To Crate or Not to Crate….

That is the question!

Let me start off by saying that I believe ALL dogs should be assessed and treated as individuals. Dogs should not be judged because of their age, breed, or history. Just as humans should not be judged by their skin color, age, or family members. We are all different, it is that simple.

Oscar

I fully believe in crating dogs. Lucy was crated until she turned 1, and then she no longer needed to be crated. She isn’t food or toy aggressive. She doesn’t have any anxiety or fear issues. She isn’t destructive. Therefore once she matured enough to be fully potty trained, and to follow the general house rules, she was allowed to stay out of her crate. On the rare event that we’ve had a foster dog that can’t be crated (Petey & Hambone), Lucy then stays in the kitchen where Oscar is, with the baby gate up, separating her and the foster dog. She still likes the kennel though, and will often go take a nap in it. This is a good thing, because when we travel, I do keep her crated. This is to keep her safe and out of trouble, and to keep me from having to apologize for anything that she might get into!

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Oscar on the other hand, is crated and will be, always. He is around 2yrs old now, and he still gets into stuff if he’s feeling extra sneaky. He also can be reactive when food is involved…the unfortunate  after-effects of being starved as a pup. Though he has only ever barked (never bitten) at various foster dog’s when they come near his food, and has never ever done that to Lucy, I still would never put him or Lucy in the situation where they’d feel the need to fight or protect themselves. It is my job to know my dogs, to love them unconditionally, to protect them…but above all else, to remember that they ARE animals. Oscar truly seems to love Lucy, and recognizes that she was here first. It’s almost as if he sees her as the older sister, the boss if you will. For example, if they are playing and he accidentally hurts her, he backs off immediately, then goes to her and gives her kisses. It’s too cute!

Lucy

Anyway, a crate should be introduced during puppy hood, and should be the dog’s private safe cave. It shouldn’t be used as punishment, though can be used for a time out as long as you are gentle about sending Oscar   your dog to a crate during this time. Using a crate can also help with potty training, and I have found with all of the puppies I’ve had, that they quickly learn not to go where they sleep & eat. If you have a dog like Oscar, you can also use the crate as their place for eating. It should be the place where they can go to be safe, and get some space if they need it. As a rescue person, I always promote using a kennel, and I remind the new owner that the dog should be able to use their kennel while adjusting to their new surroundings.

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Of course, there are times that crates just do not work. Especially if it is an adult dog, and they don’t see the crate as their safe place. Then the dog can feel confined, threatened, and become destructive. (Remember Petey’s feelings towards the kennel?!) 

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I believe that some dogs can be moved out of the crate once they are mature and well behaved, like Lucy. But, there are some dogs that need the crate to keep them out of trouble. The crate should not be seen as an evil thing, like doggy jail or something. For Oscar, the kennel keeps him out of trouble. It is almost guaranteed that he would chew something up if I left the house, leaving him loose & unsupervised. Heck, he does that even if I am home! I would much rather come home, let him out of his kennel, and give him happy hugs and kisses; rather than come home, and have to be upset because he ruined something. Or worse, for him to get into something that could be harmful to him!

So tell me friends, do you crate your dog(s)? Are you for it? Against it? Do you separate your animals when unsupervised, using another method other than crating? I’d love to hear your opinions & experiences, so please share with me!

PS-Don’t forget, Tooley is still searching for her forever home! She is super sweet, and adores kids. She is great with dogs of all ages and sizes, too! Her ideal home would be with an active family, who understands that her hound nose can take her on adventures if not supervised carefully! 😉 Please share in order to help her find the family she deserves.

PSS-Are you following me on Facebook & Twitter? If not, please do!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TailsofaFosterMom

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/FosterMomTails

 

Operation Adopt Apollo!!

So I have had Apollo for almost TWO months now. This is pure craziness! I really thought he would be adopted in just a couple weeks, especially after ALL of the inquiries we got when he was originally posted. But unfortunately, nothing has worked out for him….so now, I am starting the Operation Adopt Apollo, and I need your help!

