Back to Back Issues Page
The Yes Dog! - How is your shelter adopted dog adapting?
August 22, 2023


Dog Trainer Nati here to bring you: 1 fun activity to do with your dog, 1 interesting piece of information, 1 pawsome product to make your life better, and a quote to think and bond with your pet.

Let's get into it...

1 Fun activity: A walk FOR your dog

Do you let your dog enjoy walks? Most people get frustrated when their dog stops to sniff something and spends more than 5 seconds on it 🌳 🦮 Should you let your dog sniff more?

Sniffing is one of the most basic and natural behaviors our dogs have. Letting your dog sniff as much as he wants will actually improve your dog's well-being and even make walks more enjoyable. A sniffari (letting your dog sniff wherever and however long he/she wants) is a super enriching activity because it relaxes your dog and activates its brain.

💡🎯 Sniffari: You can turn any part of your regular walk into a sniffari, it doesn't have to be the whole walk. For example, you can walk to the park and once there spend 10 minutes doing it. Here are some rules and tips for a great sniffari experience.

  1. Use a longer leash (9-15 feet leash is ideal): this will let your dog move around with more freedom and prevent leash pulling.
  2. Follow your dog: don't try to guide the walk, let your dog guide you.
  3. Don't be impatient: let your dog sniff any place as long as he/she wants to. Imagine going to an art gallery with someone who rushes you from painting to painting! You wouldn't like it either.
  4. Use this time to relax and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the place. Just as letting your dog explore is enriching and relaxing for him, so it is for you. You will return from the walk with more energy.
  5. Any moment can turn into "sniffari" and every walks should have a sniffari time!

Does your dog pull on the leash? You can get some basic tips and exercises in the following article: Leash Training your Dog for an Enjoyable Walk

1 Interesting piece of information: How has your adopted shelter dog's behavior changed over time?

It is common knowledge that adopted shelter dogs go through a "honeymoon" period after being adopted. During this time they tend to be better behaved and do not show problems for a while, they don't show their "true" personality. Has this been true with your shelter adopted dog?

A recent study by researchers in the USA, surveyed dog owners about their shelter-adopted dogs for a period of 6 months. According to the answers some behaviors get better and others get worse over time.

One of the most interesting findings was that stranger-directed aggression towards people increased over time. Why would shelter-adopted dogs become afraid to strange people?

The study did not explore this question, however, it could be argued that shelter-adopted dogs may have had several negative encounters with people before being adopted and after a period of adaptation they prefer to stay with people they know. Another explanation could be the lack of further positive social interactions or even the experience of punishment when "new" or "strange" people is around. This is very common, for example, when guests come to the house and the dog is punished for jumping or bothering the guests.

A lesson to learn from this study is that all shelter-adopted dogs need the opportunity to meet people and have positive interactions. Do you punish your dog for jumping or bothering people? DON'T! Punishment can create a negative association with new people and make your dog increasingly more afraid and aggressive. Instead, have guests give or throw treats on the floor and then give your dog a stuffed Kong toy to keep himself entertained.

Don't believe punishment can be dangerous? In this article I outline the pitfalls of using punishment, it's worth knowing them, that way when you are upset with your dog, you breath...and NOT punish! How to train a dog the right way!

1 pawsome product to make your life easier

Speaking of games and enjoyable walks, these two items, which you can get at Dogline Inc with free shipping, will make your dog walks so much easier with little to no training.

The Dogline Quest NO PULL harness is "magic" 🪄 🦮 No-pull harnesses are design with your dog's anatomy in mind, that is why they WORK. You will notice (see arrow in picture below) that no-pull harness attach the leash in front of the dog, this creates pressure on the back of the dog, making him/her automatically stop. If you have never tried a no-pull harness, this is your chance. NOTE: they are completely positive and will not harm your dog.

And to get the free shipping and start enjoying some nice "Sniffaris" with your dog, you can also get a Viper biothane 10 or 15 ft lead. Perfect length for a nice stroll and letting your dog sniff, without a tense leash. Also, just nice to have a great quality leash!

Really, nothing will help your dog walks like a no-pull harness and a longer leash!

A quote to think and bond with your pet

Hope you enjoy the information, now go and play with your dog!

Happy training,

Copyright © 2012-2023 Natalia Rozas de O'Laughlin. All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized duplication or publication of any materials prohibited.

Not intended to substitute for veterinary, legal or other professional advice.

Consult your vet for advice about medical or behavioral conditions & treatment of your pet.

Back to Back Issues Page