This article, published recently in the Washington Post, details the author’s frustration with his dog Archie’s anxiety and his decision to start showing Archie “tough love”. The article inspired our Behavior & Training Associate, Karen Baragona (CPDT-KA) to pen her own response:
“We applaud Mr. Kelly for his many compassionate acts–choosing adoption, opting for a senior dog, hiring a trainer to address a behavior challenge, and asking his veterinarian for anxiety medication. Archie must know that Mr. Kelly’s “mentally imbalanced” dig was said with a wink. But some adopted dogs have experienced trauma. All have faced the stress of losing what was familiar and starting over. They may have bounced among multiple shelters and homes, lived precariously on the streets, or been transplanted from rural to city life.
The good news is that so many, like Archie, are incredibly resilient; they shake it off and adapt to their new home. If behavior challenges arise, a certified professional dog trainer who uses reward-based, force-free methods can help resolve them. When warranted, vet-prescribed medications are a safe and effective way to boost a dog’s coping skills.
The beagles AWLA received from the Envigo mass breeding center show just how flexible and forgiving rescued dogs can be. Raised from birth in harrowing conditions, these dogs still like–and trust–people. Everything is new to them, so they’re cautious, but irrepressibly curious. They have a lot of adjusting ahead of them, but many are starting to flourish in foster homes. As with all our dog adoptions, AWLA will provide ongoing behavior and training support to ease the beagles’ transition into their new homes.”
~ Karen Baragona, CPDT-KA, AWLA Behavior & Training Associate