SHF's MORNING ROUTINE This is what happens 365 days a year, starting right around
(video) sunrise, when it's time for SHF dogs to enjoy their breakfast
and some play time outside. Be prepared to be surprised at
just how quiet & well behaved 25 shelter dogs (2 of whom
arrived the night before) can be at breakfast time (and in this
video, any sounds from the dogs are purely due to the presence
of our videographer - there are usually NONE!).
When you view this 20-minute video*, look for the things we do to:
(1) earn a dog's trust;
(2) teach good crate behavior, acceptance of leashes &
(3) address issues like hyperactivity, submissive urination &
(4) reward & promote quiet energy and expand pack
You’ll find that SHF’s feeding ritual teaches patience (both to the
dogs and to our volunteers) and it rewards calm, quiet energy…
plus the “old” dogs pass this good behavior on to the new dogs!
Beyond doing all this, it is an efficient, effective, economical &
species-respectful approach to working with shelter dogs. We
can highly recommend it to other shelters & kennels.
COMING INSIDE TO TREADMILL Dogs moving from our "poop pen" into the Dog Center to
(video) enjoy some treadmilling pass through two doorways. At
each threshold, good manners are required. This reinforces
the behaviors that we want to see and does not reward
the behaviors we don't want.
TREADMILLING Seven to nine dogs at a time are chosen for an hour's treadmilling at a
(video) relaxed pace (no cardio after breakfast!). SHF has twelve well-used
treadmills, and the dogs absolutely LOVE them!
TEACHING A DOG TO TREADMILL When introducing a dog to a treadmill for
the first time, it is vital that you do it in a
positive way. With confident dogs, we make
a game of it. With insecure dogs, we take
our time and remember two important
principles of dog psychology: (1) engage the
NOSE and (2) use forward momentum to
relax the dog and bring out what comes
In both cases, it is important that the people
involved be patient! We often introduce dogs
to treadmills over 2-4 days, using multiple
short sessions. The rewards are great when
you are patient about getting them.
CONFIDENT DOGS Scotland's introduction to a treadmill (video)
Watch Erica introduce this forward-thinking sheltie mix
to a treadmill on his first time out.
INSECURE DOGS Gina's first treadmill (video)
Watch this sweet puppymill survivor learn how to
treadmill in this 7-minute video. The following day, she
hopped on the treadmill and mastered it in just 3 minutes,
and the day after that, she treadmilled happily for 35
minutes! Way to go, Gina!