Get to know Meet Your Mutt: Making the process of getting a dog stress-free
By Jon Nelson
Everyone knows that Get Leashed is a huge proponent for pet rescue and adoption as the best option. In addition to features on some of the most interesting rescues in North America, we’re starting to include a bi-weekly edition dedicated to a rescue or adoption service that we think is doing an extraordinary job of rescue, education and finding suitable forever homes for dogs in need.
As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to feature a match making service that does things a bit differently. Meet Your Mutt is the world’s first human and dog matchmaking service. Ashley Baylen started Meet Your Mutt with the theory that there really aren’t “bad” dogs, just mismatched dogs with the home they’re in. She realized that finding the right dog is a larger process than many people realized and once they do, it’s a process they’d happily hire help for if they could. That’s where Meet Your Mutt comes in and where Ashley’s business took off.
In addition to helping people find the right dog for their family, Ashley is out to disband preconceived notions about rescues. Many myths exist that do damage to the massive number of dogs looking for a home and Ashley hopes to change that with her service. With numerous testimonials from happy dog owners on the Meet Your Mutt site, we’re pretty sure she’s been doing so successfully.
We caught up with Ashley to get more info about Meet Your Mutt, her mission to help animals and the importance of adoption.
Since pets make the best Valentine, Meet Your Mutt has a special promotional package which you can sign up for until the end of the month!
How did Meet Your Mutt start?
As a dog trainer, I receive phone calls daily from prospective clients claiming that they have a “bad” dog. This really bothers me. There is no such thing as a “bad” dog; many of the behaviors that humans call “bad” are actually just the result of the dog and family being mismatched. Meet Your Mutt makes the entire process of adopting a new canine family member stress-free, ensuring that you bring home a dog that’s best suited for your experience, lifestyle, interests, and expectations. Going through our “muttmaking” process allows the experience of adoption to be positive and relaxing from day one.
Not only do we find the dog that’s best suited for your family, we also help with the transition of bringing the dog home with a training guide to follow from the get-go and two private, in-home training sessions to teach the dog all his manners and basic commands and address any questions you have in the first few weeks.
Avery, Ashley’s rescue, enjoying her surroundings.
Why should everyone consider adopting?
There are countless reasons to adopt through a shelter or rescue Millions of dogs in North America are orphaned, abandoned, or surrendered by no fault of their own. They are seeking a new home and have nothing but love to give. There are many advantages to adopting; in many cases they’re already housetrained and have basic obedience down, and most importantly, you’re saving a life.
What are the myths surrounding rescue dogs in shelters?
There are so many misconceptions surrounding rescues, but the ones I hear over and over again are that the dogs have behavioral problems like aggression or anxiety, that they’re unhealthy, or that they only have “old dogs.” The truth is that most dogs that end up in rescue are there by no fault of their own: their owners couldn’t afford to care for them anymore, someone in the household developed allergies etc. Many dogs in rescue have lived with other dogs, cats, children, or seniors and get along famously with everyone. In terms of them being physically unhealthy, every reputable rescue and shelter does extensive health checks with vets prior to making the dogs available for adoption.
Lastly, everyone thinks they want a puppy, but there are so many advantages to adopting an older dog! Having a puppy can be as intense as having a baby — you are looking at a year and a half of hard, hard work. Older dogs usually come house-broken, you know their personalities in advance so can choose the one best suited for your family and lifestyle, and they probably kno
w some basic commands and tricks already. If you adopt a dog between 2-6 years-old, they still have energy for long adventures and activities with the family, but will most likely be calmer and more relaxed in the house. And don’t forget about senior dogs. They are perfect for low-energy households or people that want to rescue a dog but can’t commit to 10+ years.
What mistakes are people making in their research methods?
Most people fall into one of two categories when looking for a new dog. The first is those that choose based on appearance or generalized characteristics, selecting the dog that is the cutest or fluffiest or the right size (ie. “condo dogs” or “hypoallergenic dogs”), without learning about that individual dog’s temperament, energy level, or breed characteristics. The second are the people that make choices based on childhood memories of their family dog or grandpa’s dog at the farm. They remember how well-behaved or incredible a specific dog was as a kid and then pursue that breed as an adult.
Jeffery, with his happy family & loved (x a billion).
What are the categories Meet Your Mutt uses to make a match?
Our “muttmaking” process is very similar to one of the comprehensive dating services or websites you might be familiar with like eHarmony. In the initial assessment, we discuss everything from your lifestyle, personal hobbies and interests to long-term goals, exercise and training expectations, values, time commitment, and family dynamics. We also understand that just like dating, having everything look good on paper is only half the battle. So after making selections based on the assessment, we go with you to all the meet-and-greets to make sure there’s chemistry. You don’t need to make the commitment until we’ve found the full package.