Dog-Harmony Inc., a nonprofit that works to keep dogs out of shelters, is offering free training advice for rescued dogs with behavioral problems, such as jumping, leash pulling, potty training and separation anxiety.
The training advice is offered every Wednesday by Nancy Bown, Dog-Harmony’s founder and Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT – KA). Bown can help over the phone, or better yet, after meeting the pet, at Dog-Harmony headquarters, 237 Market St., off Walton County Road 393 North. No shock collars or choke collars are used. Bown is a force-free trainer, and was recently named a regional director for the Shock-Free Coalition, a national organization working to eliminate shock methods to train and manage pets.
“Training is important,” Bown says. “But it’s crucial to have the correct type of training.” Pet problems, mainly undesirable behaviors and aggression, are the most common reason owners rehome their pet, according to the ASPCA’s 2015 National Rehoming Survey. For dogs, nearly half are relinquished for that reason (47 percent). While most dogs are rehomed to a friend or family member (41 percent), the survey found, the second-highest place where they end up is a shelter (34 percent). What might have helped keep them in their homes, according to the survey? The second-most requested service was low-cost training or behavior help (34 percent). The free training advice is by appointment only, and aggressive dogs are not eligible for the program. Call (850) 376-4190 to reserve a spot.