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CoastLine: Why "No!" doesn't work with dogs and how to train your pandemic puppy with a smile

Drake with shoes
RLH
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Lab / pitbull mix Drake chooses human shoes over his readily available chew toys -- likely for the human reaction

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore some of the common challenges – and admittedly some very strange ones – so that the human end of the leash sets up the dog end of the leash for success. Our expert is Lynne Swanson, retired DVM, and author of Smile! and other practical life lessons your dogs can teach you.

Pandemic rescue dogs, especially the larger variety, can be challenging to train and exercise. Judging from the nationwide stories of dogs winding up back in shelters for rehoming, well-meaning adopters are having more trouble than they might have anticipated.

The Washington Post reports that more than 23 million pets found new homes in the U.S. during the pandemic; that translates to nearly one in five American households.

With that uptick in adoptions, associated services such as daycare and boarding facilities are bursting at the seams. Long waiting lists are common. And while a puppy grabbing your socks and making a mad dash around the house might be cute for a week, nightly zoomies with a 70 lb. dog can get – well, old. And stressful. And not just for the humans. If the household has cats…

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore some of the common challenges – and admittedly some very strange ones – so that the human end of the leash sets up the dog end of the leash for success.

Lynne Swanson, retired DVM; volunteer at Safe Harbor Farm K9’s SMILE project in northeastern North Carolina; author, SMILE! and other practical life lessons your dogs can teach you (while you are training them)

Resources:

Book excerpts, frequently asked questions, and other resources:

https://www.givesmiles.us/

For videos on communicating with canines, how to help a thunder-phobic dog, the male dog myth, and other educational videos, find the YouTube channel for Smile Project here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLskK5huzeHJxLktDFl95SA

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.