An Assortment of Must-have Items for Dogs & Cats
Puller, a new training toy from Collar, is designed to actively engage dogs and provide enough exercise in just 15 to 20 minutes to keep them happy and healthy. Made of lightweight, odorless polymer, the rings are soft to the bite yet strong enough to withstand daily use—and they float. Puller is available in two sizes: small and large. www.puller.com/usa/
New from the Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate, Go Fish™ is an interactive toy that encourages cats to work for their food. Simply sprinkle cat kibble or treats among the tails and watch as they fish them into the trough. The silicon tails rotate easily to continuously change the puzzle to up the challenge and are removable for cleaning. The round tray features a melamine base with rubber feet to limit excess movement and is dishwasher safe. www.petmate.com
Planet Dog has added a new crop of Carrots to its Orbee-Tuff® Produce dog toy line. The new Carrot joins the rest of the Produce collection—the Raspberry, Strawberry, Artichoke, and Eggplant. These durable toys are made in the USA and are doggie-durable, buoyant, bouncy, minty, recyclable, non-toxic and 100 percent guaranteed. As with the rest of the Produce line, the Carrot features a Treat-Spot® perfect for stuffing with tasty morsels for a well-balanced diet. www.planetdog.com
The Fish Wobble Cat Toy from the kathy ireland® Loved Ones Collection by Worldwise was created to draw your cat’s attention with everything she loves: catnip, feathers and unpredictable movements. The well-constructed toy is 2.75 x 3.75 x 4 inches in size and features a blue chevron design. www.worldwise.com
MiracleCare®QuickFinder® nail clippers now come in cool, vibrant colors: blue, purple and green. Featuring QuickSensor technology and a convenient on/off switch, the electronic clippers are fast, safe and easy-to-use. Designed for cats, small and medium size dogs, the clippersafely takes the fear out of nail clipping and projects a green light to let you know when it is safe to clip, yellow for caution, and red when it is not safe to clip by detecting the nail quick. www.miraclecorp.com
These handsome Melamine Bowls from the Wetnoz Collection by Petmate are based on the collection’s popular stainless-steel designs. Dishwasher safe and featuring a no-skid bottom, the bowls are ideal for cats and small dogs. They are available in Wetnoz bold basic colors: indigo, hibiscus, pear, sun, snow and night. www.petmate.com
SynergyLabs’ Dental Fresh® has reformulated four of its additive solutions to better focus on different oral care needs. Puppy features an all-new, safe and gentle formula that protects and strengthens a puppy’s developing teeth and young gums. Advanced Plaque & Tartar reduces plaque and tartar build-up around the teeth and gums plus protects against the advancement of moderate to severe periodontal issues when used as part of a daily oral health care regimen. Advanced Whitening reduces surface stains, reverses discoloration and eliminates bad breath odor when used daily. Enhanced Flavor for Cats has an improved feline-specific formula with a delicious new flavor to aid in the removal of plaque and tartar build-up. And, the Original Formula protects teeth and gums, and restores fresh breath. www.synergylabs.com
Many people are re-examining their careers and making a change. Some are pursuing their passion for pets in an animal-related career by enrolling in Animal Behavior College programs in hope of either starting a business or working for someone else. Now may be the time to make the move, as the employment outlook appears promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of animal care and service workers in the U.S. will grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
“Pets today are living longer, eating healthier and receiving more services from groomers, veterinarians and trainers,” Said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College. “The College has seen increased enrollment in our programs as demand for these skills continue to provide excellent employment opportunities for our graduates.”
People spend a lot of money on their pets. In fact, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates that Americans will spend $58.51 billion on their pets this year for food, veterinary care, supplies and over-the-counter medicine, pet grooming and boarding and pet purchases combined. High turnover and rapid employment growth is expected to provide excellent job opportunities in the areas of pet training, grooming and veterinary staff.
