Erin Howes – Trainer, Animal Instincts Dog Training and Obedience

I am SO happy and proud to introduce Erin Howes as an official Animal Instincts Dog Trainer. Erin has been assisting me for about 2 years now and I am so glad to have her on my team.

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I met Erin, about 2 years ago, at a Manitoba Underdogs event. Guess who she adopted from Underdogs?? Josie Jo!!! Remember Josie? You can read about her here if you don’t. She was going through a Vet Assistant program and needed to log some hours so decided to do that training with me. Well, she is so awesome, I hired her on as my assistant as soon as her volunteer terms were done.

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Moving forward, Erin is not only a trainer, but also the manager of my new dog daycamp opening this summer, Wooftopia Dog Training and Recreation Centre. Here she will still be assisting me in some of my classes, but also be teaching her own! Her specialty is training tricks so you can expect some super fun workshops coming up in the future.

Ski…what? Skijor!

Kali and I recently joined a Skijoring/Kicksledding course and I am going to be writing a few blogs about our experiences. We are taking the course in Winnipeg, Manitoba at Training Loyal Companions with the amazing Diane and Skijor master Kev Roberts from Skijor OxfordDogs. Make sure to click on those links to check out more about them! Kev has tons of great info on gear, Skijoring, Kicksledding and dog information in general.

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First I should explain what Skijoring and Kicksledding are. Skijoring is a winter sport where a person is pulled on skis by a horse, dog, or motor vehicle. When Skijoring with dogs, the skier is skiing and pushing with poles, while the dog assists. The dog and skier both have special harnesses so you aren’t putting any pressure on the wrong places of the human’s or dog’s body. Kicksledding is the same idea but on a fancy sled rather than skis. The dogs are still assisting, you are helping move along by kicking the ground to keep the sled moving. If you want to learn more about these sports click here for some book recommendations and reviews.

We started a few weeks ago, but there wasn’t any snow you say! Well, you can’t run before you can walk, in most cases. We started all of our training on foot to really teach the cues and keep them focused. Especially with Kali and Nanu….We would have been visiting rabbits all over the street! The first class we talked about the sport in general, some safety stuff, and our dogs got fitted for gear. You will see Kali wearing the Second Skin Harness. For more information on gear click here.

The second class we really started to get into it. We talked about stretching our dogs before and after, I didn’t even think of this! So important and a great way to bond with your dog. We discussed getting our dogs comfortable with us touching their feet to apply paw wax and remove any snow build up between the toes. We then began to work on “LINE OUT” where the dogs pull the line taught and wait for you to get yourself, or the other dogs ready. I am telling you, this one was tough. It takes a lot of time, patience, and practice. It can take a year to get your dog to have a solid line out, especially since with obedience training you are always training your dog to come back and look at you.

Our third class, we went on a group walk to Assiniboine Forest. We took turns passing, worked on our “LEAVE IT” or “ON BY” and did some hill work (getting your dog super excited and running really fast up a hill). We also started adding in the cues for left “HAW” and right “GEE”. While practicing at home, Kali still wasn’t quite getting the whole “LINE OUT” and she was fairly distracted, but on this walk she really surprised me and did so amazing. I couldn’t have been more proud. It also gave me the motivation I needed to brush off the old skis, take them in to get hot waxed, and buy some new boots.

In the video above, Kali is practicing some of her Skijoring commands before we start on skis. Her “LINE OUT” is really coming along, as is her “GEE” (turn right) and “HAW” (turn left). I called for the “GEE” command a bit late but did get to see that she is starting to understand what it means. Once we started moving she did a great job keeping the line taught and didn’t get distracted by some people who were walking down the street towards us. All in all I am super impressed with how well she is doing.

Our next class will be trying out a kicksled now that we have some snow. Kali and I are just so excited. Make sure to stay tuned to learn about our first experience with equipment. I am hoping to get some video of Kali and I in action.

