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Puppies Galore!

Summer is one of the most popular times to (ADOPT!) a new member of your family. So many folks believe that adopting a puppy is the better route because they are a “blank” slate which you can (and should) train. Many folks believe that puppies won’t have any behavioral issues or training issues built in because they’ve not had any time to learn any bad habits from previous owners or situations. However that sadly isn’t the case.

A lot of folks go out to buy a puppy from someone online, or someone they know. The issue here is that a majority of these sellers know absolutely bupkis about how to raise a puppy. Iowa’s lack of animal regulatory laws don’t help much either. We have no requirement for folks selling a small amount of dogs and worse yet no laws that prohibit when these puppies can be sold. And as we all know, the smaller a puppy is the cuter they are. So puppies go young. Super young.

One of my clients, who was working with me on a behavioral issue with their adolescent dog, told me they go their puppy at 4 weeks old. FOUR WEEKS folks. That’s insane to me. They told me they had to bottle feed the puppy after he started losing weight and refused to eat puppy food. Puppies aren’t fully weaned until between 6-8 weeks old. Additionally you have to worry about the lack of socialization these young dogs will have.

See puppies go through what’s known as a fear imprint period between 8 and 11 weeks (and again between 6 and 14 months) during this period of time things that are startle or scare the puppy can have a lasting imprint in their minds as being things they should be fearful of. When do most folks sell their puppy – eight weeks. Right when that fear imprint period starts. Then the puppy is taken away from their family, given new food with new people in a new home. In my mind that’s just setting the puppy up for failure.

Ideally sixteen weeks would be the best time for puppies to find their new home. At this age they have learned a lot of the body language social cues they need to be able to survive in the world. They know how to tell another dog that they want to play. They know how to tell another dog they do or do not like what they are doing. All using their own language through how they hold and carry their bodies. They learn all this magical communication from their siblings and moms and it’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to teach a dog how to speak “dog” as a human.

Additionally dogs learn one of the most important skills a dog can ever have. They learn about bite inhibition. This is when a puppy learns how hard they can bite down before it cause pain to whatever they are biting. It is amazingly important for a dog to know this skill. Imagine a situation when you accidentally step on Fido’s tail in the kitchen. It hurts. You startle him. He snaps. I’d 100% LOVE if he just mouthed me instead of biting down hard enough to break the skin. Puppies learn this skill through play with their siblings. Bite down too hard and your brother/sister doesn’t like that. They’ll yelp and stop playing with you. As a puppy, you have to learn how to play with your mouth and not cause pain so you can keep playing.

Socialization is extremely key too. Dogs go through a key socialization period up until 16 weeks / 4 months. During this time, you need to and should expose them to all sorts of random people, things and other critters. People wearing hats. People holding umbrellas. Tall people. Short people. Kids. Elderly. And more. But exposure can’t be the only thing you do. The exposure has to be a positive one. The puppy needs to see the novel thing and walk away thinking “MAN was that thing great!” Puppies are going through that fear imprint period too so interactions with novel things must be positive ones.

In theory, RESPONSIBLE breeder should know all about fear imprint stages, and how key socialization is to their wards. But in practice, this knowledge seems few and far between. In my opinion, adopting a slightly older dog 16 weeks / 4 months or greater from a shelter ensures you with the best outcome. These dogs are in facilities that KNOW about puppy development and have access to resources to get the puppy extra help if they need it. These puppies will have tons of exposure to different types of people (volunteers) and different sights/sounds. Plus you get to tell these breeders than you want a puppy raised right, in a home, surrounded by people and kids, not a puppy raised in a barn or garage and sold to make a quick buck.

AND if none of that has convinced you yet – you get to save a life. And that is probably one of the best gifts you could ever get you or your family.

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It’s Dog Bite Awareness Week!

This week is dog bite awareness week. To celebrate Underdog’s Triumph focused each day on bringing awareness to this common issue. Biting for dogs, even if justified, can easily mean a death sentence for dogs. Luckily, dogs never bite “out of nowhere” – Check out our Facebook posts this week to learn a bit more about dog body language and recognizing the signs a dog is stressed and about to bite!

