Tuesday, August 23

The Value of a Formal Education

Licorice's foster mom sent us a little essay about her experience with the formerly naughty boy. She had great success with him as they went through classes together. Licorice has found a family of his own now. Here's her essay:

"Licorice came into FBRN as Bullet, and he probably should have been renamed Fonzie. He was dressed in black, knew rules didn’t apply to him, tried to intimidate other dogs and left his mark anywhere he thought they might pick up the message. But he had a heart of gold, and just needed to learn some social skills so he could move on to his forever home.

He was an easy people dog, if you could get past the wild leaps across the room onto your head, or the
grooves the leash dug into your hands when walking him in public. It became apparent that if this boy
had any hope of being adopted he needed to get some formal education, he needed to learn to interact
with people and dogs in a polite way. So he was enrolled in a basic obedience class.

Licorice swaggered into class, jumping at all the dogs and grabbing the lead in his mouth and screaming
if pressed to do something he chose not to. It was a rough ride, but with the help of knowledgeable
instructors, patient classmates and increasingly tough collars, Licorice graduated. (Yes, we finally went
to a pinch collar, and found the tool that got his attention. After the first night wearing it, he wore it
inside out but showed appropriate respect.)

The beauty of this was discovering that he was a smart boy who wanted something to do, wanted to
learn, wanted to please his foster mom. He moved on to two sessions of advanced work, and was
very dependable with all of the basic commands. In addition to the usual cute pictures, his available
page showed a graduate sporting a snazzy mortarboard, a calm dog doing a group down-stay, and a handsome boy heeling beside his trainer on a loose lead.

At any given time, FBRN has dozens of very cute dogs vying for the perfect forever home. How does one choose? In Licorice’s case, the successful applicant was attracted to him because he had some obedience training. He was able to move into a home where he will be exercised on a leash, and handled by two very responsible young men of 7 and 11 years. His new owners are so impressed with his accomplishments that they are considering adding a CGC (AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification) to his

Dogs no longer wander in packs searching for their next meal, so they need some replacement activity
or they get bored. That boredom is often behind all sorts of destructive behavior and the reason so
many dogs find themselves in rescue, wondering what in the world they did to be abandoned. So whether your dog is the love of your life or a foster looking for a forever home, consider training. It might be just tricks, basic civility, or competing in dog-sports such as rally or agility, but working with your dog is the best way to solidify that all-important bond. Try it, you and your dog might really like it."

It's almost time for kids to go back to school.  Maybe it's about that time for you and your frog, too? suggests

The Frog Princess


sue said...

He became a great favorite in class, and we are so thrilled that he is settled into a home where he is loved and treasured.... however, we'll miss that wonderful spirit in class, he had a way of making classes fun and interesting!!!!

nancy said...

FBRN grads Rudy and Lucy both have their CGC's so we say "go for it!!".