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Apollo came from the Wakulla shelter as a very young pup. He was on the urgent list, and luckily I was able to take him in as a foster, so Last Hope Rescue saved him. He is a TOTAL love bug! He always wants to be cuddling in my lap, and loves to play with the human kiddo. Apollo gets along great with dogs, and cats too! He is besties with Oscar, and they love to chase each other, play ball, and chew on their bones together!

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Apollo is definitely a Boxer…not sure what else he is mixed with. He has long lanky legs, but small feet. I wouldn’t expect him to get much bigger than maybe 40 or 50 lbs, at the most. He is almost potty trained, with only a few pee accidents here & there. He is fully crate trained, and that is where he eats & sleeps. Apollo knows “sit”, “kennel”, & “treat”, and now we are working on “off” & “down”! He is very treat motivated, and smart, so he is easy to train!

Apollo2

Apollo loves to be outside, running and playing with the dogs, and finding sticks to chew on! He also very much enjoys a kiddie pool, especially if the other dogs are playing in it too!

Apollo

Apollo seriously loves to watch the TV! It is the weirdest thing, but he will sit on the couch with you, staring at the TV. It even keeps him from falling asleep sometimes, because he is just too interested in whatever he is seeing or hearing! He’s such a goofy pup!

You can see more pictures of Apollo here, on the Tails of a Foster Mom Facebook Page!

Apollo is around 5 months old, up to date on vaccines, and micro-chipped. He is currently located in Tallahassee, FL, and the adoption fee is $125. Transport can be arranged within the state of Florida. If he is adopted prior to 6 months old, the adopter is responsible for the neuter surgery, and Last Hope Rescue will refund $50 of the adoption fee.  Adopters must be 21 yrs or older.

Apollo’s perfect forever home would be with an active person. Someone who has another dog as a companion, or a family with young children. He would make a great running partner, and will excel in training classes.

So, this is where YOU come in! Please share this post, in hopes of finding Apollo the family he deserves. While we love him very much, I hate to see him growing up in a temporary home. He is such a wonderful dog, and any family would be lucky to have him! Please share on Facebook, Twitter, email, re-blog, etc. Even if you are not in Florida, or are not interested in adopting, just share! You never know who might have a spot in their heart for this little guy! And if you know or hear of anyone being interested in Apollo, please have them contact me at beccajay0319@gmail.com, or Last Hope Rescue at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com.

Apollo says, “Thank you for helping me find a FUR ever home!!!”

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Simply Friday

Good morning friends! Since it’s Friday, and I’m tired & need to get to work, I am going to do a simple post today…it’s actually more work for you than me!

I am reaching out to all of my blogging friends today to help get more Facebook followers. Many of you have a Facebook page for your blog. If that is the case, can you please share my Tails of a Foster Mom Facebook page, to help me get more followers? You can share a particular post, or the page in general, or any of the pictures and posters that I post. I have 131 likes right now and would be SO very excited if I could get to 200! Would you please help me?? And to all of my non-blogger friends, you can feel free to share the page on your personal pages too!

I think it is so important to share dogs in need, as it does truly save lives. After all, Oscar wouldn’t be alive if it hadn’t been for people networking and spreading the word about him! I also think it is important to give shout outs to our friends, and to share each other’s posts. We are a community in the blogging world, and we should stick together in our goal of telling the world about dogs! So, please take a minute to share my Facebook page with your followers!

Don’t forget, my favorite shelter dog, Pace, is STILL up for adoption at the Tallahassee Animal Shelter!!

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Have a happy Friday & a great weekend, everybody!!

Friday-Happy-Weekend-Dog

 

Puppy Goodness!

If you follow the Tails of a Foster Mom Facebook page, you know that I have so many things to talk about! You also know that we have a new temporary foster baby!! I decided since that situation is only temporary, I should talk about the puppy first!

Meet Apollo!

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Apollo was at a local shelter, on the urgent list, and his time was quickly running out. Being that he was a Boxer, a young puppy, and reminded me of Lucy, I just couldn’t pass him up! So I begged the powers that be, and Last Hope Rescue was able to pull him. I am fostering him for a few days, and then he will go on to a permanent foster, where he’ll be until adoption.

Since he came to our house first, we got the joy of naming him! Jayden is obsessed with the Rocky movies, and I wanted to do something clever…so, we picked Apollo…like Apollo Creed, the boxer!