Check us out and give us a like: https://www.facebook.com/UnderdogsTriumph 

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The Art of Human Training

If you were to have talked to me five years ago and asked me what the hardest part about training dogs would be, I would have said the dog (of course!). In practice, my humble self has come to realize that 95% of dog training is actually people training.

I see my clients, on average, once every two weeks for about an hour. This concentrated time is when I talk to them about the techniques we’re going to try, try those techniques and have them practice doing them as well. Then I leave. Those other 336 hours before I see them again. Those are time for the owner to work with the dog. Turns out, I don’t actually do a lot of training at all. Instead I spend that hour teaching the human in the equation how to train their dog. In essence after all this dog training and study turns out I’ve actually become a human trainer.

In my prior education, I’ve read some “human training” books about how to work with all the various types of clients you might encounter in your day to day training life. These types of books tend to categorize people into “types” of people with personality traits that you will need to know how to react to.

The book I read for the CATCH Dog Training Academy was called: “It’s Not the Dogs, It’s the People! A Dog Trainer’s Guide to Training Humans” by Nicole Wilde and labeled people such things as “Argumentative Al,” “Bland Betty,” “Look-at-Me, Leah” and “Know-It-All Ned.” The book was pretty good. It went through and discussed techniques you could use to manage those types of personalities who oftentimes can be disruptive to classes.

Recently I entered into a situation where I would need to talk to (and hopefully convince) a client that the methods they were using were not only no longer considered modern day methods in the dog training community, but some might even go so far as to classify these methods as being cruel. Being the first time I had ever done this in a one-on-one setting, I reached out to the dog training community and asked for advice. And like most communities, they gave me gobs of it!

One of the books they recommended was called: “The Human Half of Dog Training: Collaborating with Clients to Get Results” by Risё Vanfleet. One thing you might notice right away was the difference in how the title is phrased. The first book “It’s the People” gives off a tone of frustration at having to deal with these types of people in class. It implies that dealing with these people is unpleasant and must be suffered through to help the dogs. The second book, whoever,  “Collaboration” and “Get Results” turns the focus on how to get through difficult times so you can all be winners.

And folks. Let me just tell you this “Human Half of Dog Training” book (even though I’m only half way through), has seriously changed my approach entirely to dealing with dogs and their people. It talks all about how cognitive dissonance (aka trying to hold or come to terms with two different contradictory beliefs/ideas) and understanding of basic psychology plays such a huge part in how successful you are with clients.

Let’s look at a (made up) example of how this book has changed my approach. This client, let’s call him Donald, comes to me with his dog tucked behind him with shock collar around the dog’s neck. “My dog never listens to me,” he says. “I can shock and shock and shock him and he just keeps going right on doing whatever he wants to. And if that wasn’t enough he always runs away whenever I call him. Playing keep-away in the backyard when I’m ready for bed!”

Internally, I think most of us would like to smack the man upside the head with a rolled up newspaper. Some might even like to take the shock collar off the dog and put it right back onto the human. I’d like to launch right in about how literally everything the man is doing to this shy dog is making the situation worse. The dog runs away from him because there is NO trust between dog and canine.

However, launching into a lecture about how everything the person is doing is wrong, makes Donald throw up all the barriers. He goes on the defensive. Then we’d go into how positive, force free training works better than that terrible and painful shock collar he’s been using. Now Donald is fighting multiple issues. He’s being told an entirely new way of doing things (and folks change is scary). He’s going to have to learn a new thing (and what if he can’t do it?). He’s being talked down too and scolded like a child (so why should he listen anyways). He’s always trained dogs like this in the past (so why should he have to change now).

Instead, “Human Half of Dog Training” says, we can and should work with Donald (because remember, he did come freely to us for help). We can empathize how frustrating it can be when a dog doesn’t listen to you. We can share a similar story of a dog we’ve owned or worked with. We can introduce new concepts slowly bridging off of things he already knows. We can talk about our least favorite high school teacher who caused us to live in fear of being called on because we’d always get nervous and make a mistake and the teacher would call us out in front of the whole class. We hated and resented that teacher didn’t we? Did we work hard for that teacher? Did we dread their class? Instead we can ask Donald, What type of teacher did he like growing up? What made that teacher awesome?