Animal Behavior College prepares students by offering three certification programs, Dog Obedience Training (DOP), Veterinary Assist Program (VAP) and Grooming Instruction Program (GIP), giving students the education and training necessary to compete. By combining a comprehensive education with hands-on, practical experience in an open-enrollment format that is online and convenient, students acquire essential tools, training and expertise necessary to succeed. The three Certification Programs include:
Dog Obedience Instructor (DOP). This program teaches training techniques using positive reinforcement. Students learn behavioral principles and practical ways to incorporate them into their training regimen. They learn training basics, safety, effective problem solving and pet first aid while gaining hands-on experience and an opportunity to participate in an externship with a mentor. For more information, visit http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/dog-trainer/
Veterinary Assistant (VAP). Students learn techniques used for handling and working with animals in a veterinary hospital, as well as situations most often encountered. The curriculum covers office, hospital and examination room procedures, surgical preparation and assistance procedures and radiology and ultrasound imaging to name a few. Students also gain hands-on experience and career building, resume writing, financial planning and effective interviewing skills. This program also provides an externship at a veterinary hospital under the guidance of a mentor. For more information, visit http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/VeterinaryAssistant/
Grooming Instruction (GIP). Students learn grooming techniques, health and safety, dog and cat grooming, clipper use and scissor control techniques, body styles and breed specific cuts and pet CPR and first aid. Students learn ergonomics and ways in which to perform tasks without causing any strain or damage to their joints and muscles. This program also includes a hands-on externship. For more information, visit http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/Grooming/
DOP and VAP students attain significant business-building tools to help them succeed in the industry. They learn everything from how to create a business plan to budgeting and marketing techniques. Additionally, they learn skills necessary to work as an employee in the pet industry like resume writing and job searching.
ABC also offers a variety of continuing education programs (CEPs) on several subjects including, cat management and training, pet nutrition, pet massage, pet sitting and training shelter dogs. These programs help students to enhance their skills and increase their knowledge base.
At Animal Behavior College it is important to us to attend trade shows throughout the U.S. for many different reasons. Each show has specific industry experts and professionals that we love to connect with. Many times trade shows provide a great opportunity to build relations with new Mentor Trainers and be introduced to program instructional techniques that we can incorporate into the ever growing curriculum’s for the ABC Certifications. Trade shows are also a wonderful chance for industry career professionals to purchase Continuing Education Programs at a wonderful discount, up to 50% off.
After completing your certification consider one of the 6 great, Continuing Education courses offered by Animal Behavior College:
Continuing Education Courses offered by Animal Behavior College
Training Shelter Dogs
This Continuing Education Program (CEP) will teach you how to approach shelters and their staff, appropriately and professionally, to assist in identifying dogs with the potential to be adopted. You will be able to consult and advise them on defensive handling and safety, understanding shelter stress points and assessing canine behavior. This CEP will also teach you to demonstrate building drive in shelter dogs, pet health and consideration, labeling training goals and challenges, circumventing behavioral issues, training dogs for a family setting. You will be given the skills to:
- Identify shy or fearful conditions
- How to properly work with aggressive dogs
- Charting and keeping records
- Facilitating an assisting in adoptions
- Act with ethical and professional conduct
This course will provide certified trainers with the knowledge and skills needed to start a shelter training program. You will have the ability to rate dogs’ social skills, how they handle tolerance, barrier aggression, food aggression, and resource guarded thresholds. These skills combined with the Assess a Pet & ASPCA Meet Your Match Safer tools, will enable you the trainer to become an ASPCA Tester for Shelters throughout the U.S.
The Art of Selling Private Lessons
Private in-home lessons are quickly becoming the most popular among professional trainers in the dog training industry. In this Continuing Education course you will learn how to out-sell your competition and develop successful training lessons every time. Your knowledge of how to obtain clientele and conduct efficient private lesson will assist you in maximizing your potential income as a dog trainer. This course will cover imperative topics such as:
- Sales techniques and tips
- Understanding communication styles
- Diverse types of lesson plans and training packages
- Developing your class routine
- How to teach off-leash behaviors
- Client compliance
The Training Shelter Dogs CEP will maximize your effectiveness as a professional certified dog trainer. Training Shelter Dogs also includes advanced tips for marketing yourself and your business locally in your community. This Continuing Education Program will provide you with an increased proficiency and aptitude in administering effective private lessons within a client’s home, at a local park or at your own facility.
Pet Sitting & Dog Walking
The Pet Sitting & Dog Walking CEP discusses how to properly work with and care for pets with fur, feathers, scales, and more. Topics range from identifying and understanding body language, canine, feline and avian behavior, basic nutrition an hygiene, creating mental and physical stimulation, building relationships with animals and the people who love them, personal and home owner safety, maintaining consistent scheduling, walking dogs calmly on a leash, building your clientele, sample client forms, insurance and more! Pet Sitting & Dog Walking are sought after skills that provide differentiation to any established pet trainer’s business.
