Zach the teacher
You need to learn to listen…
Hi Dogtown readers, I am excited to write this story because I am very passionate to work with feral dogs like Zach and tell you guys about it. So, let me tell you guys a bit about Zach. He came to me about a month ago, very unhappy and scared, chilling at the back of his run and not really interested in interacting with me.
He soon realized that my presence means that good things happen and when I am around he gets really yummy treats. Within a week Zach had me twisted around his paw and we were Best Friends for life.
I still cannot touch Zach because he is not too sure about being touched and “hands”, but we have made so much progress in the short time he has been in my care. He loves to play games with me, he wiggles his bum and give me play bows then I know the game is on. I daily sit with him and he loves to sleep at my feet when we are finished with training.
So, many of you will wonder how do you train feral dogs when you cannot touch them? Many feral dogs like Zach are unsure of “hands” so you cannot lure them with your hand or make wild hand movements around them… But there are lots of FUN ways to train feral dogs. It doesn’t matter if a dog is feral or not DOGS LOVE TO USE THEIR NOSES!!
So, Zach and I play fun scent games during the day. I make him scent patches in his run to find, I play “Choosies” with him where he has to choose the correct bucket with food in to get a reward, I hide high value treats in a snuffle mat for him to find and there are so many things you can do and teach feral dogs.
Maybe you have a scared or feral dog at home or volunteer at a shelter with feral dogs, ALWAYS remember to never stop learning because life never stops teaching us. The feral dogs I work with teach me new things daily and the key is just to LISTEN and adjust to make life easier for them to LEARN.
By Shilo, Caregiver