Know Your Dog’s Job Before Adopting, Says Trainer

Every dog ​​has a job. Some are born to run miles, and others are destined for a slightly slower life. Knowing what work your dog needs is essential to keeping him – and your family – happy.

Dog trainer Alex Schanzer has spent his career watching mismatched dogs long for their forever home after being turned over to shelters by disgruntled owners.

He said that when people choose dogs on impulse, they run into problems maintaining that dog’s best life, and it could end badly for everyone.

In the worst case, the dog destroys property or bites someone, maybe even a child, out of frustration.

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“High-speed” dogs like German pointers, Vizlas and border collies are perfect best friends, but they need a lot more than the average city dweller can give them, Schanzer said.

“German pointers have become popular now, which is great if you’re a hunter, and you can give the dog that grip, but I’ve seen people buy them because they like the way they look,” he said. he declares.

“Vizslas is the same. They are known as Velcro dogs because they love to be with their owners, but they need exercise.

People don’t need a lot of space, like Schanzer has at his home in Pukekohe, or time to make their dogs happy.

Alex Schanzer and his dog Tama.  Alex is a dog trainer and has experience training urban search and rescue dogs.

Chris Mckeen / Stuff

Alex Schanzer and his dog Tama. Alex is a dog trainer and has experience training urban search and rescue dogs.

One of the best things they can do is occupy their noses with scent games, Schanzer said. It tires them much more than a race.

Scatter their food on the lawn or across a snuff mat or slow feeder, which is a dog bowl that looks more like a maze, he explains.

“They can smell 100,000 times better than us, so something like that is such good exercise, it feeds them, it gives them an outlet for that hunt.”

While some dogs — like greyhounds or Labradors — were perfectly content to laze around the house all day while their owners were at work or socializing, all dogs were at risk for depression without the right activities, a Schanzer said.

Auckland Council last week reported that its three dog shelters across the city were nearing capacity and were desperate to get people to come and adopt.

Trade Me reported that dogs were on the list of things people were looking to trade online now that the lockdown is over: there had been a 36% increase in the number of dogs up for adoption on Trade Me between June 2019 and June 2022.

Alex Schanzer uses a

Chris McKeen / Stuff

Alex Schanzer uses a “pole flirt” to entertain his dog Tama.

“The races are predetermined,” Schanzer said. “Even though they have been crossed, there are certain characteristics, depending on what they are, that are going to shine through. They are also going to be the issues if left unaddressed.

Schanzer specializes in helping homeowners understand exactly what their dog’s shining attributes are.

“Dogs are an integral part.  They have been with us for 15,000 years,” said dog trainer Alex Schanzer.

Chris McKeen / Stuff

“Dogs are an integral part. They have been with us for 15,000 years,” said dog trainer Alex Schanzer.

To tell if your dog isn’t getting the enrichment he needs, watch for changes in behavior, especially when you haven’t changed his routine.

“But if he starts defecating in the house where he never did before, starts tearing things up, starts getting snappy…People need to learn to read those behaviors.”

Schanzer is an expert in training dogs for urban search and rescue. He often went to shelters looking for dogs he could train for work, and the types of breeds he saw filling these shelters broke his heart.

Dogs need to use their noses more than anything else, says Alex Schanzer.

Chris McKeen / Stuff

Dogs need to use their noses more than anything else, says Alex Schanzer.

“There are always dogs out there that you know won’t get the home they need, but shelters need to get rid of them,” he said.

“These dogs are coming out, and you know they’ll be back. Border collies, kelpies, Australian cattle dogs, hunters. People will buy these dogs, but they won’t give them enough. »