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Kennel Club: Pack Walks

20 May
packwalk

Volunteers during one of our winter pack walks.

Last week, we gave you a brief overview of Eleventh Hour Rescue’s Kennel Enrichment Program and why it is so important for our adoptable dogs to receive various kinds of enrichment while living in a shelter environment, such as our kennel in Randolph.

This week, our focus is on one of the most important aspects of our program- our Pack Walks. Each weekend, our senior volunteers host pack walks, where a group of our volunteers get together and each grab a dog from the kennel to bring over to Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna for a nice leisurely walk. The walks last approximately one hour and we make the loop around the fields and lake (a little over a mile and a half in all). In the warm spring weather, middle of summer, the crisp chill of fall, and even the dead of winter, our dedicated volunteers come out to get our dogs out, exercised, and socialized in this great group activity!

According to FernDog Training– “Walking dogs together in a group is the single best way to help dogs achieve a calm state of mind in the presence of what normally causes them to react. By keeping dogs moving together you unify them, bond them as pack mates, and give them a non-confrontational positive experience around people and dogs (two of the biggest triggers of reactivity).”

While it is so important that our dogs get out and properly exercised, the positive socialization around other dogs, as well as people, is really the key for many of our kennel pups. It is amazing to see the transformation of a dog who gains confidence from experiencing these positive experiences when they may not have ever had that opportunity in the past. To see a row of 10 or so kennel dogs walking perfectly in sync down the path is really a thing to behold, especially when you consider that some of these dogs are considered dog-selective or dog-reactive.

bachjump

Some volunteers even throw in a little basic agility, like the jump that Bach is completing!

It only takes about two hours of your week to make the day of one of our adoptable kennel dogs! We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to join us on our pack walks. Let our kennel dogs help you get active – it’s a win-win situation! Visit http://www.ehrdogs.org to fill out an application. One of our volunteers will be in touch to help you get set up and on your way to making a huge difference in the lives of our pups.

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

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Kennel Club: Introduction to Kennel Enrichment

8 May

The ultimate goal of Eleventh Hour Rescue is to find wonderful and loving forever homes for all our dogs (and cats!). In the meantime, it is important to keep those dogs happy, mentally stimulated, exercised, and socialized while in our care and this is especially important when the dogs live in a shelter environment, such as our kennel. To that end, we created our Kennel Enrichment program almost two years ago. The main goal of kennel enrichment is is to enhance the lives of the dogs in our care by providing them with activities and programs that keep their lives exciting and full of variety. Living in a shelter or kennel can be stressful- especially for dogs who stay for two weeks or longer. Kennel stress is a real danger to these dogs and is exhibited in barking, destructive chewing, and repetitive behaviors such as circling, licking walls, etc. Our Kennel Enrichment team focuses on ways we can alleviate that stress and keep our dogs happy!

Gloria is all smiles during visits from volunteers.

Gloria is all smiles during visits from volunteers

 

The Kennel Enrichment team is a group of volunteers who are dedicated to improving the lives of the dogs that live at our kennel in Randolph. At any given time, there are between 50 and 60 dogs living on property. While some of these dogs stay at our kennel for only a short time before moving on to a foster or adoptive home, some of our dogs are there for longer periods of time. Our volunteers work with these dogs to improve their adopt-ability, while giving them love, care, socialization, and exercise. Many volunteers even pick “Pet Projects,” dogs that they work with on a consistent basis while at the kennel.

Volunteer Nicole and her Pet Project, Blaze

Volunteer Nicole and her Pet Project, Blaze

Some of the fun activities and programs we have for our kennel dogs include:

  • Weekly Pack Walks and Pack Hikes
  • Doggie Playgroups
  • Food Enrichment- meals in Kongs, puzzle feeders, treat rings, and more
  • Dog and volunteer training classes
  • Pool Parties
  • Hotel Sleepovers
  • Sensory Enrichment- auditory, olfactory, tactile
  • Quiet Kennel Time- Read & Relax, Sit & Snuggle
Volunteer Tammy and her pet project, Sadie

Volunteer Tammy and her pet project, Sadie

Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for more information on our Kennel Enrichment program and a more in-depth view into many of our programs.

Make a difference in the life of a rescue dog. We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers who want to spend time with our kennel pups. We will provide you with all the training necessary, as well as volunteer mentors who will help you become confident and prepared to volunteer at our kennel on your own. If you are interested in joining our Kennel Enrichment team, visit http://www.ehrdogs.org to fill out a volunteer application!

Please LIKE the EHR Kennel Club Facebook Page to see great pictures and updates of our weekly activities! https://www.facebook.com/EhrKennelClub?hc_location=stream