Good Dog in a Box Launches During National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week; Can They Help Decrease the Number of Family Dogs Surrendered

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According to a recent study, 96% of the dogs surrendered to animal shelters had not received any obedience training. Good Dog in a Box is on a mission to provide family friendly dog training and education, to help keep dogs in their forever homes.

Good Dog in a Box family friendly dog training

Animated likenesses of Kim Merritt-Butler, Jenn Merritt, CPDT-KA, and a team of kid dog trainers guide subscribers through Good Dog in a Box's family friendly dog training curriculum.

We’re providing families with a new way to understand and learn about their family dog. If that can keep family dogs out of shelters, we’ve accomplished our goal.

A new subscription box launching on Kickstarter is hoping to not only teach old dogs a few new tricks, but the entire family. Good Dog in a Box is trying to lessen the almost 4 million dogs a year that end up at animal shelters, by reaching and teaching the next generation of pet owners, children between the ages of 5 and 12. The company’s new product launch is coinciding this week with National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in an effort to draw attention to the more than 1.2 million dogs euthanized each year in shelters, of which 96% had no type of obedience training.

“I’ve been volunteering with shelters for over fifteen years,” says Jenn Merritt, CPDT-KA, professional dog trainer and cofounder of Good Dog in a Box. “The majority of dogs that are given up by their families are good dogs, but they lack the skills needed to be good members of their families. Our new products have been designed to give families the tools and training they need to help address this problem.”

Good Dog in a Box uses reward based dog training with dog bite prevention in a fun and engaging monthly delivery to subscriber’s homes and computers. The curriculum is designed to educate families on how to read dog body language, teach basic obedience skills, and get all ages involved in the care and responsibility of being a dog owner. “The goal was to make learning fun for everyone in the family, including the dog,” said Merritt.

“We had discussed different ways of getting Jenn’s message of reward based training to a larger audience, but could never find the right vehicle,” says Kim Merritt-Butler, Jenn’s sister and cofounder of Good Dog in a Box. It wasn’t until a chance encounter in September of 2015, that she got the idea for a subscription box.

Over the next year and two months, the Merritts would work with one sister in the US and one sister in Canada, communicating via Facetime Messenger, to develop the curriculum. From a card game called Dog Smart, an idea that came from Merritt-Butler's experience homeschooling her children, to a combination of live action and animated video, featuring the cartoon likenesses of sister Jenn, her dogs Royal and Bernie, and over nineteen children, the monthly materials are filled with unique and engaging ways to teach dog safety and pet owner responsibility to children.

The company’s Kickstarter launched Thursday, November 10th, with the goal of $40,000. “We’re very optimistic due to pre-launch testing and reviews from professional dog trainers,” said Merritt-Butler. Colleen Pelar, CPDT-KA, CDBC, professional dog trainer and author of "Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind" said, “Good Dog in a Box is a great idea. I love the emphasis on compassion and gentle training.”

Kickstarter perks include the Dog Smart Card Game, three different subscription combinations, and the ability to have a child and a family dog made into cartoon characters to be included in upcoming month’s materials.

Good Dog in a Box is taking pre-orders through the end of November with plans to begin shipping in late December/early January. The Merritt sisters are hopeful this company takes off, but it isn’t all about the money. “We believe that education is the key for helping families and their dogs live better lives together,” says Jenn Merritt. “We’re providing families with a new way to understand and learn about their family dog. If that can keep family dogs out of shelters, we’ve accomplished our goal.”

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Kim Merritt-Butler
@GoodDoginaBox
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