I’m not much of a Kim Kardashian fan. But, I also wouldn’t have signed a petition protesting her appearance in last year’s Skechers Super Bowl ad. However, this year, I signed a petition targeted to Michael Greenberg and Gary Patrick, president and vice president of media at Skechers. They filmed the Skechers Super Bowl commercial at Tuscon Greyhound Park, known to be one of the most inhumane of all the Greyhound racing tracks. Their ad features a small dog wearing Skechers shoes running neck in neck with Greyhounds wearing racing jackets. While the Humane Society said that no animals were harmed in the making of the advertisement, thousands of racing Greyhounds have been treated very inhumanely in racing tracks.
I spoke to dog Trainer Jo Jacques, CDBC, CPDT-KA, who has fostered eight racing Greyhounds in total. She told me, “Some of the dogs have a really hard time adjusting once off the track – others are a breeze. In my opinion, a lot depends on how they were treated at the kennel. The favorites get a lot more socialization and people time than the others.”
Jo started fostering Greyhound racing dogs because she is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and knows how to deal with difficult dogs. “We’ve adopted several, but fostering is always helpful first because they are under-socialized and don’t know how to live in a home. They might be petrified of stairs, of trucks, of kids running up to them, or may be fearful of many other things. They don’t know what stairs are. Their entire life has been on one level. A good positive trainer can help their dog adjust properly. Out of 10 fosters, maybe three were socialized enough to accept new experiences. Three wouldn’t come out of the crates for two weeks. If you go to a race track to adopt, they unfortunately only ask for money and a drivers license. But, you have to have a lot of skill and experience to adopt a Greyhound who was raised in a track. They are the sweetest dogs, but are often fearful because of the conditions they’ve spent their lives in. They need a lot of help getting used to life. It’s a problem similar to any under socialized animal.”
In my desire to help retired racing Greyhounds adjust to a new life, we donate Through a Dog’s Ear music to Greyhound Pets of America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding responsible homes for retired racing greyhounds.
What do you think? Should Skechers air their Super Bowl ad showing Greyhound racing dogs running against a small dog wearing Skechers shoes? If you think they should take down the ad, please sign the petition. Thanks for also voicing your opinion in a comment below and by taking our poll?
Have you tried Sound Therapy for your dogs? Through a Dog’s Ear is the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system.