks to the incredible organization, cooperation and effort by New Spirit 4 Aussie, Jackson County and Northwest Florida Animal Control, The Panhandle Vet Clinic, The DogSmith and Paws ‘n Pilots, Trina is well on her way to bringing joy and laughter into any family lucky enough to adopt her.  If you would like more information on New Spirit 4 Aussie and to check on Trina’s progress or contribute to her heartworm treatment please visit http://newspirit4aussierescue.org/

About The DogSmith – The DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. is a Florida based company whose mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship, and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden. To learn more about The DogSmith or to become a DogSmith Dog Trainer, visit www.DogSmith.com or call 1-888-364-7648.

LARA, how small steps can bring tears to the eyes

Well the weekend was busy, busy, busy. Sunday evening saw the last of the DogSmith Boutique Country Retreat Clients depart and silence reigned, except for my noisy Aussie, JRT-mix and Kelpie all charging around the farm. Yesterday evening the four of us and Lara walked around our property sniffing and smelling and reliving the memories of other dogs. Lara seemed a little down. Maybe she was missing Sadie, our Springer Spaniel guest who she had romped with all weekend. But Sadie was gone. Sadie had departed earlier that day on her way back to Tampa with her newly married parents. Sadie and Lara had been inseparable for the four days she had been here. Lara is happy to run behind and around us wherever we go and I have now grown used to using my dogs to move her around. I still must resort to bribery and blackmail to get her back inside most nights. Even with a 6 foot line hanging from her collar, it’s almost as if she has worked out that I can get within 6 ½ feet without being able to grab it.

Last night we sat quietly in the training room and I demarked a 6 foot space around me. Every time she stepped closer, looked at me or showed any sign of movement I clicked and treated. It took about 30 minutes but I was able to ‘shape’ her coming within my demarked zone. Lara is happy to relax around me now but always at a distance. We actually dozed together for a while in a funny kind of way last night until I was awoken by my dogs barking to let me know it was time for bed.

This morning I awoke at 6 am feeling tired and achy. The weekend had been a physical one of yard work and doggie supervision. I wandered over to our guest house and let Lara out into the small yard. I then sat quietly in the living area drinking my coffee and reading my APDT Journal. Lara was bouncing around the yard and I could see her running past the open door. Suddenly she appeared in front of me and bobbed her nose against my knee. I gently placed my hand on her head and she remained there while I stroked her. It was hard not to get too excited and I knew any sudden movement by me would have sent her packing. She laid at my feed and we sat like that for a few moments. I carefully turned the pages of my magazine to avoid any sudden noise that might spook her. For those of you who know me, you will appreciate how hard it is for me to sit quietly. I have often been described by my family “as having the presence of a hurricane.” After a few moments Lara started her slow journey around the room, stretching a full length to sniff and investigate every chair, plant, piece of furniture. Every step she takes is a desperate act of heroism as she moves carefully around braving the new and unknown.

I watched for ages, kicking myself for not having my camera so I could keep this for the file. She then disappeared and when she did not return for a few moments I went in search. Lara was curled up in a very relaxed manner on the thick cotton bath mat by the side of the shower. She showed no sign of wanting to flee as I bent down and stroked her and there we sat for the next 15 minutes. It always pulls on my heart strings when I have to place her back into her crate. I wish I had all day to spend with her as I feel the more time invested the better it will be for her. But alas I have to put food on the table (figuratively, not literally – I don’t cook). She gave me a cursory Aussie smile from her crate as I popped a cookie through the crate bars and left the room. As always, when I left her alone, I wonder what our next meeting will bring.