The following is a ad I recently placed on Craigslist. It is too important not to share. If you're interested in my help, please contact me at PattyWhackDogs@gmail.com.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO RE-HOME YOUR PETS! I can help you. I browse the pets section of Craigslist frequently and am saddened by the many individuals who feel they have to give up their beloved pets. While it's true that many people are unable to keep their dogs due to a move or financial reasons, it seems that many others are unable to keep their pets due to behavioral problems, or a fear of potential behavioral problems, such as when a baby is on the way. This is the same reason why a staggering number of healthy pets end up in shelters, of which more than 67% (9.6 million) are euthanized annually in the United States.
The truth of the matter is that there is often an easy fix to most behavioral problems. Believe it or not, a vast number of dogs with these problems are dogs who have never learned basic training. It is not the actual command that makes such a difference. It is the teaching that is so important. When you teach your dog basic commands, he realizes that actual communication between the two of you is possible. Once this realization is made, it is much easier for you to communicate to him what you expect of him. In other words, your dog will begin to understand what is and is not appropriate behavior. And you will learn how to relay this information to him in an appropriate way.
I can help you keep your dog. If you are willing to learn how to communicate with your dog, I can teach you how. I am a dog training who is attending Animal Behavior College in the fall. I am not yet certified, but I feel that I can't wait until then to offer my services, as the current need to keep these wonderful animals in good homes and out of shelters is too important not to put my knowledge and skills to good use. Because of this, I am volunteering my time to help you out. If I have enough interest, I will be holding weekly hour-long group classes in public parks. There is currently no cost for this, I just ask that each dog have a separate handler, and that the dog be up-to-date on his rabies shot. Those attending the classes will also receive literature and hand-outs detailing everything covered in class that day, as well as information on low-cost spay/neutering and low-cost vaccinations.
If you have specific behavioral issues that you feel would not be appropriate for a group class, please contact me and we can discuss whether I may be able to help you and your dog. I will do an assessment of your dog and if your situation is over my head, I will be honest with you and tell you my thoughts. Even if you decide not to use my services, I urge you to consider finding someone else who can help you in your situation.
Your dogs are part of your family. They didn't ask you to bring them home, but they came willingly with the innocent expetation of having a forever home and a permanent family to call their own. Don't you think you owe them the chance to learn how to be the kind of dog that would make you proud?
(The attached pictures are two dogs currently on death row for no other reason than their owners couldn't care for them anymore for one reason or another - and they were dropped off at a shelter. You can see in their eyes that they are terrified. Please don't let this be your dog.)