If you joined us on our first Second Pawportunity partnership with Urban Tails, you followed adoptable Andi from wild and discourteous to tame and polite. A needed continuance in a No Kill model of sheltering is to treat each animal uniquely based on their individual needs. Partnering again with Urban Tails, Friends For Life will enroll adoptable Parker into their program. Based on their belief in redemption and second chances, the trainers at Urban Tails will donate their services to create a plan tailored to his issues-giving him a renewed opportunity at life.
An American Staffordshire Terrier, Parker was found in the parking lot of his foster’s work place heartworm positive, starving and under a tree. The rescuer brought him food and water and when she couldn’t find someone to keep him, committed to fostering through Friends For Life.
In the Friends For Life program for almost a year, Parker has had a hard time putting his best paw forward to potential adopters. A large dog, Parker’s reactive behavior (barking, lunging, snapping) toward other dogs along with his nature to become very excitable and hard to manage in new or exciting situations, poses a major challenge for most people. He is a kind dog at heart but also needs work on his basic manners and cues as jumping on people is his main way of getting attention. Some of these behaviors are captured in the below video of his arrival at Urban Tails.
During his stay, Parker will learn the basic behaviors every dog needs to know such as sit, down, stay, focus and come. Using these, Urban Tails can teach Parker better manners around people like sitting for petting and waiting at doors-making him more desirable for adoption. Because Parker is easily excitable, a lot of training will be focused on teaching him impulse control to earn the things he wants and how to display calm behavior in new and exciting situations.
A desensitization program will be put in place to help Parker learn to relax around other dogs on a leash. By using counter conditioning, the Urban Tails trainers will start associating his triggers with something pleasant, changing his emotional response to them as well as teaching him a more appropriate calm behavior to display, such as sit and focusing on his handler.
Through the Friends For Life Blog and both Friends For Life and Urban Tails Facebook pages, join us on a four week journey of Parker’s Second Pawportunity. Will he tame his wild ways? Will he get adopted? Stay tuned to find out!