First and foremost, I would like to thank Kristina Lotz with iHeartDogs.com for writing about our new ‘Saved and Trained’ service. I appreciate the time you took to tell your audience about it and especially appreciate the feedback we have gotten, both positive and some negative.
It has been a dream of mine for a long time to find a way to change people’s opinions about dogs often dubbed as “poor rescue dogs.” I work with these dogs every day and know first hand what wonderful loving companions they are. I also see the incredible joy they bring to people’s lives.
iHeartDogs.com has given me a platform in which I can express my belief that mixed breeds, pure breeds, rescues, and dogs who started off “wrong” in life are wonderful companions. I love dogs, and this topic is as near to my heart as can be. Thank you so very much for sharing our story and what we have to offer to help the dogs and dog training industry!
Questions and the Reaction to Our New Service
I have seen quite a few responses to the article, and I am thankful for the feedback that people have given. In response, I’ve decided to address some of the questions or concerns. Here we go!
How Long Does It Take to Train Our Dogs?
Our ‘Saved and Trained’ program was developed to pair rescue dogs with the best possible owners. We spend a great deal of time with our dogs during the training process.
The amount of time we spend training our dogs varies based upon the lifestyles of their potential new owners. For example, a particular dog may be better suited for a less-active home while another is suited better for an active home, and yet another for an urban professional. Depending on the situation, the training can last as little as thirty days and take up to a year to complete.
What About Our Prices?
Every human is different and so is every dog. Choosing, training, and preparing a dog to be a well-rounded pet is not an easy task. It takes quite a bit of time, effort, and resources. People who do train their dogs on their own and choose not to get them professionally trained know how much effort goes into it.
We appreciate people that train their dogs on their own, but not everybody has this skill. There are quite a few people that have passed up on buying or rescuing a dog because they don’t know how to train the dog or do not have the time. Our service provides a tremendous amount of training to both the dog and the new owner.
Our prices reflect the amount of time that we put into the training as well as fees for adoptions, health care, and necessary training tools [crates, leashes, food, etc.].
What Training Methods Do We Use?
When a dog comes enters our program, we focus on building a positive relationship. We address each individual dog’s needs to help them become well-rounded family companions.
We do not limit ourselves to one tool, technique,or style. Dogs are individuals and a method that works better for one dog might not work for another. Training is an activity that requires an open mind and flexibility. For this reason we use both positive reinforcement and corrective reinforcement.
Correction is natural to a dog when not used with malice or frustration. To dogs, correction is a vital part of keeping harmony for survival. While we are not dogs ourselves, we do act as their leaders. We take responsibility for their mental health very seriously. It is not something we can not be flippant about.
Do We Provide Owner Education? Yes.
We have a four-step approach to owner education.
Once a new owner decides that they would like to purchase a trained rescue dog, we perform an assessment. Here we discuss the owner’s lifestyle, daily activities, and their ownership goals. What qualities are they seeking in their new dog?
Pairing is a private meeting at our facility to introduce the new owners to their new dog based upon our initial assessment.
At the time of pickup, we spend the day teaching the new owners how to interact with the dog. We teach them how to maintain the training that we’ve provided for the dog by teaching them how to feed properly, exercise and ultimately bring them into their family. We prepare the dog and the new owner for every-day life.
We are always a phone call away. If the owners have questions regarding their dogs, we encourage them to call us, and we will be there to give advice for the lifetime of the dog.
Why Did We Develop This Program?
A large number of dogs get returned to shelters due to a lack of training, mismanagement of the dog’s needs, and poor behavior. Our dogs are set up for success and have an extremely low chance of being sent back to a shelter. We focus on finding compatible matches for our dogs. Most people who bring compatible dogs into their homes end up keeping the dog for the duration of the dog’s life.
Are We A Business? Yes.
To avoid potential confusion, we want to reiterate that we are a business. We are not a charity. We understand not everyone will want to shop with us. The service isn’t for everybody, but we are offering a choice. We are fulfilling a need that we have found in the industry and offering a positive way for dog lovers to purchase an already-trained dog.
We’d love to see a day when the need for shelters has passed, and every dog has a home. Right now, shelters are a reality and so is euthanasia. While our service will not put an end to the homeless problem, we are hoping to bring awareness in a way that we feel benefits the dogs and their new owners. #savedandtrained
Jennie Jones, Owner, Kindred Spirits Dog Training