Research shows that behavior issues are among the most frequent reasons that people surrender their pets to shelters. Currently, tens of thousands of animals are surrendered every year to shelters in Hampton Roads. Within the last year, the Virginia Beach SPCA alone has taken in over 300 animals that were relinquished to us directly by their owners for behavioral reasons.
“Pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats.” - ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey
According to the ASPCA, “Lack of awareness and access to behavioral training are often leading pets back into shelters and out of loving homes.” Happy Paws Humane Pet Training is a proactive effort of the Virginia Beach SPCA to prevent relinquishments in already overburdened shelters. We provide resources and support to families so pets are able to stay in the loving homes they already have. Many pet parents do not know where to find the right resources to fix a behavioral problem they are experiencing. However, many of these behaviors can be managed or avoided with the appropriate guidance and environment.
The puppy problem
A lot of dogs in shelters are only about a year or two old. After a dog is no longer a small, manageable puppy, behaviors that were previously overlooked can become larger issues. Higher energy levels, jumping, chewing, and other normal puppy behaviors can become difficult to manage. This is why the Virginia Beach SPCA includes obedience classes with every dog adoption under one year old, so behavioral concerns won't grow with the puppy.
Old(er) dogs, new tricks
Happy Paws classes aren’t just for puppies, and all VBSPCA canine adopters receive a 10% discount at Happy Paws for their new four-legged friend. Happy Paws’ training methods center on a reward-based method that builds a positive relationship between you and your pet. Classes are offered in groups or private settings, and range from obedience, agility, leash training, recall, as well as fun games and activities. Obedience classes extend beyond the basic “sit and stay” and are available at different levels. Specialty classes are also available for reactive dogs or shy dogs to build socialization skills. You even have an option to drop off your dog for pet parents who might be short on time.
Taking training classes together not only strengthens the bond between a dog and their owner, but also helps to prevent more dogs from entering already overcrowded shelters. Enrolling your dog in Happy Paws humane training classes also helps homeless pets because all the proceeds directly support the Virginia Beach SPCA and the homeless animals in our community. You also help further the VBSPCA mission of compassion by increasing the demand for humane pet training in Hampton Roads. Happy Paws Humane Pet Training is beneficial for you, your dog, and homeless animals in your community.