443Apollo is about 10-12 weeks old, and has all of the wonderful puppy things….

like a little puppy face….

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and tiny puppy paws…

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a big fat puppy belly…

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Apollo is pretty much pure perfection!

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He is getting along great with the dogs of the house. He & Oscar are best buddies, chasing each other around and rough housing! Petey couldn’t really care less about him. And Lucy…she’s just trying to make sure he is not an archenemy (a cat)!

Oscar & Apollo are besties!

He is doing well with potty training, and goes potty every time we got outside, with only ONE accident in the house so far. That’s pretty impressive! He is not happy about crate training, but he settles down after some howling, and I know he’ll get the hang of it soon!

So, that is sweet little Apollo! If you think you have the perfect home for Apollo, please email Last Hope Rescue at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com!

Happy Friday!

Vote for Oscar!!!

Oscar is in a contest! If he wins, he will get to be in a calendar!!

Please please please, vote for him!

VoteforOscar!

Go HERE to vote for Oscar! It is a Facebook contest, so you must “like” his picture. Each “like” counts as a vote. Unfortunately you can’t vote more than once, so sharing would be super helpful! The more shares = the more “likes” = Oscar gets to be in a calendar! 🙂

Thanks friends!

Shameless!

Today I am going to shamelessly plug my blog…but, I will also promote a few other things that I like, just so that it isn’t ALL about me!

Charlie-Big beautiful boy, looking for a new home
Charlie-Big beautiful boy, looking for a new home

 

So, first things first, my blog…I started this blog to share my foster experiences. I wanted to be able to get my foster dog’s face out there. I mean, how amazing would it be if someone adopted a dog because they saw him/her on MY blog! Of course, I also talk about my own dogs, and things going on with them. The thing is, if I don’t have followers, and people sharing, then what’s the point of writing? I genuinely enjoy this blog, more than I thought I would actually. I try to write about things that other dog lovers would be interested in, while promoting fostering and adopting. But, I need people to respond when I ask for advice; I need people to share, when I’m posting an adoptable dog; I need people to get something out of what I write.  The biggest compliment for a blogger is their posts being shared, especially if it is in another blogger’s post. So, today I am asking you to please share me! You can look through my posts and share a specific one, or you can just share the main link: https://mylovablerescues.wordpress.com/. If you get this through email, then you can just forward it to some fellow dog-lovin friends. You could say something like “Hey! I have this fab friend that writes a blog. Check it out & follow her!” Or if you know of anyone looking for a new furry friend, you can say “Hey! Check out Tails of a Foster Mom. It’s a blog, and features adoptable dogs!” If you are a fellow blogger, you could link to my page. Maybe something like “Hey readers, I am awesome, therefore I have awesome blogger friends, here is one in particular…” And if you are on facebook, you can easily hit the “Share” button & then you are sharing it with the 3,457 friends you have! You get the point, right? I have 68 followers now, so just imagine how many I could have if each one of you shared my blog just one time! So please, please, please share my blog with someone today! I would be forever grateful!

Spot-still in search of a loving, forever home
Spot-still in search of a loving, forever home

Ok, now for some things I like…

Another blogger friend, Dream Big, Bark Loudly, does these posts on Wednesdays called “We Want it Wednesdays.” (Super cute idea!) She recently did a post about this website, Pop Doggie, that has THE cutest magnets (and other products)! For example, the magnet I really want to get has a pit bull and says “Aggressive cuddler”…sounds like my Oscar, that’s for sure! You can also get custom made prints of your own dog. Another great feature is that you can go directly to your breed, and see all of the things they have! They really have some cute stuff, so you should check them out!

Wrangler. How could you give up on that face?!
Wrangler. How could you give up on that face?!

 

Last Hope Rescue: I have been fostering for a year now, and have learned SO much about the rescue business. I have helped with events, done home visits, checked adoption applications, and even helped with tax stuff. I have learned why things are done the way they are, and why certain dogs are pulled for rescue vs the million others that are out there. I truly believe in Last Hope Rescue. It is a great organization, with an amazing group of volunteers, all working together for the best interest of the dogs. I can’t say enough good things about them!

