Austin Pets Alive! | APA! Gives Behavior Dogs a Second Lease on Life:…

Jun 01, 2023

Large breed, adult dogs have a lot of love to give the right human, but they are often the last to be adopted, placing them at risk for euthanasia. The Dog Behavior Program at Austin Pets Alive!, however, may be their lifeline. The program has successfully supported thousands of large adult dogs in need of grace by providing the precious pets with tools to cope with past traumas as well as the gift of time to heal and learn.

Hudson is one of them. He entered our care in 2021, coming to us from Dogs Playing for Life. Our team has worked diligently with Hudson to create a path to adoption by learning his personality, how he interacts with other animals as well as humans. Our experienced staff has created a customized “Hudson Plan” that provides the tools that he needs to successfully, safely and happily navigate a full life. This plan, as does Hudson, relies on someone willing to advocate for him and confidently guide him through situations that make him nervous. Given an inch, he’ll go a mile, but ultimately, he’s a rules boy and really appreciates when everyone is following them – always!

Hearty and fit, Hudson looks like he’s up for adventure, however this pupper is more of a homebody. Simply seeing strangers is triggering for Hudson so going out into public is not a safe-zone for him. We suggest any walks take place in the early morning hours or later evening hours — just anytime foot traffic is lightest! And walks must always take place on leash. Even having “strangers” in his home can be hard for him so our behavior team has identified a safe routine for his future family to host guests and eventually introduce him to new people.

Sure, he’s got a lot of “don’ts” to follow. On the other hand, Hudson is really into couch snuggles with his very own trusted human, a warm bed and his own yard where he can get exercise and play a great game of fetch. He keeps a tight circle of friends and when you’re in, you’re in! In fact, he has his own dedicated team of people, staff and volunteers, who have pledged to support Hudson and his future family for life. Hudson needs a win. He’s done the hard work to find ways to trust the humans he loves and now deeply needs to find a home that will offer him structure, time and care.

Once Hudson finds the human(s) and home that will offer him the structure and care he needs, the adopter can guarantee that Hudson comes with a cheerleading section. Not only does APA! offer behavioral support for life, Hudson’s (human) pack of friends — staff and volunteers that have wiggled their way into his heart through trust and consistency, are pledging to be just a phone call away to support their “Huddy” and his family.

Saving the lives of dogs and cats has always been APA!’s goal. The Dog Behavior Program is one of the programs that has contributed to keeping Austin’s save rate well above 90%. Through focusing on treating the whole dog — mind, body and spirit, paired with seeking out homes appropriate for some of our more challenging dogs and offering tools and support for life, this program has successfully placed hundreds of dogs into loving homes and continues to innovate to give all pets their deserved chance at life.

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