Cat Management & Training
Many households have both a cat and a dog or multiples of them. Since cats out number dogs throughout the United States, learning how to manage and correct cat behaviors can be a profitable venture for pet training professionals. This course will teach you the proper socialization techniques for developing a healthy feline-to-trainer relationships, as well as feline-to-feline and feline-to-canine interactions. You will learn how to read and interpret feline body language and vocalizations. This course also teaches how to teach basic behavior training cues (i.e. sit, stay, come) and how to address problem cat behaviors like: scratching, spraying, and howling. This course will provide the trainer with the ability to teach cats “fun” behaviors, such as roll over, tightrope walk, hoop jumping, and more. having the skills to train cats is a big advantage for dog trainers and veterinarians. By completing this course you will gain invaluable knowledge necessary to help your client pet owners solve unruly cat behaviors and issues.
Pet Nutrition and Diet
This Continuing Education Program discusses basic nutrition, the regulations governing commercial pet foods, and the nutritional needs for both cats and dogs. In this course you will be taught to read pet food labels including the importance of:
- Protective nutrients
You will also learn about the different types of diets (i.e. dry food, canned food, raw foods, and supplements) and how food can play a huge role in a pet’s behavior. After the competition of this CEP you will know how to educate your clients on providing their animals with the best nutrition based decisions for their pet’s age, weight, and health condition.
The Pet Massage CEP gives pet groomers, dog trainers and veterinary staff the skills to calm each pet they interact with. The ability to soothe and calm dogs and cats through touch improves the human-animal relationship and promotes trust bonding. Pet groomers have the benefit of having a calm animal on their grooming table which allows them to move swiftly through the process of grooming without the problems that heavy-handed groomers experience. Veterinary assistants are able to minimize discomfort and pain, while helping pets recover from injuries and soothe the aches of the elderly. Dog trainers will have the ability to create a more positive training experience, because they will have an enhanced knowledge of canine anatomy and acute awareness of touch points. Pet massage is a growing occupation. The completion of this Continuing Education Program can also open the door to operating a profitable pet massage business. This CEP will cover information on:
- General anatomy
- Principals and concepts of a pet massage
- Setting up your work space
- Preparing to administer a pet massage
- How to develop a pet massage business
The Pet Massage CEP course also includes step-by-step instructions that will guide you through the details of a pet massage session, (for many animals of different species and size).
ABC enjoys meeting with our students, graduates and mentors at the trade shows. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet, greet, and obtain feedback on the programs from our students and Mentor Trainers. In February 2014, Animal Behavior College will be attending the Western Veterinary Conference and the Groom & Kennel Expo.
*All CEP programs will be offered at a 50% discount to those attendees who purchase a Continuing Education Program at the shows.
Forever Pet Services
By Rebecca K. O’Connor
Awarded NAPPS 2014
Business of the Year
Heather Branch moved from the East Coast to California to chase her acting dreams. She soon became a familiar voice in Los Angeles. For six years she worked as a traffic reporter, delivering early morning and late afternoon radio reports on the state of the rush time commute. Then she realized that she wanted something different.
It was a hectic life, and although her early dreams had been focused on the acting industry, she found herself asking what really made her happy. She says, “When I came home from work every day, my dog Izzy was so excited to see me. I thought I wanted more of this in my life.” So she enrolled at Animal Behavior College to become certified as a dog obedience trainer and as a vet assistant. She quickly became certain this was the right course for her life.
Heather mentored with a dog trainer and interned at a vet office, but she was mainly interested in pet sitting. A pet sitter she found through NAPPS for her own animals was absolutely wonderful and Heather wanted to emulate her. Worried about stepping on toes, she called Debra Turk of All 4 Your Paws and asked about the business. Debra offered to let Heather work for her to get her feet wet and see if it was the right fit for her. Heather says, “She had been pet sitting for ten years and was wonderful. Having her teach me was amazing!”
The Beginnings of Best Friends Forever
There was no doubt that Heather loved the work and she knew the right thing for her was to start her own business. After two years of working for All 4 Your Paws, Debra suggested that Heather buy her business and they merge. This would allow Debra to focus on some other things in her life while still caring for some longtime clients. Heather jumped at the chance.