“Human Half of Dog Training” doesn’t lump folks into categories. Instead it talks about how typical people react to situations of conflict. They can push back, they can resist, they can even lash out or shutdown entirely. In reading it, it reminded me too a lot of dog training. We don’t lump dogs into categories of “dominant” or “shy” or “hyper” and use only methods suited to that one type of dog. Instead we study and learn about dogs as a whole. About their body language. Their movements. Their emotions and desires.

So shouldn’t we do the same thing for us humans too?

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What is an Aversive?

There seems to be no small amount of cute kids/babies and dog videos circling around on the internet. If you’d have asked me a few years ago how cute those were, I would have oooh’d and aaah’d like the rest of the world. However it paints a different picture if you ignore the cuteness of the kid and just focus on the body language of the dog. This got me thinking a lot about what our pets consider to be aversive as well as what aversive actually means.

Here’s the link to the kid/dog video, check it out and see what body language signals you can pick up: http://www.pawsomeanimals.me/index.php/2018/03/08/baby-sneaks-husky-huskys-reaction-quickly-going-viral/

Want to see how you did? Scroll to the bottom and check out the signals I saw when I watched the video.

By definition, an aversive is something that we tend to try to avoid. This something could be situation, a behavior or an actual object. In dog training some dog trainers use objects that cause unpleasantness when the dog does an unwanted behavior in order (they hope) to decrease the likelihood the dog will repeat this undesired behavior. Some tools that would be considered aversive by all modern, educated trainers would be prong or shock collars.

There’s some contention in the educated dog training community about using tools like the Easy Walk harness or a Head Halter while teaching the dog to walk on a loose leash. Some folks in the community claim these tools are aversive as they change the natural way a dog walks. Others, myself included, see these as tools that can be used to help owners manage larger dogs safely and responsibility. In my mind the dog has to be on a leash so whether you use a normal harness, flat collar or a leash at all you will be restricting the movement of the dog in some way.

When we label things/tools as being aversive we do need to take into account the dog we are working with as well as the fact that tolerance does not equal enjoyment. For example, Esther, my own dog, doesn’t like sudden loud noises. To her me banging the pots and pans while doing dishes would be considered aversive. She will always slink off into the living room whenever I start getting ready to do them. Other dogs might not care at all and sleep by your feet while you clean. To that dog doing dishes isn’t aversive, just another random thing humans do.

That brings me around to an important thing to consider when using a new tool. The tool isn’t training. It’s management. It’s using something to get the outcome (oftentimes only initially) that you want. Is it less likely for a dog to pull in a head harness? Yes. Is it impossible? No. If you don’t couple a management solution to a training solution the dog learns nothing and will quickly go back to their old ways – an in my opinion make that management tool become aversive. A head halter on a pulling dog can ride up and rub on the dog’s muzzle.

That’s often why we see folks who only use punishment based methods having to continually increase the severity of the punishment in order to continue to get their desired outcome. The issue is they’re only managing the solution (temporarily) and not providing the dog any other guidance or motivation to change. So the dog reverts back to his old way.

In summary, when you want to change a dog’s behavior, you’ll want to combine a management solution and a training solution together for best results. Management gives you instant relief from the issue and stops the dog from rehearsing the bad behavior (aka making it a habit). Training teaches your dog a more rewarding replacement behavior to do instead. Regardless of what tools you use, you always want to use the least aversive tool out there for the dog you’re working with. Happy training!

 

Dog & Kid Body Language Signals (Spoiler!)

0:01 – 0:07 – Disengage, looks away from baby, ignoring

0:08 – Baby slaps dog, dog shows a stress signal – licks lips

0:10 – Stress yawn, licks lips

0:13 – Looks away from baby again, disengages, long slow blinks

0:17 – Baby grabs ears. Dog shakes off (stress)

0:19 – Dog rolls over onto back, stress licking

0:20 – Dog licking baby

0:23 – Baby presses down on dogs throat. Dog licks baby more frequently and quickly

0:25 – Baby grabs huge pile of fur, stress lick and disengage (looks away),

0:28 – Dog puts his mouth around baby’s arm

0:34 – Dog looks away, stress licks, continues to mouth the baby

0:40 – Continually licking baby’s face.

