Podcast: Help for High-Energy Dogs (and their Owners)

This podcasts features Siberian Husky expert Sandy Ettinger of Aptos and our trainer/expert Laura Pakis helping owners with advice for managing high-energy canines so that they don’t end up in shelters. Here is the background and information about an April 6th workshop for owners.

Subject:  Local animal shelters co-host a Husky and other high-energy dog breed workshop in hopes of reducing shelter intake

Animal shelters in Monterey County are seeing an increase in stray and owner-surrendered high-energy dogs, such as huskies, shepherds and pit bulls, and are co-hosting a workshop to help current and prospective new owners share their life with such breeds. On Saturday, April 6th, the public is invited to attend “High Energy Dogs 101” from 1-3pm at 160 Hitchcock Road in Salinas.  The goal is to better educate pet owners of these breeds to reduce their chance of ending up in the shelter.

Of specific concern is the increase in husky and similar breeds in the last several years.  Monterey County Animal Services, Salinas Animal Services and the SPCA for Monterey County have each seen an increase in the breed since 2015.  For example, in 2015, Salinas Animal Services received 58 dogs classified as being as Alaskan or Siberian Husky.  In 2018, they saw 113.  The SPCA for Monterey County and Monterey County Animal Services have also seen about a 200% increase from 2015 numbers.  (These numbers do not include dogs that are considered mixes).

In many cases, people are drawn to a particular breed’s looks but don’t fully understand the temperament, drive or exercise needs.  “Huskies, while beautiful dogs, are a unique breed that you should do your research on before you adopt or buy. They are not for everyone, “said Cindy Burnham, Animal Services Administrator for Monterey County and Salinas Animal Services.   

There is some speculation that the popular television show, Game of Thrones, has influenced the popularity of such breeds with the dire wolf “characters”.  And as seen in the past with movies like 101 Dalmatians or the Beverly Hills Chihuahua, popularity in the movie breeds typically result in an increase in those breeds at local animal shelters. With a new season of Game of Thrones due out soon, there is concern that the popularity of huskies and similar breeds will continue the increase that animal shelters are currently seeing.

In addition to the husky breeds, this workshop will talk about other high-energy dogs that end up in local shelters including shepherds and pit bulls.  These dogs require a lot of attention and if their temperament, drive and energy needs are not understood, it can lead to a difficult relationship for their owners and family.

This workshop also includes local rescue group representatives and local behavior professionals. Family Dog Rescue, based out of San Francisco, often rescues these breeds from shelters.  From the Heart Dog Training in Salinas is often called to assess dogs in local shelters.

For more information on this workshop, please call Monterey County Animal Services at 831-769-8850.  This workshop is for current owners, prospective owners and other members of the public interested in high-energy dog breeds.  No dogs required for this event.  Humans only please.

Participating Agencies & Partners:
Monterey County Animal Services
160 Hitchcock Road, Salinas, CA 93908

SPCA for Monterey County
1001 Monterey-Salinas Highway
Salinas, CA 93908

Salinas Animal Services
144 Hitchcock Road, Salinas, CA 93908

Family Dog Rescue
2253 Shafter Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94124

From the Heart Dog Training
561 Brunken Ave #I, Salinas, CA 93901

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