Clear the Shelters Day is Saturday, August 19th!

It’s coming…the annual event known as Clear the Shelters Day is happening this Saturday, August 19th at animal shelters around the U.S.  Clear the Shelters is an event sponsored by local NBC and Telemundo television stations around the country to encourage shelter pet adoptions.  Many shelters will waive adoption fees on Saturday, so it’s the perfect time to open your heart to a shelter pet in need of a loving forever home.

Check out this map on the Clear the Shelters website to find a participating shelter in your community.  And here’s a cute video from sponsor VIP Pet Care to get you in the mood!

 

Happy International Cat Day!

Today is International Cat Day, the purrfect time to celebrate our love of cats.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare started this tradition back in 2002. The staff at Time/Life have put together a collection of 25 iconic cat photographs from their archives.  Be sure to check them out HERE and post a picture of your classic cat on social media with the hashtag #InternationalCatDay!

Image:  Sharon Adams, 10, playing in a snow drift as her cat maintains its comfortable perch atop her head. (Photo by A. Y. Owen/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

 

FACE Friend Linda Michaels Publishes “Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual”

A few months ago, we introduced you to FACE friend and supporter Linda Michaels of Del Mar Dog Training in a blog post.  Linda is a top-rated dog trainer and behavior expert who created the Hierarchy of Dog Needs® approach to force-free behavior modification.  Linda has expanded the ideas she outlined in the Hierarchy into a brand-new eBook called the Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual.  The manual is a great resource for anyone interested in learning about force-free solutions for common dog behavior problems (pet parents, trainers, animal welfare workers and volunteers, groomers, and more).  The book is available for purchase in pdf format HERE.

The manual covers both basic obedience and more advanced behavior issues like aggression and separation anxiety.  Topics covered include advice on finding the right dog for your family and lifestyle, as well as step-by-step training how-tos for many key behavior areas, such as:

  • Housetraining
  • Socialization to people and other dogs
  • Dog safety and body language
  • Good manners and impulse control
  • New puppy training
  • How to avoid “treat dependence”
  • Teaching the basic commands
  • Protocols for dealing with serious behavior problems

Linda has an MA in Experimental Psychology and has worked not only with dogs, but also wolves and wolfdog hybrids in need of treatment for aggression.  The foundation of her approach is to avoid the use of harsh, dominance-based training methods and aversive collar devices (shock, prong, choke).  Linda believes that these methods are often counter-productive and can in fact increase aggression in dogs.

The Hierarchy of Dog Needs® concept is based on the idea that dogs (just like people) have fundamental needs that should be met both in the training process and throughout their lives.  Besides basic physical needs like food and shelter, dogs also need to feel safe, secure, and loved.  Linda’s training methods take these important emotional needs into account, leading to optimal results.

As Linda notes, traditional dominance training methods and devices can inflict irreversible psychological damage on our dogs.  “This manual was written for ‘the heartbeats at our feet’ with their well-being and best force-free care and training practices in mind,” says Linda.  “We no longer leave the door open for any justification to use aversive/punitive methods of training with dogs.”  The key to effective training is the proper use of force-free methods…now easier than ever thanks to Linda’s contributions to the field!

 

Video: 10 Great Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!  Looking to add a new cat or kitten to your family?  It’s not too late to visit your local animal shelter or cat rescue organization and adopt a homeless cat or kitten.  Scotties Facial Tissues (currently in their 4th year of donating funds to support shelter cat adoption) has posted a very cute video on YouTube, reminding us that there are so many wonderful reasons to adopt a shelter kitty!

 

Video: Adopting a Retired (or Failed!) TSA Dog

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sniffer dogs do important work to keep us all safe when we travel.  Did you know that the TSA occasionally invites the public to adopt young dogs that failed TSA training or older dogs that have retired from active duty?  Adoptions are free…you just need to make your way to San Antonio, Texas to pick your new friend up if you are one of the lucky adopters.

Purebred dog breeds used by the TSA include German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois.  You can watch a video about TSA dog adoption on the AOL news site HERE.  Learn more about the TSA canine adoption program on the official TSA website.