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Wits End?

Are you ready to tear your hair out? At the end of your rope (leash)? Before doing something drastic, try one of these links, help may be closer than you think...


http://www.ddfl.org/tips.htm Denver Dumb Friends League - Numerous articles on behavior and training.
http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/petcare/dogs.cfm Bestfriends Sanctuary - This site has articles on many aspects of dog ownership from selection to training to health issues
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/index.html Wonder Puppy - Information on training and behavior problems as well as advice to help rehome your pet if necessary.
http://www.flyingdogpress.com/artlibreg.htm Flying Dog Press - Numerous articles on canine behavior and training.
http://www.saveadog.org/infodogowners.asp Save a Dog - Many useful articles for dog owners, including housebreaking tips, overcoming carsickness, vaccination protocols, and a dog owner's guide
http://www.apdt.com/ Association of Pet Dog Trainers - training tips, find a trainer, events. This website has not only training articles, but also a list of trainers by location.
http://www.caninesincrisis.org/ Canine Care - Health tips and disease prevention.

Tips for Rehoming Your Catahoula

By Julia Kamysz Lane Illinois Rep, Catahoula Rescue Inc

If you purchased your Catahoula from a breeder, contact them ASAP to see if they will take him/her back. A responsible breeder will do so, no matter the age of the dog. If you got your dog from a rescue, contact the rescue as it usually states in the contract that the dog is to be returned to them. If s/he didn't come from a breeder (or a responsible breeder) or a rescue, your next option is to get the word out that you are looking for a loving home for him/her. Here are the things you can do:

1) Create a flyer featuring a head shot and a side profile of the entire dog in a standing position. Write something simple but informative, such as "Dog's Name, 3 yr. Catahoula Seeks Active Home." In smaller type, include vital info such as "S/he is up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed/neutered, crate-trained, housebroken, and good with dogs." Think of what info you would want to know if you were looking for a dog.

2) Post flyers at your vet, dog parks, coffee shops, bookstores and anywhere else that will allow you to do so. Be sure to call your vet and tell them you're looking for a new home for your dog. S/he might know of someone looking for a dog.

3) Send a mass email to your friends, family and any dog lover you can think of including your head shot and side view photos and the vital info from your flyer. At the top or bottom, say that you give permission to forward and crosspost. You'll be amazed at how quickly word spreads via Internet.

4) Post him/her on the Catahoula rescue board:
Catahoula Rescue Inc Message Board

5) Post him/her on the Catahoula rescue list: Catahoula Resq Network List -- you must join the list through Yahoo groups
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/catahoularesqnetwork/?yguid=73773657

6) Post him/her on Dogster as an adoptable dog and join two groups so you can post that s/he is looking for a home:

  1. Catahoula Rescue
  2. Catahoua-Ville

7) Be sure to ask for an adoption fee of some kind to ensure the adopter is serious. Also, some dog fighters look for free pets to use as bait for training, so asking a fee -- and the potential adopter's reaction to your asking for one -- will tell you a lot about the home in question. Plus, if they can't afford a $150 adoption fee, how can they afford food, vet bills, etc.?

8) Some sample questions to ask are: What pets do you have or have had in the past? What happened to them? Have you ever given up an animal to a shelter? Why do you want a Catahoula? How do you plan to exercise a Catahoula? Also, ask for two or three references, both family and friends. If someone balks at giving you this info, then that could be a red flag that s/he does not have your dog's best interest at heart.

9) Lastly, if s/he is not already spayed/neutered, please do so before s/he is adopted. As I'm sure you saw on the Catahoula Rescue Web site and rescue board, there are already too many dogs in need of homes. You can make a difference!

If you have any questions about my suggestions, please email me at spotonk9s@mac.com or Catahoula Rescue Inc at info@catahoularescue.com. I hope this helps you find the best possible home for your dog.


Julia's Favorite Dog-Related Books

You'll find the best selection at dogwise.com or if you prefer to support your local independent bookstore (like me!), they can special order for you. I love the service at Steeplejack Books (125 W. Main Street, West Dundee, IL; 847-836-7871; ask for Kim).

1) Living With Kids & Dogs Without Losing Your Mind, by Colleen Pelar. A must for every family; Pelar promotes safety and creating a strong bond between dog and child.

2) See Spot Live Longer, by Steve Brown and Beth Taylor. Taylor is based in Elgin, IL, and I attended one of her canine & feline nutrition seminars; very informative and well researched.

3) Bones Would Rain From the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by Suzanne Clothier. Her Web site, www.flyingdogpress.com, offers a huge selection of free articles on everything from attitude adjustments (ours, not the dog's!) to leadership basics.

4) Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship, by The Editors of The Bark -- excellent essays by top writers; I'm the Activities Editor for The Bark magazine, so I might be a little biased.

5) Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs, by Caroline Knapp. With precision and care, she records how life with her first dog changed everything; it's not sentimental, which is refreshing!

6) The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell, PhD -- helped me better understand the difference between humans/primates and canines and how we can so easily misinterpret each other's behaviors and methods of communication.

7) Positive Perspectives: Love Your Dog, Train Your Dog, by Pat Miller. She is the training director for Whole Dog Journal, one of my favorite magazines, and gives clear and concise direction on how to train your dog and why.

8) Clicker Training for Dogs, by Karen Pryor. She is the goddess of clicker training, an easy method of teaching dogs to think and offer behaviors rather than forcing them to do things; I highly recommend her Getting Started Kit, which includes the book, through her Web site, www.clickertraining.com.

Here is a reading list specifically for people with more than two dogs & aggression problems:

1) Aggression in Dogs: Practical Management, Prevention & Behavior Modification, by Brenda Aloff (NOTE: It's VERY expensive, but worth every penny!)

2) Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage & Enjoy a Multi-Dog Household, by Karen London & Patricia McConnell (NOTE: this is a 44-page booklet and not a full-fledged book)

3) Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression, by Jean Donaldson

4) Multiple Dog Households, by Miriam Fields-Babineau


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