Oh, did I mention what my favorite part of this class is? That it is all trained using Positive Reinforcement. Last winter, I took a one time workshop and was fairly disappointed in how my dog was treated, and the class in general. I was pretty discouraged until I heard about the OxfordDogs course and now I am just waiting for that snow to fall!

Have you ever tried Skijoring or Kicksledding with your dog? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Is Your Dog Listening? Common Mistakes in Dog Training

I recently read a great article on some of the most common mistakes made when training your dog. This inspired me to write about some of the errors I have noticed in my classes and private training sessions.

Dogs obviously don’t speak our language, therefore do not understand what you are asking of them until you teach them. If your dog isn’t listening to you, it is because they don’t understand what you are asking. They also don’t do things out of spite, they do things because they are bored, or they are getting some kind of reward out of the behavior.

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1. Saying the cue before the dog understand what it means

When you begin to train your dog to do a new behavior, until they catch on, they don’t know what you are asking them to do. Therefore when you say the word “sit” and they don’t do it, they won’t learn what that word actually means. First lure your dog into the position with a treat, or wait until he sits on his own. Once he gets the hang of it and starts offering it to you, then start incorporating the verbal cue.

2. Saying the cue more than once

I see this ALL the time.  Like I mentioned before, dogs do not understand us until we teach them to. Therefore when we say “sit, sit, sit, sit….” they aren’t learning the specific word, or action for that word. All they hear is a jumble of sounds, similar to how the adults sound on Charlie Brown. OR they are learning that the cue is “sit, sit” so you say it once, nothing, then you say it again and they respond. They are waiting for you to say it twice. In consequence, they are also learning that they don’t have to listen to this command every time. An example of this is when you call your dog to come in from outside “come” and they don’t listen, they are thinking that they don’t have to, or can whenever they want.

3. Asking your dog to do something while they are distracted by something else

Is your dog sniffing that tree, or trying to chase that rabbit? Well, they likely are not going to listen to you asking them to “sit” or “come” as you are not going to be as exciting as whatever they are focused on. Therefore, you don’t want to be asking them one of these cues because they will learn that they don’t have to listen to it! This is where treats come in. Make sure to use a high value treat in environments where there are a lot of distractions. Examples include, chicken, liver, tuna, hot dogs, smelly cheese, etc while on a walk. Use a sound to get your dog to pay attention to you, or use an excited “Let’s GO” cue to get him moving. Once he is paying attention to you completely, then ask for a behavior.

4. Down/Off cues

When teaching your dog a new behavior, remember to have a different name for each one that is easy to understand. A common training mishap I see people making is using “down” for lay down, and getting off of the couch or counter. So, use “down” for lay down, and use “off” for getting your dog to move off of something. Dog’s can learn a lot of new behaviors over time, just make sure they are all distinguishable and you will have your dog getting you a drink out of the fridge in no time!

5. Lack of verbal marker or clicker

This is always the first topic that I go over in all of my obedience classes. Your dog will catch on to what you are teaching them much faster if you use either a verbal marker or a clicker.  The marker, such as “YES” or a click, is used as soon as your dog does the behavior, and then you treat. Just as your dog’s butt is hitting the ground “YES” or click, and treat.  This will teach your dog that when they hear the marker, they are doing what you ask and will therefore learn much quicker. They may even start to offer you a bunch of known behaviors until they hear that click and then they will understand exactly what you want them to do. For more information on clicker training, check out my blog here.

6. Too much too soon

Remember, you always want to set your dog up for success. Did you do some recall training inside for 5 minutes and they were so good at it you took it outside but they wouldn’t come back to you? That is because you added in too many distractions too soon. You want to continue to work on the training with minimal distractions and slowly add in others over time. The slower you go, the stronger their response will be to whatever you are asking them to do. Again, make sure to bring a HIGH VALUE treat when adding a new distraction. If you ever get frustrated, take a break!

