Getting off on the right “paw” with a new family can make or break a successful adoption.
Realizing that training is a wonderful way to bond and learn to communicate at both ends of the leash, the Ruff-to-Ready Scholarship Program was created to allow each shelter dog the opportunity to attend a basic obedience class with his/her new owner and a LTBHS dog trainer.
The scholarship covers the cost for each dog to participate, which is approximately $100.
The program was created in honor of Jack Ready, a former LTBHS board member, who passed away in 2010. Jack and his wife, Mary, had a wonderful experience training Jane, a shelter dog, and celebrated with us when she was adopted and thriving in her new home because of her training. The Readys felt it was extremely important to extend this opportunity to all the dogs at the shelter.
It’s no secret that pit bulls and pit bull mixes are the hardest dogs to adopt out. Not only do they have a bad reputation, they also have a stubborn personality, which makes obedience training for the average pet owner rather difficult. So when Zeus arrived at Little Traverse Bay Humane Society at just 11 months old, we were not surprised to discover that he had aggression with toys, food and rawhide treats – an issue professional dog trainers commonly refer to as “resource guarding.”
After discussing Zeus’ issues with world renowned dog behaviorist, Brenda Aloff, we created a training plan with very specific parameters. Zeus is as smart as he is handsome and the more we worked with him, the less he guarded his prized items – his treats, food and toys. After a strict training regimen of two private 15-minute sessions a day for three months, Zeus maintained two full minutes of eye contact and could sit and stay in a “down” position until given permission to be “released.” He not only learned some basic commands, but he no longer guarded his toys. We could even take his food bowl away while he was eating! Zeus' outstanding performance in class also made him an outstanding example of how a dog can overcome the reputation of his breed with hard work and dedicated trainers.
Zeus' story epitomizes the importance of the Ruff-to-Ready Program and its necessity to continue. As stewards for homeless animals, we feel it is our obligation to give them every opportunity to succeed, and there is no doubt this program is beneficial to many: LTBHS, new families, and most importantly, the dogs who have now found their forever homes.
Please help us continue to offer this important service to the many dogs who come through our shelter.
- Make an online donation to the Ruff-to-Ready Scholarship Fund today or
- Print a donation form and mail it with your check or credit card information