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Category Archives: Training

The Behavior & Enrichment Team works with many of the dogs at APRA.  Adele has been one of them.  She is a wonderfully friendly and engaged dog.  However, we have found that Adele likes to bark.  Sometimes at passing dogs on walks, sometimes at cars, sometimes at nothing at all.  Barking just to bark.  The Behavior Team had been working with Adele using the techniques of counterconditioning and desensitization.  However, over the course of about a month of doing this regular behavior modification, Adele was improving only slightly, if at all.

The Behavior Team had to try a new approach.  Many dogs in shelters develop behavior issues due to boredom or stress.  We strongly believe this is playing a large part of Adele’s issues.  For this reason, we decided to add in more enrichment Read »

Did you know that Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption has a Behavior and Enrichment Program?  Here is what you need to know about the staff.

Laura Linneman

Behavior Program Supervisor 

Laura Linneman joined APRA in March 2010 as a part time kennel tech and vet assistant. She has a vast background in shelter behavior and medicine.  Her homeless animal career started in 1993 when she became a foster home for Cobb County Animal Control.  She has been involved in the homeless animal field ever since.  Her first job was in a vet clinic in 1996.

In 2001, Laura started attending Auburn University.  She immediately volunteered at Lee County Humane Society.  She helped start the Shelter Behavior Program there and managed it under the supervision of Dr. Brenda Griffin.  While in Auburn, Laura also worked at the Canine Detection Research Institute that trained narcotics and explosives dogs in addition to performing research in Read »

Harden training

Everyone always wants the “perfect” dog.  Just like humans, dogs are very rarely perfect, especially when they have had a difficult history they have to move forward from.  Training and enrichment isn’t about making your dog perfect.  It is about making your dog have a skill set that makes them better suited for your lifestyle and your needs in your family.  It also develops a stronger bond between you and your dog and enriches their life.  It is win-win for all involved!

It is about having fun, working together and making life better for dog and owner alike!

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Do you have a 9-15 year old child that would enjoy learning about what we do at Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption? This summer we are offering a week long Junior Training Camp that will offer insight on animal rescue, training opportunites, arts and crafts, and much more! Admission is $150 for the week, and includes a t-shirt, journal, treat bag, and lunch each day.

Camp is from July 14 – 18 from 9 am to 12 pm each day.

If you would like a Junior Training Camp application or if you have any further questions, please contact Grace Murphy grace@atlantapetrescue.org or 404.815.6680 ext 211

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promises to my dogBy Sherry Woodard

Bringing a dog into your family causes great joy all around. But, making a commitment to a dog is much like making a commitment to a human being: Both relationships require daily care and nurturing in order to flourish. So, as you embark (no pun intended!) on this new commitment, here are a dozen promises to consider making to your dog:

I promise to have realistic expectations of the role my dog will play in my life. I will remember that she is a dog, not a furry little human; she cannot satisfy all my emotional needs.

I promise to protect my dog from dangers, such as traffic and other creatures who might want to hurt her.

I promise to keep her well dressed with a collar Read »

Relationship trainingBy Sherry Woodard

The trainers at Best Friends have found that dog training built on a positive relationship is the most kind – and also the most effective – method of training. When you have a positive relationship with the dog, you have the animal’s trust, and he/she wants to spend time with you and work with you. Training based on punishment or dominance negates any sort of positive relationship you might develop with the animal.

By reinforcing behaviors that you like and want to continue seeing, you set the dog up for success. Positive relationship based training is effective for teaching new behaviors or changing current behavior for any physically and mentally healthy animal. Regardless of an animal’s age and past experiences, positive Read »

Daily ActivitiesBy Sherry Woodard

If you want a well-trained, well-mannered, well-socialized dog, interact multiple times every day with your dog, with the goal of building a foundation of trust and a healthy relationship. (See “Why We Use Relationship-Based Training.”)

All dogs benefit from learning and practicing skills daily. Keep all interaction fun; if you are stressed on a particular day and will not play nicely with your dog, skip spending time with your dog that day. Dogs are sensitive to your emotional state and will pick up on your stress.

Things to Teach and Practice Daily

House-training. I add the words “Go potty” right Read »

dog educationBy Sherry Woodard

Dogs need guidance and consistent training from their people if they are going to live in harmony with humans. All dogs must be taught acceptable behavior, and one way to do that is to train your dog or pay a trainer to do it. Dogs are happiest when they know who’s in charge and what’s expected of them.

When you are looking for an obedience class or a trainer, shop around and ask questions. You will want to find a trainer who uses humane methods, someone who uses positive reinforcement rather than punishment. Ask if you can watch the trainer give a class and speak with people who are currently taking a class. If the trainer says or does anything that you are uncomfortable with, you may want to look elsewhere.

With Read »

By Sherry Woodard

Why should I use a crate? Dogs are hard-wired by their genetic history to be den animals.crate training A den is a small, safe, well-defined space. It is a place in which dogs feel instinctively safe. It is also a place that they instinctively avoid soiling. The combination of these two native traits are what make crate training, done in the right way, a kind and effective component in house-training your new puppy or dog.

A crate can also be a place for your dog to rest or have “down time.” If you have just acquired a dog, a crate can limit access to the entire house until your new dog knows the house rules. A crate can help with house-training by setting up a routine. For example, you can feed the puppy in the crate and, afterwards, carry him or Read »

APRA has specific rules when it comes to dealing with our canines in and around the shelter. Jumping up on people is not a desired behavior or to be encouraged.

Below are the rules of how we should work with shelter dogs that have the habit of jumping. Also included, is a phenomenal article by Victoria Stilwell that addresses this issue. The article can be found on Victoria’s blog at http://positively.com/author/victoriastilwell/. Check out her website at http://positively.com.

APRA Shelter Guidelines for Dogs that Jump

  1. Consistency is crucial! Everyone must use these guidelines at all times!
  2. Never pet dogs over the fence – this includes petting small dogs through the fence when they jump Read »