7. Rewarding unwanted behavior

 Does your dog keep jumping on you no matter how much you push them away or say “no”? Or do they continue to pull you over to snuff stuff while on a walk? That is because you are rewarding the unwanted behavior! Think about when your dog does something bad, are they getting some sort of reward from it? For example, when they jump on the counter, are they getting a snack? Or when they bark at the window, is the dog walking away? They are either self rewarding, or getting a reward from you. When a dog is jumping up at you, you pushing them away is still what they want, it is attention. Try to ignore that bad behavior and reward your dog when they are sitting calmly! When your dog is pulling you on leash, they are getting the reward of either going forward or getting to sniff what they are interested in. Try stopping and not moving until they offer you a loose leash. Keep your counters clean, or curtains drawn during peak walking hours during the day. Your dog is never trying to be the “alpha” dog, he is doing things because he gets something out of it. For more information on the alpha/dominance theory click here.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? You will be surprised at how much difference just a small change can make when training your dog. All dogs can learn new behaviors, you just have to learn how to teach them.

What mistakes have you noticed yourself making? Let me know in the comments below!

“Squirrel? WHERE?!?” Training a Reliable Recall

Does your dog come when called? Let me rephrase the question. Does your dog come when called immediately, no matter where you are,what you are doing, or what is around you? The majority of the dog owning population will say that generally their dog comes to them when called inside the house, or in the yard, but not as much at the dog park. A response I get when I ask about how someone’s dog’s recall is at the dog park is “Well, they don’t come when I call, but they don’t go too far.” Well, what if a squirrel is across a busy street, your dog gets out the door and bolts. You call for him but he is too distracted by the squirrel. A good recall can save your dog’s life, not to mention is a great training tool!

Now, how do we become more exciting than said squirrel? Depending on your dog’s personality, this can be a long process but by using positive reinforcement, setting your dog up for success, and making training fun, the end result will be worth it.

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Focus

Step 1:

Start in an area with few distractions like a room in your house, or your yard.

  • Get some tasty treats, something soft and cut into pea-sized pieces as your dog will be getting a lot of them.
  • Have your dog sit in front of you on leash, when he gives you eye contact, “YES”, or click (if you use a clicker) and treat.
  • Make sure you reward your dog when he is looking at you, not while he is looking away, or else you are training him that looking away gets a treat.
  • Once your dog has this step down, add in some distractions, either the backyard, driveway, or on a walk.
  • REMEMBER, you aren’t using the word “come” yet.

Step 2:

  • Now start moving backwards away from your dog. Reward for him following and looking at you. Make sure to make it REALLY fun!
  • Once your dog has this step down, add in some distractions, either the backyard, driveway, or on a walk.

Step 3 – Leave It:

  • The next step is to toss a treat, out of his reach, when he goes towards it, he is learning that when he isn’t focusing on you, he doesn’t get the treat. Make a whistle sound to get him back to you, reward for eye contact, say “OK!” and walk on a loose leash to go get the treat you tossed on the ground. This is also teaching your dog to ask permission before running off and playing with that other dog, or chasing a rabbit.
  • Now start walking around and having your dog follow you. Treat for eye contact and focus.
  • Once your dog has this step down, add in some distractions, either the backyard, driveway, or on a walk.
  • Once your dog begins to leave the tossed treat before you give the “ok” cue, start incorporating “leave it”.

Step 4:

  • Now graduate to a long lead. If you have a very strong dog, I would recommend investing in a proper one from the pet store over one from Dollarama.
  • You may need to start inside if your dog is getting too distracted with his new found “freedom”
  • Go through the steps in exercises 1-3.
  • Add in a fun chase game! Say “Let’s Go” or whatever term you choose, and run the other way! When your dog reaches you and sits, reward him. Reward him to getting to you and sitting, and then reward for his continued focus being on you.
  • You can also start incorporating a fun game like tug when your dog gets to you. You never want your dog to come to you, and have the fun stop. Make sure to play a bit of a game or give some free treats before leashing and leaving the park.

