A record number of rescue and shelter dogs have been adopted during the pandemic, including dog trainer Brandon McMillan CBS‘s happy dog and author of The Story of Your Dog said it’s great news.
The bad news is that some people have realized that they adopted a dog who didn’t fit their lifestyle. “I wish [potential dog owners] understood the breed,” McMillan told Showbiz’ Cheat Sheet. “You need to understand your lifestyle and your dog’s genetics. So first of all I always say understand the breed of the dog, understand the genetics and lineage of the dog. You can’t change these things. Domestic dogs as we know them have been around for 15,000 years.”
“They actually go back even further if you talk about wolves, but domestic dog genetics are 15,000 years old. That’s many generations. All of a sudden, in the last 150 years, we just made them pets. So basically, they’re more of a workhorse than a pet,” he said. Adding, “But a lot of people get dogs that aren’t built for their lifestyle.”
Brandon McMillan said some people adopt dogs that don’t fit their lifestyle
“During the pandemic, we’ve seen a record number of adoptions,” she said said a famous dog trainer. “That was a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that the dog was adopted. The bad thing was that many of these adoptions were impulse purchases. A lot of people just got a dog because they’re like, ‘Oh, I’ll be home all day, well, hey, I’ll just get a dog.’ The problem was that they didn’t do the math and said, ‘In a year and a half I’ll go back to work. And now my dog sits on my couch eight hours a day.’”
“So a big part of The Story of Your Dog book is about understanding the dog you have, not the dog you want. In other words, if you have a Border Collie, that is a herding dog. No matter how you cut it, you cannot alter herding dog genetics. You cannot change the energy. They cannot change their need to keep herds constantly. It’s in their geneticsand there are certain things about animals, and dogs in particular, that you cannot change.”
The dog trainer said to give your dog what he needs (not what you think he needs)
“So that’s what the book is about,” he continued. “And I was really trying to warn people during the pandemic, I said, ‘Get a dog that actually fits your pre-pandemic and post-pandemic lifestyle.’ And so a lot of people said, ‘Okay, I’m going to get an energetic dog and live in an apartment. I’m actually a couch potato and rarely go out myself.’ So now you’re stuck with this dog. It’s an energetic dog. And what will you do?”
“So that was more of a problem during the pandemic,” McMillan mused. “The good news is that everything is fixable. The whole point of the book is that you read about your dog and give him exactly what he needs, not what you think he needs.”
“Unfortunately, we’re starting to see a lot [people returning dogs] now because a lot of it was impulse adoption. And so, whenever people went back to work, they realized that this was the wrong dog. Unfortunately, this is one of the effects of the mass adoptions of a year and a half ago. But like I said, the good news is that adoption is more popular than ever these days. It actually is more popular than going to the breeder.”
What can dog owners do to meet their dog’s needs? Dog training tools can help. McMillan recently partnered with Link Smart Pet Wearablethe only GPS pet tracking system that offers remote controlled sound and vibration training tools for positive reinforcement.
“So basically it comes with a sound and a vibration. The sound is like a small beep and the vibration is like your phone vibrating. Once a dog is trained to do this, you can use a sound as a reminder,” he described. “So let’s say your dog is at the beach or at a park and the dog runs a few hundred yards away. It’s very difficult, even if your dog has a good recall, you can’t yell all over the park because there are so many elements [get in the way] that the dog might not be able to hear you.”
But: “The dog wears the collar, you just hit the tone and the dog is trained to come right back to you. So it’s like a callback without you yelling across the park,” he said. Also, thanks to the tracker element, pet owners can know where their dog is at all times.
McMillan said that exercising your dog for a few minutes throughout the day will make you and your dog happier. He suggests a few 15-minute workouts a day to increase engagement and overall happiness.
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/dog-trainer-brandon-mcmillan-give-dog-needs-you-needs.html/ Dog trainer Brandon McMillan on giving your dog ‘what they need, not what you think they need’ [Exclusive]