One of the main reasons some people will not adopt is that oftentimes, rescue dogs come without much training. Regardless of age, they usually have bad habits and may not even know basic obedience.
Jennie Jones, owner of Kindred Spirits Dog Training in Wartrace, Tennessee, has decided to do something about this, hopefully creating more adopters from people that would normally shy away from a shelter dog.
In her program, “Saved and Trained,” she selects, trains and socialize rescue dogs from shelters, rescues and private rescues, and then “sells” them to new owners.
“I have always had a deep passion for helping to improve the world I live in. After years of training and preparing, I have cultivated a winning combination between my love of helping society, people and dogs, along with utilizing my love of training and behavior of animals,” Jones stated.
Kindred Spirits’ philosophy incorporates customized lifestyle dog training into all services they provide. Lifestyle dog training ensures each dog matches an individual or family’s lifestyle and compliments their energy and temperament. This philosophy helps avoid situations where an owner finds the need to return a dog due to lack of compatibility.
“Choosing the right dog for the right family and lifestyle is key,” said Jennie.
Kindred Spirits’ ‘Saved and Trained’ program incorporates and highlights their signature lifestyle dog training. The program includes an in-depth interview and consultation process that sets owners and dogs up for a successful long-lasting relationship.
When taking home a trained dog from Kindred Spirits, new owners can expect an advanced skill set for each dog. Advance skills include:
- Basic obedience
- Travel well with a calm mindset
- Social and/or well-behaved with or around other dogs
- Patiently waits for leashing and unleashing
- Easily accepts vets, baths, nail trims and ear cleaning
- Accepting of strange places when out in public
When asked about training methods, it appears she uses both positive and correction methods. Jones said, “ It depends on the dog’s temperament and what I am teaching. We use an eclectic approach (clicker training, pressure and release, positive reinforcement, ethology of dogs, food luring, e-collars, training collars, sometimes the dogs are on lead sometimes it’s off in en enclosed area) but no matter what tools or techniques we use it is all based on cultivating a good relationship with the dog and ending with a confident happy companion.”
Kindred Spirits provides initial veterinary health care and a variety of training tools that owners take home with them. All the dogs have been spayed or neutered, and have up-to-date vaccinations.
Adopting a dog can be anywhere from $50 to $400 (sometimes more, but not usually), depending on the place of adoption (shelter or a private rescue), breed, age, etc.
If you want a dog from the Saved and Trained program, it will cost you at least $3,000, Jones told us. This price includes: fees for adoptions, health care, necessary training tools [crates, leashes, food, etc.] and most importantly, training costs. She said the price increases depending on the amount of training the buyer wants.
Can you chose your own dog beforehand?
“We prefer to choose the dogs that we sell beforehand,” says Jones. “We offer customized board and train programs for clients who already own a dog. That being said, we also understand that we might not always have the perfect match for a particular client on hand. We encourage people who are interested in picking out their own dog to contact us for a free consultation.”
That’s a steep price for a dog, even one a puppy from a reputable breeder may not cost you that much depending on the breed. Of course, it’s not trained! However, as a positive reinforcement dog trainer, I have to say I was disappointed to hear they use correction methods, especially on dogs that have probably been abused or neglected prior to being rescued.
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