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The Power of Choice

Never underestimate the power that comes from the ability to make a choice. I think sometimes it’s easy for us, as humans, to forget how much choice we have. We make thousands of choices each day – what to eat, what do to, where to go, etc. All of these choices lead to more choices, for better or worse. Having these choices is empowering. Making them is rewarding. As a society we even use the removal of choice to act as a punishment. Locking up people in prison or house arrest removes a number of choices including the freedom to move when, where and how they’d like to.

So how does choice related to dog training? Turns out giving your dog the choice of a behavior and letting them choose is incredibly rewarding to them. Controlling these what choices are rewarding can not only help you get the outcome you want, but you won’t ever have to force your dog to do whatever you’d like them to, instead they willing choose to do the right thing because THEY want to. Let’s look at an example of how powerful those choices can be.

Calming Protocol:

I use this a lot to each a dog to be calm, but to do so it does require some patience on our part though, as we have to wait and respect the dogs choice, even if it’s the one we didn’t want. For this one I’ll sit or stand near my dog and think of what behavior I want them to do. For this exercise, laying down would be ideal as it’s a nice calm behavior for the dog to be doing to keep him or her out of trouble while being nice and relaxed. Your job, as the trainer, is to only reward the choices the dogs make that get him or her closer to the desired behavior.

The dog can choose to leap around and act all silly. That’s fine. Nothing bad happens. Nothing good either though. It’s a neutral reward. The dog starts to lay down and suddenly a piece of chicken or kibble falls in front of his or her face. Wow! That was pretty awesome! In the dogs mind, why would he choose to jump around when laying down is way more rewarding. Over time you’ll see the dog begin to select the “calm” option over others because in his or her eyes that choice is clearly the more awesome one!

You didn’t have force him or her into a down. Yell “stay” over and over. Actually you didn’t really have to say anything. You let the dog have the choice in the activity and through that choice you solidified and even strong resulting behavior because choice was involved.

I use the power of choice almost every evening to prevent begging for their dinner. The dogs would start to get excited for food right around six or so, more attentive and more conscious of every move I make knowing dinner is coming soon. But every night I wait until they’re all laying down. Then dinner happens. A few weeks of this, and suddenly everyone starts to get tired around six. They’re all laying down, yawning and acting calm because that choice is what makes the food happen.

I think sometimes we’re too quick to step in and restrict the dog’s choice. We limit them to only one option or forcing them to do something they don’t want to and the dog resists. So we drag them away from another dog. Or we scold them for barking at the cat or the neighbor or another dog.

One final example of this is (an AWESOME!) infographic about how your choice effects the choices your dog has available to him or her.

by Lili Chin at Doggiedrawings.net

 

 

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Can You Rehabilitate Aggression?

One of the most frequent cases that I get asked to help out with is help people with an aggressive dog. I’ll meet with those clients whose dogs are doing things like:

  • Lunging at people/dogs/kids
  • Barking at people/dogs/kids
  • Biting people/dogs/kids

Reading these behaviors here, on paper, you know right away that those are serious issues. But oftentimes, and even I’m guilty of this, we soften the words we use to describe those actions. We say, oh well she “just nipped” or “snapped” or was “too excited.” It’s sad to say that many folks only seek out a dog professional only AFTER a major incident has happened, and by then you’ve definitely got a long road of training ahead of you.

But there’s another side to this, which I hadn’t ever considered before. A lot of trainers talk about how they “rehabilitate aggression” and I think this confuses the issue even further. When we talk about “aggression” we’re talking about an emotional response the dog is having to a given stimuli. And then those trainers are suggesting that we somehow “cure” this emotion.

That seems silly to me. You can’t stop someone from feeling an emotion. If jump out of you and shout BOO you experience fear. I can’t somehow magically get you to stop feeling that emotion.