 

Hope-a stray bulldog, rescued and being nursed back to 100% health! (I helped named her!) :)
Hope-a stray bulldog, rescued and being nursed back to 100% health! (I helped name her!) 🙂

 

And my most favorite bulldog picture that I have found online yet! It cracks me up every time…and it kind of goes with the whole “share me!” theme….

funny-dog-amusement-park

 

 

*All dogs shown in this post are available for adoption through Last Hope Rescue. Contact me if you would like to make one of them a part of your family!

And don’t forget to share!!!!!!!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Sharing IS Caring!

Today I thought I would do something a little different. Instead of showing you adoptable pups, and begging you to share them, I am going to do just the opposite. I am going to share some (short) adoption stories, and the importance of social media sharing.

First, there’s my little Oscar. He was located in a shelter in Gainesville, and after about a month, his time was up. As a last ditch effort, the shelter sends out emails to any rescue contacts they have, to try to save the dog before he/she is put to sleep. Angela, founder of Last Hope Rescue, received the email about this little dog named Half Pint. She forwarded it on to her contacts, which included me. Half Pint found his forever home, and was renamed Oscar! Oscar came to me as a fully potty trained, crate trained, 11 month old dog. He is unbelievably sweet, gets along with every dog he’s met, and loves everyone. He also already knew “sit”, and has quickly learned “off”, “kennel”, and of course “treat!” He was going to be put to sleep simply because no one wanted him, and they needed room for more homeless dogs. When I think about what a goofy, loving dog he is, and how his life was about to be cut short, I am so relieved that he is in my hands now. So, moral of the story? Had the shelter not shared him, and then Angela not shared him after that, I am certain he would no longer be alive. And what a shame that would be, considering the good, loving, sweet dog that he is!

"Half Pint"
“Half Pint”

Next I want to share the story of Champagne. She was on the urgent list at a local shelter. The shelter was begging and pleading for help. They were full, and had already put down a few dogs due to the never-ending drop offs. The shelter has certain criteria that indicates which dogs go first, and Champagne was now at the top of the list. They were sharing her on facebook as much as possible; I shared her; multiple rescues were sharing her; fellow volunteers and dog lovers were sharing her. Next thing you know, she is adopted! Again, another dog that is perfectly sweet, about to be put down because of over crowded shelters, but she was lucky enough to be saved.

Champange is safe, thanks to her forever hero!
Champagne is safe, thanks to her forever hero!

The next story is on this adorable little pup, Roxy. She was found roaming a golf course, and a good Samaritan took her in (kudos!). Unfortunately that person’s dog wasn’t fond of Roxy, so they needed help ASAP or she would have to go to the shelter. Again, she was shared all over the internet. And now, Roxy has found a new home.

Roxy is sure to love her forever home, much more than the boring ol golf course!
Roxy is sure to love her forever home, much more than the boring ol golf course!

 

Quite a few dogs from Last Hope Rescue have also been adopted recently, including Duncan, James, & Gracie!

 

Duncan-adopted by his foster mama!
Duncan-adopted by his foster mama!
James is so happy to have found his forever home!
James is so happy to have found his forever home!

 

Gracie, a very young mama dog. All of her puppies were adopted, and now she's finally found a home too!
Gracie, a very young mama dog. All of her puppies were adopted, and now she’s finally found a home too!

 

There are also quite a few adoptions pending, but in fear of jinxing them, I won’t list those stories! So anyway, the first reason for sharing these is just to show that there ARE happy endings out there. It is frustrating and sad to see all of these homeless animals, and sometimes I need to remind myself of the good things happening. I remind myself to think about the wonderful adopters that have given forever homes to my foster babies. I truly feel that they are all now in great homes, to be loved for the rest of their lives. The second point of this post, is to remind you of how important it is to share these animals through social networking. I don’t expect anyone to share every single dog that needs a home. I am certain that no one wants to hear about these homeless pets every day. I am also aware that some people are just not dog people. And that is perfectly ok. No judging here! But, just hear me out…

