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It’s not uncommon for dogs to live an outside-only existence prior to moving inside. Homeless dogs, working dogs, dogs in an agricultural context, and many other dogs may spend part of their lives living mostly or exclusively outside. For various reasons (changes in the social and legal milieu, impoundment at a municipal shelter, relinquishment for behavioral issues, and so on) many ‘outside’ dogs make the journey from an outside life to an inside life. Sometimes, this transition goes off without a hitch, but frequently there are issues that crop up. Since we don’t want dogs practicing unwanted behavior, especially homeless dogs seeking placement or owned dogs whose welcome into the family home may be tentative, it’s best to set these dogs up for success starting right from the get-go: chew training, potty training, and so on.
Based on my experience running a small sled dog rescue for ten years and my current work with many clients in rural Manitoba, I know that the transition between outside life and inside life doesn’t need to be painful or messy. I’ll review how best to plan for the dog’s arrival, including useful equipment, toys, and other acquisitions for setting up the home environment; schedules; and stress-relieving techniques to keep the dog busy during the first few days or weeks of habituating to a new world. I’ll also talk about fear-reducing techniques for dogs who are a bit overwhelmed. With a bit of preparation and a few easy protocols, outside dogs tend to transition easily into inside homes, and avoid some of the typical pitfalls that can hinder good outcomes.
Kristi is an honours graduate of, and now on staff at, the Academy for Dog Trainers. At the Academy, she is a student mentor and coach, and is in charge of the weekly webinars. Kristi is also in charge of special projects, including the Husbandry Project, which is a large co-operative veterinary care research study working with hundreds of dog owners, testing the efficiency and usefulness of a series of training plans. In her private practice, Kristi enjoys working one-on-one with dogs who need help with obedience, fearfulness, aggression, unruliness, and any number of other issues. Besides offering professional training services in the Parkland region of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada; Kristi also works with clients across Canada via video chat. She also loves helping the humans in the equation, and brings her trademark combination of humour and compassion to the kitchen table when working with her clients. Kristi is one of a stable of course developers working with Lori Nanan at lorinanan.com, offering custom-made online content to dog owners and dog pros.
Kristi also enjoys reaching out to dog owners through writing. Besides her own blog, she also regularly writes for the Academy for Dog Trainers’ blog and for Dog International. For ten years, she ran a sled dog micro-rescue with her partner, and fostered, house-trained, obedience-trained, and re-homed racing sled dogs. She lives on a small mixed farm in west central Manitoba. Kristi is a Full Member Dog Training Professional of the Pet Professional Guild and is Fear Free certified (Vet professional level 1; dog training).
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