Ruth Foster, co-founder of CENSHARE

 Ruth Foster and friend.

Ruth Foster and friend.

Mrs. Ruth Foster was a co-founder of CENSHARE.  Mrs. Foster was  an internationally recognized expert on dogs and dog behavior.  She was especially well know for her expertise in the selection and training of dogs for special, human-service-oriented purposes. She was also director Emeritus of Twin Cities Obedience Training Club (TCOTC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Obituary

As a dog trainer, Ruth Foster wanted to design a dog collar that would control dogs without choking them like traditional collars often do. Foster and R. K. Anderson, a veterinarian at the University of Minnesota, developed a collar that works with dog’s natural behavior rather than against it.

Foster started training dogs in 1958. She specializes in training dogs to work with people who face physical and mental challenges. At a dog-obedience conference in the 1980s, Foster and Anderson watched one dog walk in wearing several different metal collars that choked the animal. It wasn’t the first time they’d seen dogs restrained by collars that choked them. They thought there must be a better way to control dogs.

Ruth Foster and Dr. Robert Anderson

Ruth Foster and Dr. Robert Anderson

When a regular collar pulls back on a dog, the dog’s instinct tells it to pull forward. Even if the collar hurts the dog’s throat, nature has hard-wired the dog to keep pulling against it.

Foster and Anderson wondered if they could develop a halter for dogs similar to the ones used to lead horses, cows, and sheep, that don’t put any pressure around the animals’ throats.

“Our collar puts pressure around the back and top of the dog’s neck instead of putting pressure on the front of the throat like traditional collars.”