Now that your dog is coming to you every time, start incorporating the term “come”. Start inside with no distractions to introduce the cue and move up from there. When you start your dog off leash, go through all of the steps again. REMEMBER if your dog ever stops focusing on you, back up a step, change up the treat or toy, or take a break. Although you are consistently training, specific training sessions should never be more than 3-5 minutes long, depending on the age of your dog.

REWARD your dog every time he comes to you throughout your day. When he comes to you, make it SUPER fun.

Does your dog have great recall? What training methods worked for you?

Dogs: Not Too Cool For School

Scenario 1: You just got a new puppy or adult dog and think, “I won’t do classes with this one because I did with the last one and I still have the notes.”

Scenario 2: You have had your dog for years and you think, “I’ve had my dog for 5 years, I don’t need to take any classes now.”

Scenario 3: You think, “My dog already knows sit, down, and stay, I don’t need a training class.”

Sure, classes are a great learning experience for your dog, but that isn’t the only benefit. Training classes are a great way to create a bond with your pet, entertain them during the cold winter months, getting them involved in great activities, having one on one time with one of your multiple pets, and training impulse control.

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“Who’s Walking Who” leash manners workshop

Puppy Socialization

Socialization is so important and your dog is never too young to start training! Your dog will start to imprint fears in the early stages of his life, therefore it is important to safely introduce him to new situations. Puppy socialization classes are a great learning tool as the puppies learn to be around other dogs and people in a safe environment.

My Puppy Manners class focuses on helping to raise a well-mannered, balanced dog. You will learn fundamental obedience skills through games and interactive exercises, with a focus on techniques to help prevent puppy nipping, chewing, and jumping.

Puppy Manners is about building a stronger bond with your pup, and practicing daily skills with other dogs and people in new environments.

Basic Obedience

When a dog hits about 8-9 months old (exact age can vary depending on the breed) it is officially in his adolescents and can stay in this life stage until close to 2 years. Training your dog during this time is important because they will start getting more interested in outside distractions and may listen a little less, even when given commands they already know.

My Basic Obedience class focuses on basic obedience skills for dogs eight months and up. We  cover the basics, including sit, stay and down, but this class is so much more than that!

Our focus is helping you to connect with your dog by creating a lasting bond. By the end of this class, you’ll have a strong understanding of your dog’s body language as well as know how to exercise your dog both mentally and physically!

Advanced Obedience

Continuing on with your training is a great way to mentally stimulate your dog. Dogs were bred to have jobs so learning new tricks/tasks keeps their life more interesting, makes them want to please you, and keeps them from chewing up your shoes while you aren’t home.

My Advanced Obedience class dives deep into formal obedience. Topics include: sit-stays and down-stays at a distance, sit-stays and down-stays for long time periods, greeting behaviour and impulse control.

A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog!

A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog!

REMEMBER: There are a lot of classes out there! I try and switch up my classes all the time so I am offering something new, and focus on what participants want to learn. Don’t want to do another obedience class? Try a for fun agility class, or a few fun workshops! I offer workshops on specific types of socializing for puppies, fun tricks, hand targeting, leash manners, and more!

A dog is NEVER too old to learn new tricks!

If you are interested in taking one of my classes click here for more information and to register.

All classes are $120, 15% discount is given to Manitoba Underdogs Rescue alumni, and $10 off for all dogs adopted from a rescue/shelter. Classes are held at the Riverview Community Center at 90 Ashland Ave, Winnipeg, MB.

Not from Winnipeg? Make sure to find a positive reinforcement trainer near you!

