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Shelter Dogs Play Poker for a Cause

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By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.

As both a supporter of positive reinforcement dog training and someone who improves the lives of shelter dogs with the continued donation of Through a Dog’s Ear music to shelters and rescues worldwide, I am always pleased to meet like minded people, both in person and via online communication. When it happens right here on Care2, it almost seems magical. I devoted my January blogs to National Train your Dog Month. Is Dog Training an Animal Welfare Issue? inspired Chris Dignan, founder of the Dog Saving Network, to contact me about his non-profit organization. As a marine mammal trainer by day and a dog trainer at most other waking hours, his desire to help promote awareness for homeless animals and to highlight the importance of positive reinforcement training was the impetus behind live shows in Chicago, with shelter dogs center stage. What an ingenious, creative way to save lives of homeless animals! Chris believes that daily training through positive reinforcement methods helps dogs get adopted and eases the transition into their new homes.

To help communicate the Dog Saving Network message of being a responsible pet owner, science-based, reward centered training is at the heart of everything Chris does. Since this is just as rewarding for the humans as the dogs, and anyone can do it, Chris works with novice dog handlers, not professional trainers. Chris held auditions recently for the next set of canine candidates (and their people) for the Chicago’s live shows, entitled Life’s RuffClick here to see the NBC special on last year’s play about dogs, people and games they play.

When speaking with Chris, he mentioned that there is nothing he can’t teach a novice handler to train a dog to do using reward based training, as long as it is in the dog’s physical abilities. Apparently, he can even teach dogs to play poker, as you’ll see from the video.

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Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Cats, Dogs, Pets, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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3:53AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013


12:36PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing!

12:36PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing!

12:35PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing!

12:34PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing!

12:34PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Thank you for sharing!

7:57AM PDT on May 10, 2011

Maybe more people will be aware of animal shelter and perhaps even adopt one or two.

9:16PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

Cool doggies!

7:04AM PDT on Mar 25, 2011


9:39AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

Thanks for sharing this. ;)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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