Behavior Modification Through Exercise Therapy
We have always believed in and practiced behavior modification through positive reinforcement and exercise therapy. For years we have known that exercise was good for dogs. We have been using this philosophy in our work since we began working with dogs (almost 40 years ago). Imagine how thrilled we were when we stumbled across an article by Rebecca Johnson who had actually studied this exact phenomenon:
"In 2010 Rebecca Johnson, director of the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri, whose group normally specializes in research on the benefits of dog-walking on people, focused on the fates of dogs in animal shelters that were facing the needle.
The researchers wanted to know if regular exercise could help keep these dogs from being euthanized. The design of their experiment was simple. Dogs in animal shelters were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The dogs that lucked out were assigned to the Exercise Group. They were taken for walks five days a week by volunteers, while the dogs in the Control Group sat in their cages. The researchers regularly evaluated the behavior of the dogs in each group and kept track of their ultimate fate.
The results were impressive. During the study, the dogs in the Exercise Group became much better behaved and social than the animals in the Control Group. More importantly, 75% of dogs who were taken for walks were adopted into permanent homes compared to only 35% of animals in the Control Group. But the heartbreaker is that 27% of dogs who by sheer random chance found themselves in the Control Group were euthanized while only 9% of their luckier peers were, as they say, "put to sleep."
In addition to being good for dogs, the University of Missouri researchers found that dog-exercising benefits the exercisers. For example, they have found that people who regularly exercise their dogs have much greater increases in their "physical functioning” than subjects that did not exercise their dogs."
It is our goal to educate dog owners on all aspects of healthy relationships with their dogs. Some of these important issues are training through exercise and positive reinforcement, teaching the most important (and possibly life saving) basic obedience commands, the importance of spay/neuter, decreasing obesity in our pets and the way to save millions of dogs by changing public perception regarding shelter dogs and adopting instead of shopping.
We strive to create an educated, dog friendly community where dogs are in loving homes and do not end up in shelters to languish and eventually be euthanized simply because of ignorance to the issues. We kill one healthy dog in this country every 9 seconds and to us, this is a barbaric practice that may have been acceptable decades ago, but is shameful in today's world of instant information and education.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated".
"If you have men who will exclude any of Gods creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you have men who will likewise deal with their fellow men".
St. Francis of Assisi