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Success P e t s PERFECT PALS This spring, why not greet the warm weather with a brand new walking buddy? Below are some furry friends from surrounding shelters who’d love to start a new life with you. TEX T BY RYAN JARRELL SPARKY A young Black Labrador Mix just as energetic as his name implies, Sparky is an affable young pup perfect for the athletic Miamian ready to pump. It. Up. Not just another costly exercise aid, Sparky’s gentle demeanor and obedience training make him one gym buddy you’ll always want to text back!; LRROF.org. ALBERT A beach-loving Bulldog perfect for any family that loves to Hang 10, Albert is a 3-year-old American Bulldog Mix whose favorite activities include just about anything, as long as it includes the occasional belly rub! Due to lingering health issues from abandonment, he’s only available to local adopters; 100PlusAbandonedDogsOfEvergladesFlorida.org. BENNY Proof that big hearts come in small packages, this spunky little pooch packs a lot of spirit into a little frame! Some adorable amalgamation of Pug and Terrier stock, Benny is ideal for an apartment or condo dweller — he’s truly a well-behaved roommate you’ll never evict!; Paws4You.org. MANNERS, PLEASE! How embarrassing! You have an important houseguest come to the door, and before you can offer to take a coat or offer a drink, here comes Fido, everywhere he’s not supposed to be! In order to train your dog not to jump on visitors when they arrive, try using a raised pet cot or platform for training and make it clear to the dog exactly where he is expected to stay. Using treats, spend several days luring your dog into this designated space and rewarding him for going there. You should practice having your dog stay at his space while you go to the door and pretend to let someone inside. If your dog has a hard time staying, put a leash on him so that you can easily lead him back every time he gets away. After several days 44 of rehearsal, going to and staying in “place” with pretend visitors, it’s time to introduce a real guest! The first real guest who arrives may be challenging, so be ready to grab his leash and take him back to home base. Getting to greet a guest is highly rewarding for our furry friends, so you can’t let your dog say hi to the visitor unless he does a great job staying calm and controlled. Don’t forget to offer treats when your dog chooses to stay in his place, and make sure to quickly release him to come say hello as a reward for great behavior. The more guests you have over, the more opportunities you have to practice polite greetings, so this is a great chance for you to increase your social skills as well! ABOUT THE AUTHOR › Dee Hoult is the CEO of Applause Your Paws, South Florida’s largest privately owned pet dog training company, and Miami’s leading user-rated dog-training company on Yelp.com.