N.D. Shelter Requires Dog Walking Classes
Jan. 05, 2004
MANDAN, N.D. (AP) _ Walking the dog isn't as simple as it once was at the Central Dakota Humane Society.
The shelter now requires volunteer dog walkers to take a class on how to train and handle the animals, before they're allowed to grab a leash.
Shelter manager Sue Buchholz said the classes will ensure that dogs get more training, and help increase safety for walkers. Some of the dogs know how to behave properly, she said, while others _ particularly those who were beaten and are afraid of people _ do not.
``People need to have complete control of the animals at all times,'' Buchholz said. ``We have a lot of different dogs and personality types, and we have to be careful getting them in and out of the building. This way, people will be shown the proper handling of dogs.''
The shelter has held three sessions since November, with about 35 people attending, said dog trainer Betsy Hamkens, who teaches the hourlong classes.
``I thought it was a great idea because anything else they could give us would help the dogs to be better pets at the time of adoption,'' said Sandra Leblang of Bismarck, who became a dog walker six years ago.
``As long as we are taking them out and playing with them, we might as well be doing something to teach them,'' she said. ``Before, we just struggled with them until we figured it out.''
Hamkens said most of the dogs at the shelter have good temperaments, but many have bad manners.
``These dogs are jumping and pulling and pushing you over and being very demanding,'' she said. ``We are trying to get them more under control and well-mannered so people would be apt to want them and have them in their house.''