I think adding the “rehabilitation” bit in front of vague term “aggression”, might suggest to the client that once they’ve completed the training their dog is “cured.” They’ll no longer have to worry about the dog and he or she will be bomb proof in any situation. All those behaviors you’ve seen before are now “fixed” and you can carry on like nothing has ever happened.

That’s just unrealistic. Dog trainers and behaviorists should instead seek to change the reaction your dog has to those emotions. It’s 100% fine if your dog feels frustrated about something, but what we want to help him or her learn how to appropriately react to that emotion. Instead of barking and lunging at the thing that scared you, how about instead you turn away from that thing and walk away from it.

That puts the ball back into our (human) court. We help teach the dog that when he or she does the desired reaction when experiencing some sort of emotion, the new desired outcome is better than their previous behavior. We can accomplish this by controlling the reward in that situation as well as better understanding what motivates that individual dog.

Controlling and understand motivation is key to getting the desired behavior. If your dog is scared of something, some are motivated by just getting away from that thing (aka motivate by gaining distance), others get rewarded by investigating that thing until they know what it is (motivated by investigation/smelling). Knowing which motivator works for your dog can mean the difference between success and failure. If I drag my distance driven dog right up to the thing he or she is terrified of, no one wins.

To me aggression is an emotion, not a behavior. We can’t fix aggression. We can however treat reactivity, which is the behavior we see. We can change how the dog response when he or she experiences an emotion. We can teach them to resist impulses or to avoid things (or investigate) things that scare them. They’re all just skills.

For those interested in learning more about reactive dogs and training methods. I picked up this awesome little book called BAT 2.0 – Behavioral Adjustment Training on Amazon for ~$20 – http://a.co/0bWl8Ra It’s been a super interesting read about addressing “aggression”, more appropriately named reactivity.

You can also read a great article written by 4Paws University on Facebook for more details too. https://www.facebook.com/4pawsuniversity/photos/a.137573622069.109578.49741042069/10154375851132070/?type=3&hc_ref=ARQauXEJh3hCPCBaK2eIG7JfqKaIxnfg7ZkHZGBofcv8GMJNsqFf9eh_K9AQRQIInMM

 

 

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A Highlight of Positive Trainers on the Internet

Happy New Years – Welcome to 2018!

We’re back from our break and hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and was able to spend it with family and friends! I thought we’d start this year off strong by highlighting some of the wonderful dog trainers on the internet. These are folks I look to in order to see all the amazing work positive trainers are doing in the community and how they utilize some of the latest techniques available to teach our “old dogs” new tricks!

Emily Larlham

First up, we have a lovely women named Emily Larlham. She focuses on behavior modification and utilizes clicker training to teach her dogs. She has a number of training video to help teach your dog new tricks utilizing many of the same methods Underdog’s does.

In this video, Emily teaches the “collar grab” a fantastic way to teach your dog to associate you grabbing his or her collar with something super awesome. That way if a situation arises and you need to quickly grab your dog’s collar, he or she won’t dart away or snap at you suddenly grabbing at them:

Kristin Crestejo

Kristin has a great selection of various videos on youtube. She got her start a lot like I did. In that she was very disappointed in the amount of abuse that was deemed “necessary” to train dogs. Older methods utilized jerks on the collar to force the dog to “obey” and do what you want them to do. Kristin, much like Underdog’s, uses natural motivators to help the dog’s make the correct choices and get the outcome you desire. You might remember her from our previous blog post on body language – https://www.underdogstriumph.org/improve-your-dog-reading-skills-part-1/ and the sequel https://www.underdogstriumph.org/improve-your-dog-reading-skills-part-2/

John McGuigan

John is one of the more recent trainers that I’ve found. John is located in the UK and in addition to having an awesome accent, he does a lot to promote all the principles of a good dog trainer. From his website: “I promote a relationship with your dog which is based on mutual respect and trust. Your dog looks on you to provide everything it needs including consistent, appropriate training, a safe environment and emotional welfare. In return your dog will provide you with years of loyal companionship, will be safe and reliable to have around and will also be welcome in the wider community.”

