Dog Handling Guidelines For Adoption/Special Events

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Below are the rules/regulations we have in regards to handling a rescue/shelter dog at our adoption events. Volunteers are so very important to us. Yes, there are quite a few guidelines listed, but we have these in place to not only to protect our dogs, but to keep you safe.

  1. WATCH THE DOG YOU’RE HANDING AND THE AREA AROUND YOU – This is probably the most important thing at an adoption event. Yes, many of us have had many dogs, but these dogs belong to a rescue/shelter, and you have not spent a lot of time with these dogs. Do not expect these dogs to be calm at the event, that’s what you’re there for. To guide them and comfort them while they are at the adoption event and prevent them from getting scared, hurt or agitated. Do not let the dog control you, if the dog’s walks around you, always face the dog, do not let the dog out of your site and always be aware of your surroundings.
  2. DO NOT DO A FACE TO FACE INTRODUCTION WITH ANY DOGS (RESCUE OR A CUSTOMER’S DOG ) Even if they say their dog is friendly, even if the rescue/shelter you’re holding the dog for says the dog you’re holding is friendly, DO NOT do a face to face intro. You never know if they may be aggressive towards other dogs, may be timid, etc. The dogs are in an adoption environment with other dogs it doesn’t know, @ a new place, with a new handler, everything is new to him/her so they may get stressed/agitated/aggressive, etc. Dogs act differently when in a different environment. DO PROPER INTRODUCTIONS
  3. DO PROPER INTRODUCTION – If you don’t know how to do proper introductions, then don’t do any introductions of any dog with another dog. Ask for assistance. Last thing anyone wants to happen is for a dog to go after another dog during the event because someone did an intro who didn’t know what they were doing.
  4. DOGS BARKING AT EVENTS – If you are talking to someone and your dog starts barking, stop talking to that person and immediately correct/redirect your dog. One you’re teaching the dog that it’s an incorrect behavior and two it will keep the other dogs at the event from getting agitated. Dog barks, stop talking to person or person, correct the dog and if he/she continues to bark, redirect him/her to another location to calm them down. Make sure you redirect – turn the dog away from who /what he is barking at and walk away. DO NOT walk away and tug the dog while he continues to bark at whomever/whatever caused the behavior.

The four rules above are provided so that dogs at adoption events don’t get hurt. Rescues/Shelters are responsible for the care of these dogs, the last thing they want happening is their dog getting injured because of a volunteer’s negligence.

Please note, if I or any rescue sees a volunteer not following the above rules and guidelines, we will ask you to leave the adoption event. As much as we hate it, we will crate the dog at the event rather than take a chance of him/her getting hurt, loose, etc.

I hope the above doesn’t deter you from volunteering for us or one of the many rescue/shelters we work with, we just want to make sure the dogs we have under us are always safe and the handler knows what is expected from them.