The training process begins with our professional trainers evaluating the animal. We gather as much information on the dog by observation, interviews with past owners/shelter staff, and by trying out a few behavioral commands. Next we work out a strategy to achieve main objectives for each canine: overcoming separation anxiety, discouraging dog aggression, basic manners, etc. Each plan of action includes determining where the dog would best be served as far as living situation. Our dogs are places in foster homes, where they can settle, and start learning a routine. We are always in need of foster families to help with getting to know the dog, as well as help with training. We provide support with training tools, including crates, food, as well as professional help either through private classes, or group classes for our foster homes.
Daycare is available for foster dogs who need additional help. Foster parents can drop the dogs off at the facility to receive thorough behavioral modification from the trainers and from volunteers during their daycare stay. Dogs learn to walk on a leash properly, to submit to human intervention, to refrain from problem behavior (such as jumping), and know the basics like ‘come’, ‘sit’, and ‘down’. Animals that have separation anxiety or aggression are given more professional attention to help with these behaviors. When possible, our dogs are exposed to small animals and children to determine if they would be suitable for living in such an environment. They are also evaluated for their reactions to other dogs, both as living companions and in public situations.
Part of Nikeno’s adoption is the 4 weeks of training provided for the adopters. This is part of our program simply to help the adopter gain knowledge of the dog that we have observed, how to handle the dog from the get go. Everyone’s situation is different, as is every dog, the training is 1/2 hour private classes once a week, and are geared toward the specific needs of the adoption. The classes are also our way of following the adoption to know how things are going. This also allows foster parents to know how “their” dogs are doing now that they have spread their wings with their new family.