Friday, June 23, 2006
Don't talk to strangers...Blog entry by: Jessica, an Oakland, Customer Care Associate...
In the shelter, we actually prefer the opposite of our dogs. We want them to talk to strangers. So long as they do it politely.
A lot of people come in and out of the shelter on a daily basis to look at our dogs and cats. This, as you can imagine, can be a little overwhelming. In order to help with shyness, timidness, or just plain fear of strangers we have to do "Stranger Desensitizing." What that means is that we have the dogs meet different people so that they can be more prepared for whatever may come their way in their future.
For example, our dogs work with the same trainers day in and day out. So it isn't uncommon for the dog to become comfortable with a particular employee. To spice things up a bit for the dogs the trainers will alter their appearances to see how the dog fairs.
In these pictures, CW and CH have dressed up a bit to become more 'stanger-like' for a dog they are working with. While it may look silly, it does, in fact, serve a purpose.
"We try to expose them to everything they might experience in real life. We try to make the experience positive for them by reinforcing the meeting with treats. " - CW
The dog in the picture is Darrin. He is up for adoption but not actually the dog they were working with. He just wanted to show what a party animal he is! :)
So next time you're in the shelter, please stop by one of our "Kennel Enrichment " treat jars and give a friendly, treat-accompanied " Hello!" to some of our dogs. Even by saying " Hi " you're helping a dog find a loving home!