Our world has turned to social media for so many things these days. People share every minute of their lives, personal moments via their facebook status, pictures of their kids, animals, vacations on Instagram. We have let technology completely take over our lives. Instead of picking up the phone, we text or facebook someone, even email seems to be the last form of communication used. What happened to sending a letter or card to someone you love? We are all in such a rush, always moving, looking for the next thing to do. I am totally guilty of this myself. Instead of watching the news on tv, I read the stories I’m interested in online, usually via Twitter. Sometimes I catch myself thinking of a friend, and instead of calling or even texting them, I go on facebook to see what they are up to. That doesn’t show them that I am thinking of them though, that I am here for them…but while I feel that social media has had a negative effect on relationships, I think it is important to admit that it also has it’s benefits. If there was no facebook and email, how would these dogs get seen? Many of them are stuck in tiny little shelters, on back roads where no one even knows about them.

So, that leads me to my challenge for you today….I ask that just once in awhile, every now and then, when you see a dog posted that is in need of a home, you hit that “share” or “forward” button. You never know who will see that scruffy ol’ face, or that beautiful purebred (trust me, there are plenty of them!). Can you truly say without a doubt, 100%, that you KNOW none of you 239 facebook friends are looking for a dog? Maybe it will inspire someone else to share the post, just like you did, and who knows how many people it could reach from there. So, my friends….will you share today?

Check out these facebook pages to view many dogs in need: Tails of a Foster Mom; Last Hope Rescue, Friends of Wakulla County Animal Shelter

Friday’s Facts: Nervous habits!

I recently got a suggestion to do a Friday’s Facts post on dogs & their nervous habits (shout out, thanks Tina!). This got me thinking about my own dogs. Oscar doesn’t seem to have any nervous habits…he just wants to conquer the world, and find food! Lucy however does have some nervous habits. She licks and chews her paws, so much in fact that I don’t have to clip the nails on her left front paw. (For some reason, that is the only paw that she chews on.) She also is a big licker in general, and actually so is Oscar. It drives me crazy! I have started to enforce a “No Lick!” policy, and they seem to get it…sometimes. So anyway, I did some research on nervous habits & what we can do to help our doggies chill!

Popular Nervous habits: chewing, licking, digging, excessive barking, jumping, and piddling (small dribbles of pee). Some breeds are actually prone to some of these habits, so do your research before ADOPTING your new pet. (did you get my subliminal message there?!)

The problem with nervous habits in dogs is it’s mostly a mental issue. So the trick is finding out what is causing it, if it can be “fixed”, and if so, how. Here is a little breakdown of the common habits, and what you can try to curtail it. Now, let’s assume that none of these habits are due to medical conditions…

 

Chewing/licking:   Excessive chewing/licking can be caused by stress. Common stressors are separation anxiety, a new family pet, or a change in diet. Major changes should always be done with patience, extra love, and time. If you are adding a new family pet, be sure to do introductions before committing, and give lots of love and attention to the residing pet. If you are changing food, always do it gradually, mixing new with the old. And if separation anxiety is an issue, there are a few things you can try. You can leave the dog alone for very short amounts of time, gradually increasing the time. A crate will and should be your pup’s bff! Let your dog learn that the crate is their safe place, and that you will soon be back to let them out. You can also try a thunder shirt, and/or rescue remedy. I have used, and recommend, both products. Frozen Kongs are also great to distract your dog while you slip out of the house. Here is a great website with lots of yummy, dog friendly receipes: http://www.labmed.org/catalog/kong2.html.

Don’t put your dog in a bad situation. If you know they have separation anxiety, don’t leave them out loose! They WILL destroy something, and it could be dangerous, depending on what they get into. Practice & consistency are key!  Also, if they are escape artists, try a plastic crate. These can actually be better for anxious dogs, and they’re very hard to get out of! Another reason for this habit is pent up nervous energy. Be sure your dog is getting ample exercise, and has other things to play with and chew on. When I notice Lucy chewing on her paw, I say “No chewing!” and then I give her a toy. 9 times out of 10, it works. She is distracted by the toy, and completely stops the chewing. On the rare occasion that it doesn’t help, then I investigate. I look to see if she has a wound, or extra dirt on her paw. Sometimes just rinsing her paw with water helps. And if all else fails, I spray her paw with an all-natural spray that is designed to deter chewing.