Brain Games for Dogs

How do you exercise your dog? Do you exercise their brain too? Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Throughout history, dogs have been bred to have jobs. Sure, most of our pets aren’t working dogs, but none the less they still need something to do to keep busy. Dogs that are heavily exercised but lack outlets for mental stimulation suffer from an imbalance that can lead to several behavior problems. If you exercise your dog well but don’t provide mental stimulation, a possible result is a wonderful but bored athlete that has the energy and physical fitness to destroy lots of things or participate in many undesirable behaviors!

It is important to give your animal the opportunity to perform various activities each day. If your pet spends an hour a day barking or gnawing on the table legs, it is probably lacking stimulation. If you provide a variety of structured activities, it is likely that the undesirable behavior will decrease or be extinguished. For example, if your pet spends 30 minutes to an hour per day eating instead of wolfing food down in 5 minutes, it will have met a large part of daily activity needs, and will be less likely to destroy the couch or dig holes in your backyard!

Feeding Your Dog

How do you feed your dog? Do they get meals in a regular bowl and wolf it down in seconds flat? Just think! All of those rewards being wasted in just a few minutes. Use it for training exercises or stuff it in a kong or other treat dispensing toy and make them work for it! In the video above, you can see Nanu eating her breakfast out of a kong. Buy or make a few different dispensers and switch them up but remember to always put them away after they are done with them. You don’t want it to be available to them all of the time because you want it to be a novelty.

Home Made Treat Games

You don’t have to break the bank on expensive treat dispensers for your dog! Pick a few good items (like a kong) and try making some others at home.

  • Different types of plastic bottles or containers. Make it interesting! Use some with the lid off, and some lid on and cut holes into the plastic in different places. Just make sure not to leave any sharp edges.
  • Put pieces of kibble or treats in a muffin tin and cover each indent with a tennis ball. Remember, you want your dog to be sniffing out the food so make sure not to fill each hole and always leave different ones empty.
  • Put kibble or treats underneath different Tupperware containers and get your dog to sniff them out and figure out how to get the container off of the reward.
  • I recommend using your dog’s food for all of these activities so they do not gain any weight. However, if you are using treats, make sure to minus that from their daily food intake.

TIP: If you want to give your dog a tasty treat to calm them down if they are over excited, or anxious because company is coming over, try frozen peanut butter, sweet potato, or low sodium chicken broth in a kong!

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When playing a special game, or when teaching a new behavior, make sure to use a really high value reward that your dog wants to work for. These treats should only be about the size of a pea and very soft. Switch it up! Use different kinds of rewards such as chicken breast, cheese, Zukes Training Treats, etc. If your dog starts to get bored of one, either take a break or switch to another. If your dog isn’t big on treats, you can use a favorite toy that they only get to play with during training time, or if they are attention seekers, give them some love.

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a great game to get your dog to use his brain, and get some physical exercise. This is especially good on those really rainy or cold days, or you are just too busy to get outside. Hide and seek also encourages your dog pay attention to you on walks, because he learns to look for you and he gets a tasty reward or fun toy.

  • When your dog isn’t paying attention to you, slowly walk away and find a hiding spot (examples are around a corner, in a different room, etc)
  • Wait for a second and then call your dog’s name. If he has stopped and isn’t looking back, call your dog’s name again in a very excited tone.
  • As he rushes to find you, keep calling out his name. Once he finds you, praise him and give him a treat or toy. After the first few times, your dog should figure out to come find you after just calling his name once.
  • Now that your dog is catching on to the game, start incorporating some training! Get your dog to “sit” use “stay” or “wait” go hide, and introduce “find it”. REMEMBER, don’t start using “find it” until he is going to look for you every time.
  • When your dog is a hide and seek expert, you can start hiding in more difficult spots inside the house, and move to play in the backyard or at the park where there are more distractions.

Hide and Find the Treat

This game is similar to the first, except you will be hiding treats around the house. If you have multiple dogs that can be aggressive around food, play with each of them separately.

