Ruff To Ready
Bringing a new dog or puppy home from the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV) can be a wonderful experience - until the dog's barking, biting, chewing, jumping or "accidents" in the house become too annoying.
Some people know how to correct such behavior; others who have the means hire a dog trainer. But too many simply give up and return the dog to the shelter. In 2012, nearly half the adopted dogs that were returned to the ASCMV were returned for behavior problems, according to ASCMV Executive Director.
In an effort to prevent dogs from being returned to the shelter, the Doña Ana County Humane Society established the "Ruff to Ready" program, which offers basic behavior training to shelter dogs that are in foster care, foster-to-adopt, or new adoptive homes through the ASCMV.
Funded by donations and grants, and patterned after the original Ruff-to-Ready program founded by the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society in Michigan, DACHS offers free dog training for any dog that has been adopted from the ASCMV.
A DACHS trainer conducts an assessment via phone, then visits the home, meets the dog and the adoptive family, and observes the dog's living situation. The trainer then works with them to correct the dog's problem behaviors, and teach the new owner how to work with and communicate with the dog.