“The battle for the kind heart is never won; it must be fought steadily with every child, with every person with every new generation.” Captain William Lewis Judy – Founder of National Dog Week

http://www.amazon.com/Somethings-Lost-Must-Found-ebook/dp/B0051ZMYG2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1310214977&sr=1-1 My Short Story Collection continues to do nicely over on Amazon…Thanks for reading and the great five-star reviews.  Next week, I will present the newly added seventh story in its entirety here on this site (a Writer’s Digest competition Honorable Mention) .  SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND now has 21 Five-Star reviews and will be the Book-of-the-Day on Amazon on December 5th! Watch for more exciting news.

…Lisa, WHO do we bug to get this going for those of us in the stone age that dont have tech readers yet. That kindle money has been set aside, and used for other things, saved up, set aside, used again for dog things, saved up, spent on better dog food…..sigh Wait, my BRAIN has been lost and must be found… a Comment from a potential reader!  Thank you, I am working on this…

 

In a blog post of May 15th, I presented an interview with Thomas Cole of Shelter Revolution. Thomas discussed the challenges he faces when explaining his concept of communal living models as a remedy for our failing shelter system. Shelter Revolution promotes a healthier more natural way of housing homeless animals, letting them live and play in groups (in a carefully monitored and orchestrated manner) making for well-adjusted and happy pets that are more likely to find a forever home.  Shelter Revolution is a new concept to many, one that invites lively discussion among animal-lovers so I encourage your comments and welcome questions so that more can be learned. I established this blog to encourage a positive exchange of ideas about all sorts of issues affecting dogs, and I am glad that it does.

Hopefully, with more emphasis on Spay and Neuter efforts, we might be able to lower the number of displaced animals in America, and by “managing” a smaller population of homeless pets in a more humane and positive way, we can see less suffering in the world, for both animal and the humans who love them. 

Dog Trainer, Robert Cabral, of Malibu, California has found a way to use his Martial Arts background to train and socialize dogs.  He also embraces new ways of looking at how shelter dogs are housed, like those proposed byThomas Cole’s Shelter Revolution Model.  Upon hearing that I was writing a post about Robert, Ed Boks, Executive Director at Yavapai Human Society in Prescott, Arizona commented, “I’ve worked with many trainers over the past 30 years, from the famous to the ridiculous. Robert is the real deal. His methods transform unruly, even dangerous, shelter dogs into responsive companion animals. For shelters looking for alternatives to killing dogs for behavioral reasons, I recommend Robert Cabral.”

 The following is my interview with Robert:

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you “went to the dogs?” I rescued my first dog almost 8 years ago.  When I brought him home I didn’t know much about training dog, but I knew how to teach karate.  I wondered if using the teaching skills of the martial arts would apply to dogs, and it did.  I never taught dogs to punch or kick, but I used a very fundamental approach to teaching my dog(s) what was right and wrong and they learned.  Throughout the years I’ve seen this system work on every dog I’ve dealt with from obedience to aggression (fear and dominance based) as well as desensitization and a host of other issues.  I began working with rescues, shelters as well as private clients; often times getting the dogs no one else wanted to deal with. 

 Robert, I “discovered” you after watching a video about a dog named Snowflake that was posted on the Shelter Revolution’s Facebook page.  Can you tell us why you made this video and the message you wish to impart? Snowflake was one of those typical dogs that “falls through the cracks.”  She had some behavioral issues, namely barking and growling at her kennel door.  Understanding this behavior and dealing with it is quite simple, but people usually approach it in the wrong fashion.  Snowflake had been abused and was covered in specks of white paint, that’s why I named her Snowflake.  I believe in making the most of the positive and Snowflake had a lot of great attributes.  We were able to get her rescued after showing that her kennel issues were just that, kennel issues.  Whoever put her in the place that ended her up in the kennel is responsible for her issues – not Snowflake.

Groups like Shelter Revolution call for reform in the way shelter animals are housed.  They promote the concept of Communal Living for our pets.  Do you think this can work? 

I’ve always been an advocate for at the very least doubling dogs in the kennels at shelters.  This has many benefits:  it increases a dog’s social skills, saves space and eases the stress of being isolated in shelters.  I believe social kenneling can work, but there will be some issues including fights and more – however I think it’s worth the trade-off.  Done properly, this is one of our greatest hopes for solving this crisis. 

What needs must be addressed to make this possible and successful? As I mentioned above, this change won’t be without its downsides, but they are far fewer than the millions of animals that we are killing now.  Establishing pack order will be important and I believe this should be handled by people who are skilled in dealing with this, not just rescue volunteers.  This aspect should be taken very seriously.  People need to understand that dogs are pack animals and need to be worked into the environment.  Dogs will survive and I think we owe it to the dogs to see who is best suited and who is not suited to being placed into this environment.  Some dogs should not be put into this situation until they are ready, for example fearful dogs, dominant dogs, sick dogs and old dogs and puppies. 

There are those out there who say Communal Living is not a good idea, it cannot work.  What do you say to them? Dogs are pack animals…get a clue!

What are the major issues concerning dogs, and dog-ownership, facing your region of the nation? The same concerns that plague Los Angeles plague the rest of the country and world.  Ignorance on canine behavior patterns are at the forefront.  Until people understand how dogs act and think, they think they need.  They should reconsider their choice of pet.  I’d rather see much fewer people owning dogs and see those dogs placed with responsible owners…not people who think they’re stuffed animals or a badge for their bravado.  Dogs are living, sentient beings that we must strive to understand.  We must give them what they need, not what we need.

I thank Thomas and Robert for trying to implement positive change.  I am sure we will hear from them again  To learn more about Robert and his work:

www.boundangels.org

www.blackbeltdogtraining.com

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