In January 2011, Heather set up her own LLC for Best Friends Forever Pet Services focusing on the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California. It was a gradual year-long process to transition the company. At first the change was minimal, with Heather focusing on the business end and very little changing for clients.
After the transition was complete, Best Friends Forever had a grand opening party to rebrand the business. She rented a room at the local animal shelter and had a raffle to benefit the shelter. It was also a celebration. There is no doubt the merging was a success. The business grew 130% between 2011 and 2013.
Heather feels her success is due to that fact that she laid the foundation for her work. Rather than jumping fully in, she took the time to learn. She spent two years learning with Debra as well as putting in the work for her college certifications and for NAPPS certifications. She felt it was important to understand as much as possible about all the aspects of the job. Even though some of her schooling may not be exactly what she offers as a pet sitter, all of the information makes her a better sitter. For example, “I knew I wasn’t going to be training dogs, but I wanted to know what to do,” she explains.
She also feels that her success has a tremendous amount to do with her support system. “I knew I couldn’t do it alone and I didn’t want to do it alone,” says Heather. Having Debra made it all possible, but she has other help as well. Her husband, Scott Burt, is co-owner of Best Friends Forever while also working as an airborne traffic reporter. It isn’t unusual for Heather to hear the rush hour run down from her husband on the radio, but having a full-time job doesn’t get him out of helping. He loves pet sitting as well and often helps. “Sometimes we do jobs together, and that’s our date night,” Heather says, laughing.
Best Friends Forever has other staff as well, though, and Heather says that she is always on the lookout for potential staff, which has made building a team much easier. “The largest challenge is finding good reliable help,” says Heather. “The clients are resistant to meeting new people. They do not want to have to deal with a revolving door.”
One of Heather’s staff members was a fellow classmate she tracked down who was working as a dog trainer for Petco. After talking her into having lunch, Heather was able to convince her to work with her company as it grew. A second member of her staff is a client who became a friend, and when Heather saw potential in her as a pet sitter, she started working for Heather. Heather even has a member of her staff who was a fellow traffic reporter. When she heard Heather was getting into the pet sitting business, she asked if she and her husband could work with Heather part-time, and that has worked out really well. “Everything has gone slowly, but carefully and with observations,” says Heather. “I’m really happy to be providing jobs. We are always looking.”
Defining Your Goals
Best Friends Forever has priorities of “integrity, a spirit of service, cleanliness, continuing education, and charity.” These priorities, in addition to the business’s mission statement, help Heather stay on track. “If you are spiraling out of control you can look at your mission statement and get back to the basics,” says Heather. “If you have it in front of you and can look at it, it puts you back to why you are doing this in the first place and you can figure out where to go from there.”
NAPPS is an important component of meeting Best Friends Forever’s priorities as well. Heather says, “To me NAPPS equaled quality.” She signed up for NAPPS as soon as she started her business and utilized NAPPS resources immediately. “I learned so much even in the first tele-mentoring conference,” says Heather. “They are a must. Using NAPPS formatted paperwork and adjusting it to my needs has been incredibly helpful as well.”
Heather has also found chatting with peers incredibly helpful, whether on NAPPS Chat or in person. “You learn so much just from people chatting,” she says. “Even at the conference, I learned about dog running and lock boxes. Learning about new things coming up is important.”
Advice for New Pet Sitters
Even though Heather got into the business slowly and carefully, there are still some things she would do differently if she did it over again. “I would look into the pet sitting scheduling software. I’m still working those kinks out,” she says. “I would have started with Quickbooks as well. Now I really see the value of it.” Doing scheduling and monthly statements by hand can be incredibly time consuming and she can still find herself up until midnight working on paperwork.
From what she has learned so far, she advises those who are just getting started to lay the foundation and take their time. “Have all the paperwork ready before you open your doors,” she says. “And of course, NAPPS will help you with the paperwork and much more.” She also recommends being licensed, bonded, and insured. “Don’t do pet sitting at any price without insurance,” she says. “Make sure the insurance covers all animals. If you start taking money, you have to be insured.”
