It’s time for yet another edition of Blog the Change for Animals. This time around, I thought I’d talk about dog socialization and the ways in which shelter dogs can benefit from being socialized. Sometimes, socialization at the shelter can make a huge difference in the life of a dog.
I was inspired to write about this topic today because of a program that’s currently going on at Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a local no-kill shelter (and the reason I have a Tavish snoring by my side). FOHA has started play groups for some of the dogs – they get together weekly to work on socialization. The play groups often result in fun videos like this one:
I love that FOHA focuses on dog socialization. It’s a great way to get the dogs out of their runs and to let them learn how to interact with people and other dogs in a relaxed setting. While this type of group might not work for every dog, it can help prepare some dogs for their future adoptive families. Structured play groups can enrich the lives of dogs while they are in the shelter. In addition, these type of groups can be useful for training and assessment. Finally, they can give shelters a chance to show off some of their adoptable pups having fun and being adorable (like the dogs in the video above).
I’m far from an expert on this issue, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any experience with shelter play groups? Would you be interested in implementing this sort of program at your local shelter? For more information about play groups, check out Playing for Life!, a training and behavior program focused on this issue.
I’m not the only one blogging the change for animals today. Check out these other great posts: