“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen” ~ Orhan Pamuk
Foster Homes Needed
In order for us to help save more dogs we need people like you to open up your home and foster one of our dogs until their family comes. A foster home provides a safe and temporary home for dogs while we search for their permanent home. Please click on the Fostering Guidelines for more information about our foster program. Some of our dogs come to us with behavioral issues, so we have found that previous experience with German Shepherds is helpful. If you have the desire and the interest, but are not familiar with German Shepherds, we ask that you fill out the application. Regardless of your experience with this particular breed, our dogs need good foster homes. We hope to soon have a program available to educate future foster and adoptive parents about the breed and provide training tips.
We want to thank you for your interest in helping GSROR by opening up your homes, families, and hearts to help a dog in need. Rescues would not exist if not for the thoughtful time and generosity of foster parents.
German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies (GSROR) serves the public as a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue of homeless and abandoned German Shepherd Dogs (GSD). While providing loving, temporary homes for our dogs in rescue we get them vetted and spend time getting to know them personally so we can place them in the home that best fits their needs. Our goal of German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies is to find well-matched, carefully-screened, permanent homes and families for each dog. As a community resource, we provide nutrition information, referrals, education, training tips and other services.
GSROR has joined the Walk for A Dog Program at www.WoofTrax.com
To supporrt GSROR go to www.WoofTrax.com and download the app. Instructions for using the app are also located there. There are apps available for both Android and iPhone.
Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits
You just can’t do both
Click here to see all of Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits
I have a challenge for you: the next time you need to sit down to write someone a note or a letter, breakdance at the same time. I can hear you right now… What? How is that supposed to work? It’s not supposed to work and that’s the point. There are certain activities that cannot be performed at the same time. In dog training lingo, we call these incompatible behaviours and teach them to our dogs through “differential reinforcement.”
The crux of the concept is that if your dog offers certain behaviours that you find distasteful, one of the best ways to stop them from occurring is to substitute different ones. The classic example is a dog that jumps up to greet people. If you teach her to sit when people approach, she can’t possibly be jumping and sitting at the same time, any more than you can pen a letter while breakdancing. Training her to sit when greeting people is easier said than done, but is doable if you’re willing to put in the necessary work.
If your dog is always underfoot in the kitchen, how about having her do a sit-stay in the living room? If she has a nasty habit of charging people at the front door, simply send her to her bed when the doorbell rings. The mechanics of teaching these behaviours and training for reliability is beyond the scope of this article. However, there are plenty of books out there as well as resources online that can help you if you get stuck. You can also connect with a local trainer to guide you through the process and help with the finer points. The key is to identify things you’d like to change as well as solutions to the problems you’ve been having.
Make a list below of five things your dog does that you really don’t care for.
You may have listed some behaviours like digging in the backyard, chewing on your shoes, etc. Next to each of those items, write out alternative, and incompatible, behaviours. Knowing what you don’t want your dog to do isn’t enough. It’s a start, but you have to move beyond it. You must know what you do want. Once you have a crystal clear picture of what you want your dog to be doing, you are ready to begin the teaching process.
Whatever incompatible action you are teaching your dog, make sure that when you start out, you teach her away from distractions. The last thing you’d want to do is expect her to learn the new behaviour in the real situation. For example, let’s say your dog counter surfs. You’ve identified keeping all four paws on the floor as your alternative behaviour. You know better than to teach this in the kitchen so you take her to the basement because there are no distractions down there – nothing she’d be tempted to jump up on. Instead, she just hangs out near you. You say “Good girl!” and feed her a treats every so often. Several training sessions later, you are practicing on the main level of the house. You continue encouraging her and feeding treats for four-on-the floor. By the time you’ve done a number of short training sessions and are finally working with her in the kitchen, she’s got momentum for the behaviour and if you continue to reward her periodically, she’ll have new habit that you’re much happier with. You will have made staying on the kitchen floor far more rewarding than jumping up on the counter – problem solved.
Content Copyrighted 2015. Brian Bergford. All Rights Reserved.