Looking at the Future
Right now Best Friends Forever has primarily suburban and city clients who often travel for work. The business caters to the upscale community in the hills as well. Clients include doctors, lawyers and a mix of other professionals. The majority of the services requested are daily dog walks, but Best Friends Forever also provides a lot of overnight sits.
Most of Heather’s clients have dogs and cats, but there are a few unusual city animals in the mix as well. “We’ve even cared for chickens,” says Heather, noting that letting them out in the morning is easy, but putting them back in at night is a little more challenging. “I have video of me herding chickens. It’s pretty funny,” she says.
Her plans are for the business to remain the same at its core, but to keep growing. However, she admits that she and Scott need to take a harder look at their work/life balance. “We need to evolve into having more of a personal life,” she says. “That is a goal of mine in the next year and that will happen by finding more good reliable help.”
For now, though, Heather couldn’t be happier to have moved out of the entertainment business and into the pet sitting business. “I know I’m doing something good because of the love I get from the animals every day. Nothing beats that,” she says. “They don’t care if you’re wearing business attire or makeup. They are just happy to see you.”
A Passion for Animals = Groomer’s Success
As a young boy, Blake’s love of dogs began with his family’s Labradors, which they bred and sold. Later on, he came to the realization that pet grooming could be fun after an experimental haircut with his roommate’s cat. After doing some research, Blake decided to pursue a career as a certified pet groomer, which led to his enrollment with Animal Behavior College’s (ABC) Grooming Instruction Program. Following graduation as an ABCPG, he became head groomer at a local grooming shop in San Francisco.
Most recently, he was promoted to District Manager for grooming salon franchise; Blake now oversees three grooming facilities in the Bay Area. When he is not at a salon, he volunteers at the local animal shelter P.A.W.S. and enjoys city living with his 1-year-old Labrador, Fiona. Blake loves what he does, even though it is a lot of work.
“It’s not always easy, but it’s always rewarding,” he said.
What Blake finds really rewarding is helping the cats and dogs at the shelter who are in need of a proper grooming. At the salon, his favorite breeds to groom are West Highland white terriers because of their flowing hair and cute, round faces. Blake is constantly working on his “style” and aspires to open his own groom shop someday.
As an active animal grooming professional, Blake is dedicated to continuing his training as a pet groomer. He is currently working toward a Master Groomer’s certification with the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Blake attributes his success to how much effort he put into it his education and ABC’s comprehensive program.
‘It shows what passion and a love for one’s career coupled with a great education can manifest,” Blake said. “ABC will give you the tools to handle anything that comes across your grooming table.”!
Dog Grooming and Animal/Pet Grooming Training & Certification is offered by Animal Behavior College. To find out more about becoming a Dog Groomer please visit http://animalbehaviorcollege.com/doggroomingprogram/
Dog groomers are among the most sought-after professionals within our industry–and the demand for qualified personnel will continue to grow for years to come. Becoming a Dog Grooming professional might not sound like the most employable career in the pet care industry, but there is an overabundance of companies locally and nationally that are hiring experienced groomers and newcomers to the field.
Animal Behavior College offers a combined online and hands-on Dog Grooming certification program that teaches Pet Health and Safety, Dog Grooming basics, and How to Bathe, Brush, and Dry the animals, as well as the use of Clippers and proper Scissoring techniques. This course also covers Cat Grooming, Business Building, Hands-on Training, and the Professional Dog Groomers toolbox.
Just last month, there were a half-a-dozen graduate students discussing their choice of profession on Facebook. From the July 30th section of the Animal Behavior College Facebook Timeline:
Shelbi Richey wrote,
I can say that I am very happy with my ABC experience. I took the Dog/Cat grooming course. The people I had to speak with to get enrolled were very efficient with timing, and seemed to really care about my education. I never felt as if I was in the dark or had unanswered questions… I was very lucky to do my externship at such a great salon with a good teacher, that was KEY! I feel you need to be VERY dedicated to learning this business if you sign up for classes, due to the amount of reading you have to do, if it’s not something you’re very passionate about, it may become hard to follow or get boring for you. The book stages were easy to read though, and even had humor so it didn’t feel like you were reading a history book. I even convinced my sister to take the same course and she is on her way to graduating now. I give ABC an A!
Suzette Sabie said,
I have opened up my own Grooming Shop in less than 1 yr!!!!