  • Grab some treats, go into a room without your dog and hide them. Make sure to use really smelly treats the first few times.
  • Hide the treats in pretty easy spots until your dog learns how to play the game, you may even have to point them out for him at first.
  • Call your dog into the room and let him at it!
  • Once your dog gets really good at the game, start incorporating some training! Get your dog to come into the room and “sit”, “stay”, and “find it”!
  • If this game becomes to easy for your dog, start hiding the treats under different types of tupperware containers.

Tricks and Obedience

Work on your dog’s obedience training! Sit, stay, down, shake a paw, etc. Take a class with your dog, this does not only work your dog mentally, but it also creates a great bond with you and your pet. There are so many different tricks you can teach your dog, not only to impress your friends, but also as a calming method when they get overly excited or nervous.

REMEMBER mental stimulation is very important, but needs to be paired with physical exercise, you cannot do one or the other.

How do you keep your dog happy? What is your dog’s best trick? Let me know in the comments below!

Collars, Collars, Collars Part 2

Hello!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article entitled “Collars, Collars, Collars,” which touched on the negative effects that certain types of abrasive collars can have on your dog physically and psychologically. This week I will be talking about a few positive tools that you can use to train your dog.

Everyday Collars

Buckle Collar

CollarThis is the most common collar worn by dogs. My dog’s always wear collars that hold their rabies tag, city tag, and name tag with our phone numbers on it. This way, if they do get lost they are easily returned back to me. Remember to fit your dog’s collar properly. If it is too tight it will be very uncomfortable, and if it is too loose, it can slip off or get caught on something. When the collar is fitted properly, you should easily be able to slide two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.

 Martingale Collar

Martingale Collar copyThis is another common collar choice which both of my dogs use. When the dog tries to pull their head out of the collar, the tension on the leash pulls the small loop taut, which makes the large loop smaller and tighter on the neck– preventing them from slipping it off. When adjusted properly the dog is never choked, but the collar stays snug around the dog’s neck (just behind the ears) until the pressure is released. For more information on this collar click here.

Harness

I always recommend that all of my clients walk their dogs on some kind of harness. As mentioned in my previous article, dogs have sensitive necks and one wrong pull, something very serious can be damaged. Dog’s also have an opposition reflex, this means that if they feel something pulling against their neck, they will automatically want to pull away from it.

Regular Harness

HarnessIf your dog is already trained to walk on a loose leash, I recommend a regular harness. If your dog is a puller, you may want to start with a positive walking tool first, and graduate to one of these in the future.

Easy Walk Harness

Easywalk2The Easy Walk harness is a tool used to discourage your dog from pulling. The leash attaches to the front of the chest, therefore putting the tension on the body steering your dog to the side making it easy to redirect their attention to you. I have had great success with this type of harness and recommend it to all of my clients who have dogs with leash issues.  For more information on this type of harness click here.

Other Training Tools

Halti

HaltiA Halti, similar to the Easy Walk, is a great tool if your dog is a puller on the leash and/or has a hard time focusing on you. When they move forward with tension on the leash, the halti gently turns their head breaking their focus so you can change their attention to be on you. REMEMBER these training tools are just aids. You need to put in the time to work with your dog so you don’t have to use these aids forever.

Backpack

Many dogs enjoy having a job to do during a walk. If you find that your dog doesn’t easily focus on you and is very excitable while walking, try a backpack. Another plus to this is that they can carry water and snacks, for the both of you!

Remember, when using any kind of new “hardware” on your dog, there will be a transition period. Never force your dog to wear something they don’t want to or they will have a bad association with the tool. Train your dog that wearing these things is fun and good things happen when he does.

  • Start small, every time your dog looks at the harness, give him a treat. If he takes a step towards the harness, treat. When he smells the harness, treat.
  • Pick up the harness, treat your dog, and put it down. Do this exercise a few times and when he is comfortable move onto the next step.
  • Put the harness around his body but don’t do it up. Treat, take it off and do it again.
  • Now you are ready to get walking! Put the harness on, give some treats, and off you go!
  • REMEMBER, if your dog ever gets uncomfortable during any of these steps, back up to the previous step and go through the motions at a slower page.

