Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Story of Missy and the Secret of Consistency

This is Missy, a dog that we adopted from a local shelter. She was with a marvelous foster family who could now longer keep her, and had been in and out of several shelters. When the foster family took her in, she was schedule to be destroyed that very week. They cared for her for several months before we found her at Petfinder.com.

Missy had never been walked on a regular basis, and as you can see, she is a very strong pitbull. You can imagine what energy she has and there were times when she could become too energetic for our kids. While she never was aggressive with the children, she could cause a real ruckus if she got running around in the house.

What many people do not realize when they get their pets is that the new pet need a schedule of exercise just a hyperactive like a child. Obedience school, while a good thing for people who have never had a dog, is not the critical element for a well balanced dog. Simply said, the dog needs to see you as the leader. The fastest and most effective way to achieve this is to walk, walk, walk your dog. We started Missy on a program of daily walks that lasted for 1 hour. During these walks Missy had to learn how to stay by my side. Within a few weeks we noticed a huge difference in her behavior. We also noticed that we started to lose pounds as we spent our free time making sure Missy got her exercise. A year later Missy is the gentlest, well behaved dog who interacts well with other dogs and loves children. What a story!

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