Dog Obedience Training
Dog Obedience Training with Great River Rescue
by Brandon Mustful
If you haven’t noticed, Great River Rescue will now be offering basic dog obedience training classes. This program is very new, but we hope to be able to offer it for owners of adult dogs and puppies on a regular basis throughout the year. We believe this program will benefit both us and community as we work together to provide care for all of our companion animal friends.
One of the main reasons were are now able to offer dog obedience training classes is the hiring of our Kennel Coordinator, Kylie Hudzik in January. Kylie comes to us with over 4 years of kennel work (in a variety of capacities) with the Circle of Friends Humane Society in Grand Forks. She is also certified in dog training from the Karen Pryor Academy and loves teaching others about proper animal handling. Kylie has a lot of skills and knowledge to offer, and we are pleased that she is willing to lead these classes.
We have several goals we hope to accomplish through our dog obedience training classes that address many common issues and challenges we face.
- First, we hope to reduce the need to intake dogs at our shelter. The majority of dogs surrendered to our shelter are given up because the owner can’t cope with its behavior issues. And, although we generally have capacity to take-in dogs, it is always better for a dog to stay in home rather than enter a shelter. Shelters can be stressful places for dogs, and if they have behavior issues, those issues tend to get worse rather than better in a shelter setting. We would much prefer to give a dog owner the skills they need to deal with behavior issues and keep a dog in their home, than have the dog dropped off at our shelter.
- Second, we expect that by offering dog obedience training classes to the public we will gain further knowledge and skills. It is imperative for our staff to have expert animal behavior knowledge and animal handling skills. This keeps us safe and improves the animals’ experience at the shelter. At the same time, finding the time and resources to offer adequate training to our staff is challenging. By offering classes, our staff will need to continue to develop their knowledge and skills to be able to teach others. Like they say, sometimes teaching someone else is the best way to learn something yourself.
- Finally, we hope to earn some extra profit from this program which will be reinvested in standard care for the shelter pets. As a private, nonprofit agency, we depend heavily on individual and business donations to run our programs. However, having sources of earned revenues can ease the burden on our donors and help us establish more consistent sources of revenue. We believe that charging a reasonable fee for these classes will allow most pet owners to attend if interested, while producing the revenue necessary to benefit the shelter.
We are really looking forward to our first set of training sessions which begin on Tuesday, April 3 and will run for 6 consecutive Tuesdays. This class is currently full with participants. We will take what we learn from these first sessions and apply that to future training. The total number of participants is somewhat limited by space restrictions and staffing limitations. It will be important that we do not overextend ourselves for this program because it could affect our ability to provide care for the rest of our shelter residents. Overall though, we believe this program will be very beneficial to us and the community.
If you are interested in taking part in this program, please keep an eye on our website at www.greatriverrescue.com/adoption-2/dog-obedience-training/. We will announce all of our classes on that page and allow you to sign up directly through the website.