When preparing for a walk, get yourself completely ready to go, then get the harness on so you are out the door as soon as it is on. You don’t want to give your dog anytime to dwell or think about the tool making them uncomfortable. In my experience, the dogs will try to get it off for the first few minutes of the walk and then adjust and realize that they are doing something fun whether they are wearing a harness or not.

What do you use when training your dog to walk on a loose leash? Let me know in the comments below!

Getting Involved in Animal Rescue

Interested in getting involved in the animal rescue world but not quite sure how?

As most of you already know, I am very involved in the Manitoba dog rescue world. When I started out, I knew that I wanted to do something to help but lived in an animal free apartment so I couldn’t foster or adopt. I began by helping the foster families walk the dogs, or let them out and feed them if they weren’t going to be home, things like that. Later on I became more involved with helping create the print outs for the adoptables album for the adoption fairs, and once I moved into a house I began fostering and adopted two of my own. Once I realized my true passion for animal rescue I became more involved with DREAM and am currently their Spay/Neuter Program Coordinator and Operations Director. I am also helping the foster dogs and families, from Manitoba Underdogs Rescue, with any training questions or issues.

The DREAM Team

The DREAM Team

Here are some of the many ways to get involved with rescue (not in any order of importance):

  1. Foster – fostering will cost you nothing, and you are directly helping save a life! Fostering is also great for those who are not sure if they are ready to make the full commitment to adopt, or aren’t sure what kind of dog will fit into their lifestyle.
  2. Adopt – Looking to add a pet to your life? Check out your local rescue and adopt! You will be directly contributing to helping the animal community and ending overpopulation and abuse. Adopting a pet is also MUCH cheaper than purchasing one off of the internet, through a breeder, or in a pet store because all of the shots, immunizations, and spay/neuter is included. These can add up to $500 on top of the purchasing fee or more versus the $250 – $300 to adopt a pet. “But what if I want a pure bred or a small breed?” Rescues very often have pure bred animals AND small breeds! You just need to make sure to check out all of the rescues and shelters in your community!
  3. Support a foster family! Help out with walking, feeding, snuggling, and whatever they need a hand with!
  4. Looking to do something from the comfort of your own home? Why not be a reference checker! Phone potential adopters references or phone adopters for a follow up on how their lives are with their newest furry family member.
  5. Donate money, or items such as food, collars and leashes, blankets, newspaper, kennels, etc….
  6. Have a fundraiser – instead of wedding favors make donations in your guest’s names, instead of birthday presents have people donate to your favorite rescue, have a garage sale – get creative!
  7. Help out at adoption fairs! Man the BBQ or take care of the pups, speak to potential adopters, or sell merchandise!
  8. Easiest way to help out? Post and share about dogs and/or rescues in need on your social media platforms and encourage your friends to do the same!
  9. Want to be more involved? Check out what inside positions are available! A rescue is just like a business, but run by volunteers, there are marketing teams, community outreach teams, productions (event planning etc) teams, data entry teams, finance and admin teams, operations (dog intake, foster support etc) teams, and so much more!

Send an e-mail to a local rescue today and find out how you can help! Here are just a few of the many rescues here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:

  1. DREAM – Dog Rescue Education and Advocacy of Manitoba
  2. Manitoba Underdogs Rescue
  3. Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba
  4. Manitoba Small Dog Rescue
  5. Hull’s Haven Border Collie Rescue
  6. Happy Tails Adoption Center
  7. Winnipeg Animal Services
  8. Winnipeg Humane Society
  9. Before the Bridge Senior K9 Rescue
  10. Manitoba German Shepherd Rescue
  11. Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue

Have any questions on how to get involved? Are you currently involved in rescue? What do you do to help? Let me know in the comments below!