25 January

Ears Back, Pleading Eyes: Dog Support. 23 Million Dogs Were Adopted During The Pandemic. Dogs And Their People Need Help

by Jon Katz

Ears back, pleading eyes. This is what dogs have learned to do over the past few centuries to get to sleep in bed, eat gourmet food, and get showered with love and treats. ┬áThis is why dogs sleep in beds and raccoons don’t. Dogs know what we want from them.

In the past two years, more than 23 million dogs were adopted to comfort people during the pandemic. They did their usual excellent job. But many are in trouble now.

As lives become more regular and people return to work, many dogs are victims. Millions are being returned to shelters; others need training, love, and understanding. History tells us that when people get dogs hurriedly or in a panic, they have no real idea what dogs are like. They often panic and send them back to real danger.

It is the historical fate of dogs to help us when we need them but to be abandoned when we don’t.

When people find out that having a dog means working and patience, and self-awareness, dogs have trouble. This is why I’ve launched my dog support program on the blog. The idea is to help people and their dogs as they collide in this unprecedented way. (911 was close.) If you are having a problem with a new or old dog, please consider contacting me through my dog support application,

Give the dogs a chance.

Dog walkers and trainers, and vets report they are being swamped by people needing help with canine behavioral problems and human emotional issues. I’d love to try and help if I can. I charge $65 for a half hour and will stick with people for no charge beyond that. I am not a professional trainer or a vet, so I charge much less than they do.

As a dog counselor, I come in between the vets and the trainers; most dog problems can be healed when we understand the emotional and attachment dynamics between them and us. To me, this is positive reinforcement training at its best. It’s true; it’s usually a human problem.

Many people give up on their new dogs when the world seems safer. I’ve already helped a dozen or so dogs stay in their new homes. Dog Support is important and urgent work. And I love doing it. We solve our dog puzzles together.

I’m happy to be paid for my work and time, but I don’t do this for the money. I’ve been living with dogs and writing books about them for years. If you are having dog trouble, check out dog support. I can meet people on Zoom, Facetime, or phone. Either way, good luck with your dogs.


  1. This is awesome ( excuse the overused word). In the Sanctuary and rescue communities we are seeing a growing influx of abandoned and returned dogs. Your decision to step up and offer help is especially nice in reinforcing the message that there are ways to keep the family together. Wishing you best of luck and I hope your example is copied many times over.

  2. I adopted a Rat Terrier in 2001. She reminded me of a Jack Russell Terrier that I had as a child.
    She pushed every button I had, and I wanted to return her. My mom told me that I had made a commitment to keep her for the rest of her life. I still hear that statement echoing in my head. I said goodbye to my beloved Prancer in 2016. Dealing with Prancer has helped me deal with her replacement, Dasher, a very fiesty Miniature Schnauzer. Dasher is very food driven, he loves chocolate. We’ve been to the local emergency vet several times to get him treated. Now, we give him hydrogen peroxide to make him throw up.
    My husband isn’t as good about keep food out of reach…

  3. The New York Times had an article on pet walking during this time. So many people have been called back into work and they need someone to walk their dogs.

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