One thing I really like about him is that he includes videos of some of his clients on youtube. This I think is very useful for newbie (and oldbie) dog trainers because they get to see real people make mistakes, get feedback and eventually do things correctly. I think it really goes to show that people and dogs aren’t alone in their issues. There are others out there with the same issues you have who struggle with the same things you do. And that sometimes can go a long way to getting you the motivation you need!

Here’s a great video on him working with one of his clients on reactivity (a very common behavior problem) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnNHX7sWdkk

I wish you all the best in 2018 and we thank you for joining us on our journey!

 

 

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Has Cesar Millan Benefited or Harm the Dog Training Community?

When I was in high school and, even into college, I was a huge fan of Cesar Millan. I read his books and watched his fairly popular TV show: “The Dog Whispered.” Then I got my first puppy, 8 month old Esther. And I did what those books said. I followed his training methods.

For those who haven’t had a the honor of having a new, untrained, rambunctious puppy, oh boy are you in for a treat. With Cesar he talks about how you need to be a “Pack Leader” and believes that anytime your dog misbehaves the dog or puppy is challenging your authority and trying to take over.

This creates an interesting dichotomy in the relationship between you and your pet. If every mistake they make, like jumping up on you to welcome you home, you see as a challenge to your authority. They’re trying to be the boss and overthrow you, so you better put them back in their place.

Surprisingly I did this with Esther for almost 2.5 years. And she was just as crazy as she was when I first got her (silly Jack Russel Terriers!) Then I met an awesome lady named Lindsey who showed me what clicker training was and started me on my journey towards becoming a positive focused, forced free trainer.

The issue is, most people don’t have that revelation that I did. They see a professional who tells them they have to “alpha roll” their dog, or “tap” him with their foot, or yank up or down on the collar to show him who is boss. THIS HARMS DOGS. It harms the relationship you have with your dog. Plus it’s based on a misunderstanding of a no longer relevant dog theory (aka dominance theory) taught to you by a televised reality show host with no formal education or degree in dog psychology, behavior or learning theory.

While force methods can work, the statistics state your risk for injury increases astronomically & thus so does your dog’s risk of being euthanized for that behavior. Using force increases the dogs need to be fearful or aggressive towards others (peoples/dogs) to get away from or stop the pain from occurring.

If any “modern day dog trainers” still rely on these methods and use terms like “pack leader” or “dominant” realize they likely haven’t had any formal education, read modern day training or studied behavior in the last 20+ years. That is how long positive reinforcement training has been around. It’s not new, or cutting edge, it’s modern day dog training, scientific methods.

I hadn’t every thought how much popular shows like The Dog Whisper have set back the dog training world by revitalizing debunked, dangerous training methods. There’s an interesting short video on how Cesar has impacted the dog training community: https://vimeo.com/243498663 (~10 minutes) and the full film can be located here: https://vimeo.com/230807934 (~1 hr 10 minutes).

 

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Thanksgiving – Right Around the Corner!

Oh Man! November has just flown by and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Just three days away! Each year around this time, it’s important to look back at all the things we (and our critters can be thankful for!) As this is a dog blog we’ll focus on how we can be thankful for the things our pets can give us and what we can give back to them too.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a kind of full household at the moment. I have two cats and three dogs! My two cats are:

Inara (In-Are-a) – who is a gray short hair cat, who’s around 2 years old. She has a LOT of kitten energy and after having her only for a few month, I knew she’d need a buddy or she’d drive me and the dogs crazy! So I got Cass.

Cass (Short for Castiel) – who is a solid white long hair, who just turned a whopping 13 years this fall! Surprisingly, this old man can keep up with Inara somehow and the two are awesome buddies.

Inara & Cass
Cass & Inara – Bath time!
Cass Needs Belly Rubs!
Inara!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also recently increased to having three dogs, as many of you know I “accidentally” fell in love with Prim and adopted her as well (oops!).

But first there was Esther, who’s now seven years old. A mix of a Jack Russel Terrier and a Shih Tzu and a past TLC Canine Shelter graduate.

Then there’s Luna, who’s three years old and a past AHeinz57 graduate. She is a mix of a Shetland Sheepdog and a Papillon.