James

 

 

Digging: Many times this habit is from too much energy and boredom, or it is attention seeking. It is important to remember not to punish the dog after the fact. If you catch them in the act, firmly say “No dig!” (or whatever phrase you choose to use.) Be sure to leave outside toys for the dog. Again, Kongs are great, durable toys. I have also heard that you can sprinkle cayenne pepper in soil, and that will deter your dog from digging. Make sure there is adequate shelter to avoid heat, cold, or rain, too. If your dog is digging to escape, you can try putting chicken wire at the bottom of the fence (point sharp edges away from the yard). Also, exercise and socialize your pup! If the dog gets plenty of exercise, and gets to meet lots of friends on a regular basis, chances are they won’t be bored when in their own backyard, they won’t have too much pent up energy, and they won’t be trying to escape to see the world!

Georgia

 

Excessive Barking: I think this is one of the hardest ones to correct, because your instinct is to shout “Shut up!” politely ask your dog to hush. The best thing to do is completely ignore the behavior. If you reward the dog with any attention, even if it is negative, the habit will continue. The hard thing about this habit is that sometimes, barking is good. So, how do you teach your dog to know when enough is enough? You can train the “quiet” command. This includes making the dog sit, and not make a peep. You can also train the dog to go to their crate. For example, someone knocks at the door, and your dog barks. Before opening the door, or shouting at the top of your lungs, calmly get your dog to go into their crate & reward them with a treat. This will teach your dog that it is ok to bark, but then they need to go settle down. If your dog barks at other dogs while out, use treats to reinforce the good behaviors. The second your dog starts to bark, turn the other direction, and make them sit quietly. Once they have accomplished this, reward with a treat or a pat. You will need to practice this multiple times, but with repetition and consistency, you should be able to stop this habit.

Daddy (LHR)

 

Jumping: I wish Cesar Millan would come to my house for this habit! Lucy is a major jumper. She becomes a kangaroo at the sight of any human, and just wants to give them French kisses all day long! It doesn’t matter if she knows you, if you are big or small, if you are a dog lover or not, she wants to make contact with your mouth! Now, I don’t have a problem with Lucy jumping on me. Only once in a blue moon does that happen. Everyone else though is fair game, in her eyes! I have even taken her to obedience training, and at the end the trainer actually said “well you know, some dogs just have that one bad habit that you can’t get rid of, and I think this is her’s.” This was the ONE thing I had her in training for, so you can imagine my disappointment, but anyway…I went online to see what the official dog whisperer has to say about this topic. See his full article here. Some tips that might be helpful: when guests arrive, ask your dog to sit patiently; do not reward the negative behavior by giving attention; be firm, calm, and consistent with instruction; use a leash to assist you with training, placing your foot on the leash to leave only enough lead for the dog to sit comfortably, this will keep the dog from being able to jump during an interaction. I think I am going to start trying this leash method, and practicing on a regular basis. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Blondie (LHR)

 

Peeing/Piddling/Submissive Urination: This habit usually happens when the dog is being greeted. Sometimes it is a way of communicating that they are not a threat. Other times it is just out of pure nervousness or excitement. Many times the dog will grow out of this habit as they mature. The best thing to do for a pup with this habit is take them outside immediately. Do not greet them or give any attention until they are outside, and have gone potty. Then reward them with excited praise, lots of pats, and treats. The pup will catch on quickly! Also, a very interesting tip, when you initially greet your dog, pet them under the chin or on their chest. This is a less threatening way to say hello, and your dog won’t feel the need to show that they are submissive. Also make sure to bend down to the dog’s level, instead of looming over them.

 

Simba-LHR

 

 

Does your dog display a nervous behavior? How do you react to it: fix or ignore? If you have any specific behaviors you’d like me to research, please feel free to let me know!

*All of the dogs pictured in this post are available for adoption. They are all sweet, cuddly, and have nothing to do with the mentioned behaviors! 🙂 If you are interested, give me a shout!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

PS-Tails of a Foster Mom is now on Facebook! If you are on Facebook, please check me out & “like” my page: Tails of a Foster Mom Facebook Page