This is Roxy. She is the other new dog in the K-9 Corrections program. She is an adult beagle that was tied and left to a fence of a local boarding kennel. We have a story of her possible past home and in it being tied to that fence was the good ending for her. (The other involved a hole with her name on it.) Thankfully someone stepped in and did the best they could for her under the circumstances. She is super shy and skittish and needs to learn how to be a dog again. Living life on the end of a chain just doesn't do a dog any favors in the socialization department.*
A couple of days after I took her over I got a call from a person who is interested in adopting her. I explained that I don't chose the homes, the shelter does that. I only give them some input in what kind of home would be a best match for the dogs once they graduate. He wasn't thrilled to hear that and started asking why I would send a dog like her to such a scary place. A scary place with CRIMINALS in it. Criminals are bad people in case I was wondering. Umm, because it will help her learn skills so she not only gets adopted but skills that will help her KEEP her new home. He didn't really want to hear about the program in any depth. He just wanted to yell at me about his displeasure that he couldn't have the dog and that I am clearly an idiot.*
Yeah. Way to score points mister. I'll be sure to put you right at the top of the list.*
So I dropped her off on a Tuesday and on Friday night I received a call that she had slipped her collar. Thinking the worst I headed to the shelter first to grab the Hav-A-Hart trap before going to the facility. Once there I figured she would be long gone being a beagle and all. They tend to follow their noses given the opportunity. I was also worried because she was naked (no tags) and was near a busy road. Surprisingly, and luckily for us, she was hanging in the area when I arrived but wouldn't come to anyone. The motion lights were freaking her out as were any noises coming from the buildings. And forget about the guards and their jangly keys. She wasn't having any of it! But she was running back and forth clearly conflicted about what to do.*
Tip on catching a loose dog: Never chase them. It either becomes a keep away game or scares them and they will keep running. Work your way closer to them by walking diagonally to them but closer. Crouch down often with your side presented to the dog. This keeps you from being threatening looking. Keep your voice upbeat and happy. "What a good girl!" This also keeps you from sounding threatening. Since it was dark I also kept the flashlight pointed either near enough so I could see her but not at her directly and sometimes pointed the light directly onto me so she could clearly see me. Remove all hats so your profile looks less threatening. (unless the dog knows you well while wearing a hat) Using these techniques I worked close enough over about a 15 minute time span to be able to easily slip a lead over her. Give LOTS of praise when you finally catch the dog. Remember they make associations to the last thing that happened to them. Punishing them in that moment will only create distrust and they will be more difficult to catch next time.
For dogs that know you, running away from them can be helpful in starting a run to you game. Or lay on the ground. This makes some dogs curious enough to come sniff you to see what's up. I also like the turn your back to them, crouch on the ground and make weird small animal noises, method. However you may "trick" them, use LOTS of praise when you are successful so they LIKE coming to you and being caught.*
So when I went over on Saturday I took a new martingale collar and a leather harness. No more getting loose for this one! (That's why the picture shows her in so much gear.) She is already making strides and likes being around other dogs. She is small enough that Nico isn't threatened by her and they are getting to know each other.*
Sorry for the blogging gap. I had a few sick days and those combined with my busy days just put me behind. Here is another update: The dog in the x-rays had a c-section the next day. Apparently the owners were off a bit on the date of conception. 5 live pups were born. (pug mixes)