And finally there’s Prim. A ten year old blind and deaf, Cocker Spaniel.

Esther
Luna
Prim

 

 

 

 

 

I am thankful for all these critters who get to spend their lives in a warm, loving, safe home. With people who care for them and allow them lead full and enriched lives. However I know that all pets are not allowed these basic “luxuries”.

This past weekend, myself and a few other rescue groups had worked extra hard to find homes for four outdoor dogs. Their owner had originally reached out to us asking for help as caring for four large dogs was going to be difficult these coming winter months. These dogs, all old, 8 to 11 years, had spent their entire lives outdoors and had minimal interactions with people. Finding amazing fosters willing to take on such challenges, was not easy, but somehow the rescue groups managed it!

However when the time came to go rescue the dogs and the owners changed their mind. They loved them and couldn’t bare to see them taken away. Even though we told them the dogs would have nice warm homes, a dedicated family of their own, and a safe place for the winter – they wanted to keep them and that was the end of our discussion.

It was a sad and disappointing rescue attempt, but nevertheless, I was thankful that SO many people were willing to give up their weekend this close to the holidays in the attempt. There ARE good people out there and so many were willing to help out and open their homes to these needed pups.

That’s what I really encourage you to think about this holiday season. Ways you can help others. You could adopt, foster, donate money or time or skills, etc., volunteer, promote, write grants, and so much more. Tis the season to remember all the ways you can help out others. Take a risk, try something new, and help out!

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An Underdog’s Holiday

This is our first holiday here at Underdog’s Triumph and we wanted to do a special event throughout the holiday season. This year we are trying out creating and sending doggy/human homemade care packages. Simply add the items you’d like to send to your loved one (or yourself, because you’re awesome too!) and checkout.

https://www.underdogstriumph.org/shop/

We’re featuring five main items currently including:

  • TLC Canine Cookbooks
  • Homemade Dog Treats (5 different types!)
  • Homemade Paracord Leashes & Collars
  • Paw Balm for winter feet
  • Chapstick (for humans!)

The last day to order items for the Holidays will be December 13th (just over a month away!). We’ll ship everything out by December 20th to ensure it will make it there around the holidays and to maximize the freshness of our treat products. All proceeds from the sale (aside from shipping costs) will go towards helping dogs in need!

PS. If this goes well, we’ll leave the shop up so you can send care packages whenever you’d like too!

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LulaRoe Fundraiser for Underdog’s Triumph

We’ve partnered up with a few LuLaRoe sellers (a online clothing store) to do a fundraiser for our new building!

We will have in-person shopping on October 27th with TWO LuLaRoe retailers. If you’re in the Ames area please stop by pick out some new clothes and support our cause! The sale will be located at: 

5250 Schubert St, Ames, IA 50014 and it will be “open” on Friday, October 27th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Then we’ll switch to online shopping from Friday October 27th at 8:30 PM through Wednesday November 1st at 8:30 PM with FIVE LuLaRoe retailers.

Any funds over $100 raised will be matched by LuLaRoe and go towards building our new facility.

Check out our event on Facebook and click the “Going” button to let us know if you’ll be shopping with us (online or in person). Plus share the event out to your friends and family to help spread the word!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1614231901971808/

PS. If your unfamiliar with LuLaRoe products you can check out what types of clothes will be available at: http://www.lularoe.com/collection-2

 

 

 

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Special Needs Dog – Part 2

A few weeks ago, my friends made the correct decision to try and find a new home for their dog blind & deaf dog Prim. She was getting worse with the baby becoming more activate and soon to be mobile. She was doing panic barking for most of the evening. She was stressed. They were stressed and it just wasn’t working.

So instead of this being a super sad story about an old dog ending back up in the shelter, she ended up with a lovable sucker name Ellen 😉

I’d kinda fallen in love with this snoring, fluffy oaf. Although a brief miscommunication with the groomer left her a little short on top all over, it will grow back (SORRY PRIM!).

Here’s what we’ve been working on this past weekend: Getting Prim able to go up and down stairs on her own! Enjoy!