“Our goal is to raise awareness that proper training and socialization are critical to a dog’s wellbeing,” said SFAS Public Information Officer Murad Kirdar. “January is the ideal time to focus efforts on training your newly adopted puppy or older pup that just needs some extra training.”
Research shows that training and socializing dogs can reduce or prevent future behavior problems, especially when they’re young.
That is the basis of all the shelter’s training classes, including the Community Connection, a free online course with topics including:
- Safer at Home Socialization;
- The Best Way To Train; and
- Why Does My Dog to That?
The lecture-style courses, which are held online, also allow pet parents to ask trainers questions. Community Connection, sponsored by Purina, will have five different courses this month.
“Remember that training your dog is not only beneficial and fun, it’s also great mental stimulation for them and it’s a chance to learn and practice something new with your furry friend,” Kirdar said.
The shelter also will offer online group classes, including Puppy Life Skills and Essential Life Skills for older dogs.
New puppy classes begin Jan. 11 and Jan. 24 and run for six weeks. Essential Life Skills class starts Jan. 31.
Santa Fe Animal Shelter offers $50 off the registration fee for any animal that has been adopted from any shelter in New Mexico.
Using positive reinforcement has been universally endorsed by the behavioral science community as the most effective, long-lasting, humane and safest method in dog training.
The shelter also will produce free training tips on its Facebook page each Tuesday, appropriately named Training Tip Tuesday.
“Though most people who get a dog do so with the best intentions, some wind up surrendering their new pets back to the shelter because they can’t cope with their dog’s behavioral issues,” Kirdar said. “We hope these classes that we are offering help them.”