Julia Creadore wrote,
I’m currently in my externship stage & absolutely loving it! I can’t wait to graduate & start working with dogs full time! You’ll love the experience! I’ll never be sorry for choosing ABC! If you’re a natural reader, you’ll be able to absorb the written material quite easily! I was excited to read & learn everything I could, and value the knowledge I’ve gained more than I can ever describe! During my externship, I’m seeing everything I learned from Stages 1-9, being put into action & it’s amazing just how much easier it is to understand what I learned once I see it with my own eyes! You’ll love ABC!!!! Good luck in whatever you choose to do!
This morning, I was reading through Groomer to Groomer magazine, on the first page was a full page PetSmart ad that boasted about offering Dog Grooming positions, as well as Salon Managers and Professional Bathers–and full-time work. And not only a full-time job with medical benefits, but PetSmart also offers dental, 401K, tuition reimbursement, paid holidays, vacation and sick pay.
It’s not only the major pet store chains looking for the Dog Grooming help either. Kimberly A. Bandusky of a local Mokena/Tinley, Ill., shelter is also in need of a Dog Groomer.
She said, “The shelter I teach classes at is in need of a groomer.”
The list goes on and on; a few months back we posted a Spotlight on the Student of the Month, Jeff Damon. Jeff, an ABC graduate who started his animal career as a volunteer at shelters, is expanding his knowledge by completing ABC’s grooming program http://goo.gl/VQFpfZ
Read more about things to know when considering a career as a Dog Groomer.
Is Dog Grooming a Career for You?
Besides the high demand for good Dog Groomers, the profession offers other benefits, including being able to a build strong, meaningful relationships with clients and their pets.
Dog Groomers’ relationships with their four-legged clientele and their owners can, in turn, lead to referrals, which is a great form of networking.
And professionals who do exceptional work can earn tips from their appreciative customers. Plus, there’s always an opportunity to show-off your creativity with specific breed cuts and client requests.
In addition, Dog Grooming is a very mobile profession. If you are someone who often moves from city to city, you can still groom pets no matter where you live. There are Pet Businesses across the U.S. and Canada.
Dog Groomers can work practically anywhere: from home, mobile shops, brick & mortar locations, veterinary offices, doggie day cares, kennels, shelters and rescues.
Some Things to Know Before becoming a Dog Groomer
- You should be someone who animals, specifically dogs, are attracted to
- You should be someone who is creative and artsy
- You should be a patient person who doesn’t mind getting wet
Dog Grooming is hard work but its rewards and flexibility can make it a very rewarding career.
Dog Walking Etiquette
By Stacy Mantle
Walk Your Dog Each Day
In a world where many different species enjoy walking each day, it’s important to understand the rules of the road for canines. The rules below are not hard and fast, they aren’t legally binding and they aren’t meant to be regulated. They are intended as good “common sense” rules for any pets who enjoy walks.
1. Respect personal space. Whether you’re on a trailhead or at the dog park, there are people who will not love your dog. Even fellow dog lovers are hesitant around other breeds. Some small-breed lovers will be in complete fear of your large-breed dog no matter how friendly, and vice versa. Never force your dog on another person or animal.
Teach your pet to keep his nose to himself. People don’t generally like to be sniffed—particularly if they are running or walking or just enjoying the day. Keep your pet under control and never allow her to pull at the leash in search of a quick sniff of another dog or person.
2. Leashes are required. Besides being good common sense, leashes are required by law in nearly every state and that includes state and national forests. It doesn’t matter if your dog is friendly, it doesn’t matter if your dog always listens. If any other person views your pet as a threat, they can legally defend themselves, which can lead to tragic results.
Keep your leash short. This can help eliminate problems with tangled leashes, territorial sidewalk users and other such problems. The only exception to using a leash is in a designated off-leash area.
3. Clean up after your pet. You should not allow your pet to urinate or defecate in a person’s yard, a golf course or in a public park. Urine can leave ugly brown spots and create problems for a property owner. Look for a public, remote area for your pet to do her business. If an accident does happen, be courteous and clean up after your pet. It’s the law in most municipalities and it makes for good neighbors.
4. Not all dogs are friendly. You should never assume that because your pets are friendly, other people’s pets are friendly, too. Don’t allow your pet to approach other animals without an invitation. You never know how controlled the other animal may be.
