Ruff Riders

Ever concerned about the plight of homeless animals in our area, we’ve collected some of Miami’s most affectionate adoptable dogs from local shelters.
Text by Ryan Jarrell | May 11, 2018 | Lifestyle

Just as sweet as his namesake implies, Reeses is a 7- to 8-year-old Chocolate Labrador that is currently sharing a foster home with several cats and a couple of other retrievers. Bearing all the positive characteristic of his breed, Reeses would be ideal for someone looking to add all the love and affection a Lab can provide without the boundless energy expelled by a young pup;

A dutiful young Dachshund Mix shuffled around one too many foster homes, Abby, pictured here, and her sister are simply searching for a loving home to call their own. Sweet, sensitive, attentive and loyal, we could list these pups’ positive qualities all day but why bother? One look into their beautiful brown eyes and you have all the information you need;

Whether you love or hate the pop star of the same name, we doubt anyone can be on the fence about this most affable of adoptable dogs! A young Terrier-Retriever Mix ideal for a family with children, Drake started from the bottom and is eager to end up in some lucky person’s home. You only live once, so make this life a complete one with a playful pup like this in your life;

Contrary to the popular belief that only retrievers can fetch, I’m here to tell you that any dog can learn this age-old pastime. All it takes is the right set-up and a little patience. First, get a tennis ball that you can cut a large slit in. You’ll use the slit to insert a piece of hot dog (it has to be really worth it!) that only you can shake out. Next, let your dog see you put the hotdog inside, before putting the ball down for him to sniff and interact with. As soon as your dog shows any interest in the ball, you should praise him and give him the treat. By showing your pooch that only you can get the treat out, you’re giving him incentive to bring the ball to you. Continue to reward any interaction your dog has with the ball. As his interest in the ball grows, it’s likely he may get excited and try to pick it up. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Offer bonus treats for a job well done. Once he’s picking up the ball, you should add the command “Bring it” anytime he has it in his mouth. Once it’s clear he understands how to pick up the ball and let you take it from his mouth, you can start placing it farther and farther away from you. With enough practice in a low-distraction environment, you’ll soon be able to throw the ball a short distance and eventually play fetch!

› Dee Hoult is the CEO of Applause Your Paws, South Florida’s largest privately owned pet-training company, and Miami’s leading user-rated dog-training company on Yelp.