Intro to Finding a Dog at the Animal Shelter by Feather
by FeatherCresciman , Professional Dog Trainer for LA Central Animal Hospital
· Judge the dog, not what breed it is. Try not to go to shelters looking for a certain breed. The more open your mind is, the better your chances of finding THE ONE. It is better to pick dogs for testing based on size than breed.
· Do not select a dog that is big enough to dragyou around. Extra large or extra strong dogs need strong, capable people tohandle them. If you have injuries or physical limitations you are better off selecting a small to medium sized adult dog.
Tips for Walking the Rows
WALK SLOWLY. This way you do not startle any dogs.
Shelters are stressful for almost all dogs, and we do not want to provoke them
while they are in their kennel runs.
Do not discount the dog that comes forward most of the way, or sits still and just looking at me while flip-flopping a tail against the floor. It is normal for a shelter dog to be sad. Eye contact is important because when a dog looks into your eyes they are asking for help.
A dog standing very still and staring hard into your eyes DOES NOT want to be friendly and will demonstrate if you maintain eye contact... They will often follow up with baring of the teeth or charging the front of the kennel, barking and fang- whacking. This is one of the 5-10% of dogs that most people will not want to mess with, and rightfully so.
When you find a dog who is engaging you, check out his or her kennel card for more info such as breed, weight, and approximate age. If all is suitable then take a look at the dog's kennel. Look for things like poop or pee placed in or near food or bedding, diarrhea smeared all over the walls, or all over the dog itself. These are strong indications a dog is "Dirty" meaning they have a high tolerance for filth. Dirty dogs are VERY hard to housebreak. I have also found a dirty dog to often have other serious problems. This is not always the case but has happened often enough to bear mentioning.
Do you feel like making a hapless hound feel like a Vegas winner?
ADOPT FROM AN OVERCROWDED SHELTER and SAVE a LIFE.
It might even be yours someday!