FOTAS: New training program makes the difference | Characteristics

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We are fortunate to have volunteers with so many extraordinary talents.

Recently our fabulous volunteer, Jen Jotblad, asked if she could try a new kind of “training” program. We always welcome innovative ideas from our volunteers.

Jen has decades of experience with shelter dogs as well as horses. She has worked with dogs with various behavioral issues and helped them overcome bad manners.

The program is designed to train shelter dogs with the help of volunteers. Each volunteer is paired with a shelter dog who needs extra help finding a home. The course is short and takes place during adoption hours on Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

It is intended not only to teach dogs leash etiquette and simple behaviors such as ‘sit’ and ‘sit’, but also to introduce them to potential adopters. The class takes place a bit like a dog show, with all the volunteers in a large circle.

Yes, the course is intended for “training”, but the training is very basic in nature and will help make the dogs more adoptable. Benefits of the program include increased adoptions and mental stimulation for the dogs; even the volunteers learn a few things.

The dogs love the class and many of those who have been labeled “not well with other dogs” are in a yard with other dogs, calm and enjoying the personal attention of the volunteers. These volunteers return during the week and work with their partner dog to reinforce the lessons learned on Saturday.

One of the coolest things I’ve personally witnessed is the trust he has given to longtime resident Christopher. This sweet boy is a cute teddy bear, but he gets scared when he’s in the kennel and barks at people to overlook him.

Now when you take him outside he’s so cute. He starts to walk, then he sits up and rolls onto his side. He’s so excited to show everyone his new stuff. Christopher is like a kid who has learned his first words and keeps repeating them to impress everyone.

Our volunteers love the program and see such a difference in the handling of each dog as well as a boost in the confidence of each dog.

Who wouldn’t want a dog that has already received basic training?

Please stop by on a Saturday at 11 am to meet some awesome dogs, and you may be able to find a wonderful pet for yourself.

Their life is in our hands.


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