5. Be respectful of other species. Cats are going out on walks more frequently, as are birds, ferrets and even other lesser-known and more unusual species. This is why you should never allow or encourage your dog to chase any type of animal. Your dog may interpret a cat to be a squirrel, leading to disastrous consequences. Train your pets to recognize and be receptive to other species.
6. Announce your arrival. When running or walking with your dog, it’s always polite to inform those ahead of you that you’re coming up behind. This can be done with a simple “Behind you” or “To your left” announcement, letting them know you’re planning to pass. This is particularly important when using public walkways.
7. Teach children. Nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year and more than 72 percent of those are children. We have to begin educating kids (even other people’s children) on the proper way to approach an animal. This begins with you and your dog. Let parents and children know they need to approach slowly, ask to pet your dog and always keep their faces away from the dog.
8. Elevators and enclosed areas. When in an elevator or other enclosed area of a public building, your dog should move to the back corner of the elevator and sit quietly near you as people get on and off. Keep your pet on a short leash, as some people have a real fear of being in an elevator with a dog.
9. Stop and sit at crosswalks. Your dog should always stop before a crosswalk and sit quietly beside you. While not all dogs can be trained to do this, it’s important to work up to it. Not only that, it could save their lives if they ever got loose.
10. The five training commands. Come, drop, leave it, heel and sit-stay are the five basic commands every pet should know before walking out the door. If your pets cannot do these things, you should focus your training until they can.
Owning a pet is about being a responsible pet owner. You are responsible for teaching your pets good etiquette as they will not learn from others. Together we can make the world a better place for our animals and other humans.
About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at www.StacyMantle.com
The Humane Society of the United States (May 2013), estimates 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year and approximately 2.7 million of them are euthanized, even though they are considered healthy and adoptable.
It’s been said that one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. At Animal Behavior College (ABC), we do not agree with that and we are doing something to help prevent such wonderful animals from becoming death-row dogs and cats.
The “Students Saving Lives” program at Animal Behavior College is part of the school’s international campaign to improve shelter dog rehabilitation and adoption. All students in the ABC certified dog trainer instructor program are asked to volunteer at least 10 hours of training time to a local shelter, humane society or rescue organization. Since 2004, more than 7,800 ABC students have donated in excess of 92,000 hours to animal shelters and rescue facilities across North America helping pets find forever homes.
I’d be happy to connect you with actual students within specific geographic areas who are currently saving lives at shelters and rescues. In addition, ABC’s founder and CEO Steven Appelbaum is available to discuss how the “Student Saving Lives” program came together, why it was created, and how the program reduces the amount of animals who become death-row dogs and cats.
Steven, a trainer for 30+ years, is a lecturer, consultant and contributing podcast co-host for “Love that Dog Hollywood.” I will call to follow up in few days.
About ABC: Animal Behavior College was founded in 1998 and the school’s unique structure incorporates a distance-learning and hands-on externship-training model. ABC offers courses for certified dog training, pet grooming and veterinary assistants in all 50 states and every Canadian province, making it the largest vocational school of its kind in North America.
Attention All Dog Trainers,
Looking for a way to impress your clients? Animal Behavior College is preparing to launch a Level 2 Dog Training Certification. You do not need to be a graduate of Animal Behavior College to take this certification examination. We proudly offer this opportunity to all professional dog trainers.
Passing this examination will earn you the right to proudly display the ABCDT-L2 designation proving you have a solid foundation of dog training experience in teaching abilities, learning theory, canine behavior, and more.
Now you can add another notch of credibility on your belt and strut your stuff. The ABCDT-L2 title will showcase your knowledge and experience as a Dog Trainer, and set you apart from the competition.
So, what is required??
- You must have a High School Diploma or equivalent.
- At least 220 hours as a LEAD Dog Trainer, plus 55 hours of basic dog training experience within the last 5 years.
- At least 28 units of continuing education in the dog training field within the last five years (must be in the form of ABC-Approved Education Programs).
- A signed copy of the ABC Code of ethics.
- Four letters of reference from a:
- Dog Trainer Client
- Colleague in the Canine Behavior profession
- Representative from a Shelter or Rescue that you have volunteered
Each letter should reference your experience in training within the last two years. The Animal Behavior College Level 2 Certification application and exam has a filing fee of $300.
This Level 2 Certification will be coming in August.