Tag Archives: Dog Rescue

I came, I saw, I took notes: San Francisco SPCA

San Francisco SPCA
San Francisco SPCA

This past January, I had an opportunity to visit the San Francisco SPCA, a really progressive and inspiring organization and a great model for agencies throughout the country to follow.  It was a full day and I wanted to stay for the group cat training class that was held that evening, but time was scarce and it  was hard to fit in all the activities the city had to offer.

Lucky Community

From veterinary behaviorists, which are far and few throughout the country, to community outreach staff, trainers, a fantastic medical team, dog adoption people, cat adoption people.  The San Francisco Bay community really has it good. Knowledge and education is key and this team not only has it, but also they’re willing to share it…with the community, with you, and even with me all the way from across the country.  I was humbled to find how generous Dr. Scarlett was, as she personally toured me through the place and introduced me to all the wonderful folks. Lucky me.

I came, I saw, I took notes

During the holidays, Macy’s gives up window space for adoptable cats and dogs.  You’ve all heard, “Don’t Shop, Adopt”.  At Macy’s in San Francisco, the message is more like “Do shop.  Shop and Adopt”.  This all-encompassing, grassroots collaboration is what it’s about.  Getting all our amazing pets out there, in the community, in the places people go.  Making the adoption option salient in people’s mind and creating emotion and a sense of doing the right thing. Then following up, educating, answering questions and creating success stories.  Friends, neighbors, business owners, teachers, government officials, we can do that.  We’ve already begun.

Please share, like or tweet if you agree!

National Train Your Dog Month: Part II Reasonable Training with Nadine Litterman

So as you may know, Rocco’s loose-leash walking video received some recognition from APDT earlier this year for National Train Your Dog Month.  Although I was very flattered, I wanted to share the credit with a very special dog person, canine interpreter, rescue advocate and all around good person, who helped turn Rocco into a Canine Good Citizen.  Specializing in socializing shy and rescue dogs, trainer, AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and owner of Rollover Rover Dog Training, Nadine Litterman.  “A lot of the dogs that come here are rescue dogs, that’s why they need to be socialized.  They’ve never known anything outside a cage”, says Nadine.  When asked to share a little bit about her theory for dog training, the word reasonable was key.  Not only are Nadine’s prices reasonable, but also “training needs to be tailored so that it’s reasonable for the dog, and the expectations of the owner must also be reasonable”.  Hmm, reasonable, makes sense…but what does that really mean?  She explained that there are important factors such as age, temperament, breed, upbringing and background that should always be taken into account before creating expectations.  Ah, I thought, just like people, some of us excel at some things and others at other things.  How unreasonable would it be if our parents expected and demanded that we all be marathon runners or Olympic swimmers, without taking into account our strengths, weaknesses, upbringing, knowledge, etc?  “Too often owners place unreasonable expectations on their dogs when they really should be focusing on ensuring their dogs are 100% social by showing good behavior toward people and other dogs”.  Another very important part of Nadine’s philosophy is walking your dog.  People need to walk their dog, even if the dog weighs .25 ounces, okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea. “You can’t keep your dog inside all the time and expect it to be good when it goes out and you can’t expect your dog to be well-behaved when you haven’t given it enough experiences for it to know what’s appropriate”.  This all makes so much sense, but then again that’s why Nadine’s a canine interpreter, it takes people like her to speak on behalf of our dogs for us to listen.  Here are some other tips from Nadine:

  • Don’t handicap your dog.  Let your dog figure things out for him/herself.  It’ll make him/her confident.
  • Dogs bark to communicate and they only do so when they have something important to say, or when they want you to do something.  Listen to them.  Yelling only makes them think that you’re barking with them.  And yelling their name can sometimes cause them to block their name out; which is a bad thing if you want him to come when called.
  • Be careful not to project human feelings onto your dog.
  • Having a backyard can be a double-edge sword.  While it’s nice for your dog to have the space to run around, it won’t give your dog the necessary exposure.  It’s still important for your dog to get his daily walks and have experiences outside your home and backyard.

Cool, huh?  Want to learn more?  Stop by Rollover Rovers at 1933 NE 164th Street in North Miami Beach or call her at 954-531-8421.  Nadine conducts private and group lessons and free small dog socialization on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM and 5:30 PM.  She’s also an activist against animal cruelty and an avid dog rescuer, always looking for foster homes.  So if you have some extra love for a doggie who’s had none, she wants you!

She's an evaluator
Nadine can train and then test your dog for AKC’s Canine Good Citizen