Dogtown: Train the Dog in Front of You

Sometimes we are contacted by folks who would like to find a dog that looks, or acts, just like their last dog. In my experience that often leads to disappointment, as each dog is an individual and may not behave like their predecessor, no matter how good a trainer you are. 

I picked up a book at the Canine Conference called Train the Dog in Front of You just because I liked the title. It does go on to say that the human will have the best training results from taking a good look at various aspects of each dog’s personality and working with them instead of having expectations based on a previous dog. 

That said, I do find myself drawn to dogs that remind me of my own in one way or another (though we are at our house limit and cannot take anymore!). Here are two that caught my eye.

Big Teddy Bear was adopted from the shelter four years ago when he was just a year old. Through no fault of his own he has ended up at the shelter again.

Teddy Bear

Teddy has big dark soulful eyes and a soft fawn-colored coat. He is a cuddly guy that walks nicely on the leash and is happy to sit quietly and wait while phone calls are returned (something I do a lot). 

We know he lived with at least one other dog. In walks with other shelter dogs he has behaved nicely and when I took one of my dogs up to walk with him, he was very polite. Teddy is not up for adoption at the shelter as he has been a little nervous with strangers who are standing outside of his kennel, though the minute he sees the leash, he is a happy fellow. 

It’s understandable that he might be a little confused about being back in a kennel after four years in a home. Teddy has been affectionate with everyone he has met and we think he would make a nice companion.  

To meet this friendly fellow, contact us at [email protected] or leave a message on our voicemail at (707) 633-8842. 


We think Teddy could go straight into an adoptive home, but we would also consider a foster in order to help him get out of the shelter.

Nova is still just a teenager at about six months old. She was terrified when she first came to the shelter and we would have to carry her out to the play yard when we first started working with her. 

Soon we found that she loves other dogs and was willing to follow them from her kennel to the outside world, where she could run and play with the others. Now that she knows that she is safe, she has become a pretty good little walker. She likes her toys and can entertain herself tossing a soft toy around. Amazingly, she doesn’t seem to be much of a chewer and keeps her toys in one piece. 

Nova already knows sit and is highly treat-motivated so she should be easy to train. She likes to stay close to her handler. She loves to spin and bow to get other dogs to play with her and can be quite silly in her antics. Nova will be on the small side, probably no more than 35 or 40 pounds when fully grown. 

She is available through the Humboldt County Animal Shelter located at 980 Lycoming Ave. in McKinleyville. The shelter’s phone number is (707) 840-9132.

Teddy and Nova are both altered, microchipped and current on their vaccinations. We think you’ll like them! Contact us today!



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