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For tens of thousands of years, humans have bred dogs to accentuate characteristics that are useful for us and eliminate traits we dislike. That is why dogs integrate so easily into our families and are called “man's best friend.” They can help us navigate streets if we cannot see, pick up the phone for us if we cannot reach it, hunt with us, herd our livestock, guard our homes, play sports with us and be loyal friends when we have had a lousy day.
Science regularly sheds light on what we have suspected all along: dogs are brilliant at deciphering our facial expressions, body language and verbal communication. They can follow the point of our finger, which even chimpanzees struggle to do. Sometimes it seems they understand us in an almost human way.
But what does this have to do with training dogs and dealing with behavior issues?
UPDATE:Lucky successfully completed his Level One Obedience Training and was promptly adopted by a very nice family with another black Labrador about Lucky's size. They consider themselves (in their own words) "lucky to have Lucky." A special thanks to the woman who relinquished him. It is sometimes too easy to pass judgement, but it takes a good person to do what is best for a dog.
I find great satisfaction in my work as a dog trainer in Denver, Colorado. There are many things about my job that make me feel like my time has been well-spent.
For example, helping a dog with severe behavior problems stay in its home makes my day worth the hours I spend on I-25. So does watching the human-canine bond grow between my clients and their dogs. However, one of the things I enjoy most is training a raw dog (that is, a dog that knows nothing at all) and watching him grow into a great companion animal for some lucky adopter.
In this four-part series, we will examine the nature of fearfulness and discuss appropriate ways to manage fearful dogs and help them cope with their phobias. To start the series, let's look at why dogs may become fearful.
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and Britain. However, because of their popularity with backyard breeders and a lack of emphasis on quality dog training, they often are abandoned or relinquished to shelters. Labs were originally bred to help fishermen pull up their nets and catch stray fish.
...that is the question! And it can be a confusing one to answer. While many prospective dog-wanters at least consider adopting, they sometimes have legitimate concerns.